The most consistent cog in the machine to get Ghostbusters 3 up and running over the years is arguably director Ivan Reitman. Or I should say was since Reitman has exited the helm in the wake of Harold Ramis’ death. Reitman had been on board the project for quite some time, much of which was spent attempting to sway Bill Murray to join the threequel, especially since Sony and Dan Aykroyd were pleased with the current script. Now, we’ve heard that not only will there be rewrites to that script, but that Reitman will step aside in order to help find a new director to carry the film forward. Hit the jump for more on Reitman’s departure, and why this might not be a bad thing for the film, since Sony is now eyeing a production start date early in 2015 in New York.
“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters,” Reitman told me. “I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters.”
“The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan helped them on it,” Reitman said. “It was a really good script, but then it became clear that Bill really didn’t want to do another Ghostbusters and that it was literally impossible to find him to speak to for the year or two we tried to get it going. When Bill finally…well, he never actually said no, but he never said yes, so there was no way to make that film. We decided to start over again, and I started working with Etan Cohen, with Dan lending a helping hand. Harold got sick about three years ago, and we kept hoping he would get better. I kept pushing forward on the Etan Cohen and we now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about.
“It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role,” he said. “When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things. I’d just finished directing Draft Day, which I’m really happy with and proud of. Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying. I just finally met with Amy and Doug Belgrad when I got back. I said I’d been thinking about it for weeks, that I’d rather just produce this Ghostbusters. I told them I thought I could help but let’s find a really good director and make it with him. So that’s what we’ve agreed will happen. I didn’t want all kinds of speculation about what happened with me, that is the real story.”
Be sure to head over to Deadline for much more from Reitman and Sony’s Amy Pascal. They already have a shortlist of directors in mind, but no names have been revealed just yet. Same goes for the cast, which they would like to start putting together this fall. Honestly, this is probably the best possible outcome from an unfortunate situation. A clean start to the sequel will allow Sony to build a new franchise around the popular property while staying true to the spirit of the original films.