Screenwriter Etan Cohen Officially Hired for Ghostbusters III
07.10.12 by Ryan
As Dan Aykroyd recently revealed, a "new writing staff" was working on Ghostbusters III, essentially replacing or rewriting the script handed in years ago by The Office and Bad Teacher writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. The name of that "writing staff" is actually just Etan Cohen, who helped write Tropic Thunder and Men in Black III, and his hiring, as reported by Variety, heralds both good and bad news.
The good news, for Ghostbusters fans, is that a third installment is moving forward and with a writer who has some experience revitalizing a movie franchise after a decade-long break. The basic plotline, as Aykroyd has admitted, would involve a new group of Ghostbusters coming in to take over for the aging, original crew. "The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of Ghostbusters III is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood because my character, Ray, is now blind in one eye, can't drive the Cadillac, has a bad hip, bad knee and can't pick up the pack," Said Aykroyd last August. "Harold [Ramis], uh, Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that's the promise." That could mean that Cohen will mostly write for newer characters mixing with older characters, something he has experience in after Men in Black III and Tropic Thunder.
The bad news is, of course, Bill Murray. Publicly, Murray has been very vocal about his disinterest in a third installment, calling it Ernie Hudson"his nightmare" and offering no support of Stupnitsky and Eisenberg as screenwriters, before finally admitting last year that he hadn't even read the script. In March, Aykroyd finally revealed that the sequel was in "suspended animation," up until his surprising admission that a writing staff was back at work. With Cohen taking over at the keyboard, it's possible that Murray might be persuaded to come on board, especially after recently admitting on The Late Show with David Letterman that the script would have to be "really funny." No pressure, Etan.
Even if Cohen turns in the perfect script, Murray still might not even read it, as the actor has become infamously persnickety about what projects he chooses to involve himself in. Clearly, Sony is not going to give up, however, and perhaps, this time, Murray will finally cave.