There seems to be three constants in life: death, taxes, and Sony's desire to make Ghostbusters III.
In development for years, Ghostbusters III has gone from having a completed script to being in "suspended animation" with the only constants being the involvement of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman, Bill Murray's disinterest in the sequel and the studio's desire to reinvigorate the franchise. Now they'll have to do without Reitman's services.
In an interview with Deadline, Reitman revealed that one of the motivating factors for his leaving the director's chair was the recent passing of Harold Ramis. "With Harold no longer with us I couldn’t see it," Reitman admitted, though he plans to still be involved as a producer and will help the studio find another director. The question remains: where does the movie stand now?
"It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role," said Reitman, who confirmed that the various drafts of the script were done in pursuit of Murray. "The first [script] was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office), and me, Harold and Dan [Aykroyd] helped them on it. 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 (Tropic Thunder), 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."
And so Ghostbusters III continues, and, apparently, as a reboot since only Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson are likely to cameo. "I’m not going to say how many Ghostbusters there will be in the new cast, but we are determined to retain the spirit of the original film," Reitman said.
Once a new director and cast are set, shooting should start this fall but Reitman admitted that "the beginning of 2015 seems more likely."