On the eve of Ghostbusters' 30th anniversary, an entire generation raised on muon traps and ecto-chargers were collectively laid out by the following mega-news:
According to the original director himself, there will in fact be a third Ghostbusters film. But before everyone releases their simultaneous wails of joy/anger, there's probably something you all need to know: It's never going to happen.
#5. It's Been "Confirmed" So ... Many ... Times
"But it's been confirmed!" you cry wholeheartedly into your monitors. It's true, we're not talking about some nameless "studio insider" or a random blogger here; this is Ivan Fucking Reitman saying that the next Ghostbusters film will be undergoing production next year. How could someone from the original films possibly be wrong?
That is Harold Ramis "confirming" a totally nonexistent Ghostbusters shoot for summer of 2010. And if you think that's a fluke headline, check out this neat trick:
We don't have to ace an electroshock ESP test to know which way the hot wind blows. Perhaps in the year 2020 we might be eating our words, but even if that's the case, know this much ...
#4. The Story Will Never Be as Good as We Want
Back in the 1990s, a youngish Dan Aykroyd wrote a draft of something called Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent about the newly named city of Manhellton being overtaken by the devil himself, only to be stopped by a batch of new Ghostbusters such as "a Latino beauty" and an "uptight gymnast/science grad."
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"They both enter the station after being slimed and ask Ray if he can help wash it off ..."
In other words, the closest we ever got to a version of Ghostbusters 3 at its potential prime was possibly just a thrown-together excuse for Dan Aykroyd to get near young nimble actresses. This project would eventually be absorbed into the later Ghostbusters game, but not before it sparked rumors that it would star Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and Chris Farley.
We're guessing Farley would have played a now human Slimer.
Our point is this: Whatever amazing Ghostbusters 3 movie you have in your head right now is already gone. Heck, even the second film was deemed subpar compared to the original, and that had all four original Ghostbusters in it. We're down to three. Actually, two ...
#3. Bill Murray Will Never Be in It
Remember when we said that Ghostbusters 2 wasn't well-received when it came out? We weren't just talking about the critics. Even Bill Murray didn't like Ghostbusters 2, a film he claimed was as far from its original preproduction concept as it was from the quality of the first.
"Take the poor kid out of here. He shouldn't have to see this."
"That's not in the script."
"That wasn't a line."
And after that? A series of dodges ranging from asking to be killed off in the first reel ("Supposedly someone was writing a script where I actually got killed in the first reel and became a ghost") to more recently just flat-out saying "no." Word of his screaming lack of interest in once again donning the jumpsuit (in a movie, that is) has resonated not only in his interviews, but also in the interviews of both Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd.
He's really, really not into it. And that was before the death of Harold Ramis, an event that we're guessing didn't create a newfound spark of interest. And he's not the only uninterested party ...
#2. For Studios, It's Box Office Poison
While we're continuing to inexplicably blast Ghostbusters 2, there's another reason why it wasn't favored over the original: It didn't gross enough money. And that was when the cultural relevance of the now-classic original was at its prime.
See, there's a reason Ghostbusters 3 has never gotten off the ground -- it's a $150 million project that Sony Pictures isn't all that sure will work. Back in 2011, the studio wouldn't even consider a film without Bill Murray's guaranteed involvement, something that simply isn't an option anymore.
"Aw, who cares about him? We still have Dan and Ernie ... Hel- ... hello?"
This sticky situation has managed to work Dan Aykroyd into a tizzy due to the fact that the studio hasn't even paid him for the work he's already done on the script, which he sarcastically calls "production number XP39789." In other words, this entire project has basically been a series of actors and studios politely dicking around a single, solitary force, otherwise known as "the heart of the Ghostbusters" ...
#1. It Has Been All About Dan Aykroyd This Whole Time
When Harold Ramis died, Ernie Hudson publicly stated that there "wouldn't be a Ghostbusters" without him. And when Ramis was alive, most of his comments were about how belated sequels tend to blow harder than a nuclear blast tossing a fridge. How about director Ivan Reitman? He recently quit as the potential director of a third installment due to Ramis' passing, taking up a producing credit instead.
And what was Aykroyd's response to all of this?
He's ready to go.
After all, he's been the sole captain of the SS Ruin Your Childhood for 15 fucking years now, avowing the project since 1999. Every time you hear new plot details or rumors squelched? That's Dan. New script draft? Dan is overseeing that shit. Heck, he recently entertained the idea that there would be fourth and fifth films after the new one.
Why? Like us, Dan Aykroyd loves Ghostbusters and doesn't want to see it go away. But the harsh reality is that loving something is not always enough to bring it back.
It's not going to happen. We're as sure of this as we are of the atomic weight of cobalt.