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'Ghostbusters 3' Reportedly Budgeted At $150 Mil; Sony Won't Make Film Without Bill Murray

by Edward Davis
January 12, 2011 4:58 AM
8 Comments
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You need to hear that Bill Murray is the hold-out on the long-gestating "Ghostbusters 3" project like you need a hole in the head. While a script was just delivered to the elusive star -- who has no agent or PR person -- the actor has been badmouthing the idea of a third 'Ghostbusters' film for what feels like longer than a year now. He's got his reasons and the biggest question probably is: Why a "Ghostbusters" film now, twenty one years after the fairly mediocre "Ghostbusters II" (which did $126 million less in box-office receipts than the original)?

Well, for one Dan Aykroyd is obsessed, has never let the idea go, and two, he started scheming up a new idea (there's been several false starts on a third "Ghostbusters" script over the years) when he, Harold Ramis, and more importantly Bill Murray, got along during voice work for the "Ghostbusters" video game a few years ago. It appears that moment gave him the inkling that a reunion of sorts was possible and Aykroyd set pen to paper.

And while we know Murray is the missing key ingredient -- all four principal "Ghostbusters," including director Ivan Reitman, can nix the project if they don't approve of the script -- according to Deadline, Sony believes there is absolutely no movie without Murray and will not move the project forward unless he signs on.

Frankly, that's kind of a no brainer and as already articulated, Murray has veto power, even though "Ghostbusters 3" is evidently inching forward towards reality with a $150 million dollar budget, there won't be a green light until Murray actually signs, seals and delivers a contract -- something the mercurial actor never does anymore.

To work with Bill Murray is to take a leap of faith, make a handshake deal and then hope and pray on production start date he will show up (the industry is full of nervewracking tales of Murray having verbally agreed to appear in a film without signing anything and people like Sofia Coppola can attest that she and her "Lost In Translation" crew were shitting bricks on day one hoping he'd show; Wes Anderson is one of the lucky few who doesn't have to live through that anxiety anymore). So a script -- by "The Office" writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, with minor touch-ups by Ramis and Aykroyd -- has been delivered and now its time for all the principals and Sony to sit by the phone and nervously wait (this report makes the rumored May 2011 start date seem plausible). Knowing Murray they could wait weeks to get their answer.

Reitman, who's about to debut his new comedy, "No Strings Attached," recently spoke out against internet reports claiming everything we've read about 'GB3' is wrong, but Murray's public quotes aren't fabricated and the reality is that Deadline's report is spot-on: there is no "Ghostbusters" movie without Bill Murray. Hell, there isn't one without Ramis or Akyroyd either. The idea of a third film is a new generation of "Ghostbusters" who can come in and step into the roles vacated by aging spectral hunters. Frankly, it smells akin to when erstwhile successful sitcoms brought in new cute, adopted family members to help their sagging ratings. Best of luck to all of them -- we actually would love to see a 'GB3' out of morbid curiosity -- but it's hard to imagine a film that could top even the lackluster "Ghostbusters II."

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8 Comments

  • ClaudiusValentine | December 4, 2013 1:24 PMReply

    look people have you saw bill's interviews that have asked questions about GB3 bill never said no he said 3 things 1st "GB2 was a wast of everyones time sure the film wasnt that bad but all the originals have said when sony got to the script they made it more family friendly which lost its magic the 1st one had" 2nd "sony has to green light it and stay away from changing things" and 3rd "bill said the script has to be good that he hasnt read any script yet he's waiting for sony to move on it once that happens all the originals will be their" you see im sure they all know this movie isnt for the funnyness it isnt for the comedy its just to restart the franchise, GB3 is gonna be alot like the new trek movies meaning lots of action and sci fi supernatural not much comedy this new one is only to reboot the franchise nothing more, dan is making new equipment new stuff for GB3 the proton packs are probably gonna be the same from the video game, dan personally over viewed all the new stuff in the game and he's probably gonna add to that for the movie which is good the game was great, you'll need to realize that once sony green lighted the game they all jumped on voicing their characters so once sony green lights the movie none of them will miss the chance to help reboot the franchise even bill murray.

  • Kim | January 12, 2011 9:20 AMReply

    Didn't the cartoon and all the merchandising make a lot of money back in the day?

  • KitCon | January 12, 2011 8:31 AMReply

    Ghost 1 made $291M worldwide and G2 did $215M so they've decided to pump up the budget for G3 to $150M? The wonders and mysteries of film finance & acctg.

  • starway2001 | January 12, 2011 6:44 AMReply

    Bill Murray will do it. He'll do it because the money will be too good to turn down.

  • Edward Davis | January 12, 2011 4:05 AMReply

    you guys are missing the point. it's not about how little it made (yes, it did extremely well for its time), it's about how much the second one dropped in profit. Sequels always do better than the original because a brand has been established. It's always, always the first one that rakes in the least amount of money and the more sequels you do -- a lot of brand equity in place -- the more money you make. Simple mathematics most of the time and the reason they keep cranking these out.

    But GB2 was the rare sequel that did less business by over $100 million, a lot of money in any era.

    Did the Star Wars prequels way after the fact not teach anyone anything? How about Indy 4 with the "new generation?" I guess not. Be careful what you wish for, seriously.

  • KitCon | January 12, 2011 4:01 AMReply

    G2's $215M is $379M today and with the substantial drop from G1 still makes a $150M budget very optimistic about G3's chances

  • ken | January 12, 2011 2:43 AMReply

    Bill Murray is one thing, but I will NOT see this film if Rick Moranis isn't in it. Rick Moranis is my hero.

  • Jeffmc2000 | January 12, 2011 12:51 AMReply

    Those are 1984 and 1989 dollars, respectively. Adjust for inflation accordingly.

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