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I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost - A Look At The Ghostbusters Trilogy

Written by Devtome wiki contributor: Bomac

gb.jpg In this article we will discuss Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2. Perhaps more importantly, we'll take a look into what seems to be shaping up, after all these years, to be the crowning jewel of the Ghostbusters trilogy. It's looking more and more like it could become a reality.

Never Ending Ghostbusters 3 Rumors

On the 30th anniversary re-release of the film Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murry, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson, it only seems fitting to post an article about the long awaited Ghostbusters 3, tentatively rumored to start filming in 2015.

The discussion of the final piece of the Ghostbusters trilogy has been active since the early 90s. Many fans have given up on it ever coming about. Ironically, some Ghostbusters fans have probably become ghosts themselves, waiting for it to happen.

Hopefully not too many have actually become ghosts. However, since the first and second installments were released in the mid and late 80s, a lot of Ghostbusters fans have died, which is, of course, the first requirement in becoming a ghost.

Don't Be A Ghost If You Can Help It

(Real life ghost experts are in virtual total agreement that it's not a happy or fulfilling existence. In a sort of companion piece to this article we took a look at the actual phenomena of ghosts, and discussed what you can do to help prevent yourself from such a fate.)

Murray Just Not Interested (Even Before Ramis Crossed Over)

If the G3 does get made, there is said to be about as much chance of getting Bill Murray to film new scenes for it as there is for Harold Ramis to return. The reason Ramis won't be appearing is the same reason John Lennon and George Harrison won't be in the mix, if the Beatles were to have a reunion concert. It's nearly impossible1) to collaborate on creative events here in the earth, space time continuum if you have died, which Ramis did on February 24, 2014.

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Murray just isn't interested in reviving his role as Dr. Peter Venkman. In recent, and even not so recent, years, Murray has received critical accolades for a number of dramatic roles. He tends to pick his projects extremely selectively, so the thought of being involved in a second sequel to a film made 30 years ago, doesn't appeal to him.

Bill Murray Artful Dodger

He does not keep a close connection to Hollywood. He refuses to have an agent. The only way producers can get a hold of him to offer him roles is with a voice mail number that he evidently doesn't check very often. It has caused him to be passed over for a number of very successful movies, but says, “That's not my problem.”

Based on his track record, he would have turned most (if not, all) of them down, anyway. Not that he minds taking part in commercially viable projects, it's just not a requirement. If he doesn't like the script, he doesn't care who is in front of, or behind, the camera, or how much money is involved.

Reitman Won't Direct But Will Be Involved

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Ivan Reitman, the director and guiding force of the first two films was planning on directing the third one. Even though Murray took a pass on it, Reitman says he kept telling himself he would somehow persuade him to come on board. Once Ramis crossed over to the other side, Reitman gave up all hope of nabbing Murray in a weak moment.

In fact, he lost his desire to direct the project, but he agreed to stay on as a producer. Being a producer entails a wide range of options, depending on the deal. Literally, for many people, it means doing nothing, but getting the production credit and a paycheck. Yet, in other instances, producers can be more important than the director.

Consulting Producer Status?

This writer is guessing that Reitman's role will be as a consultant who gives notes, primarily in pre and early production. He may also be willing to give notes on an early cut of the film. Of course, this is wild speculation based on not much more than a hunch.

New Ghost Hunters

The script for G3 is said to have a new team of ghostbusters who are, more or less, handed the baton from the older group, (which will, at best, have only half of the four originals.) Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson have evidently agreed to appear, but the rumors have been so varied, for so long, nothing can be counted upon.

In fact, until principle filming starts on a Ghostbusters 3 project, it's probably a good idea for fans not to get their hopes up. Yet a number of fans have been so eager for the film, they started making their own trailers for it.

What's A Trailer? Why Is It Called That?

(Trailers are coming attraction promotions, that you generally play before a movie gets underway. They are called trailers, because they were originally placed after the movie. They trailed it. Movie executives got a clue at some point, and figured out that more people would see them by putting them in front of the film, but the name stuck. To see any number of fan made trailers, do an online search for, “Ghostbusters 3 movie trailers”. You'll discover they have made making them for a few years, already. Here is, in all likelihood, the best one.)

Succumbed To The Pressure Of Millions In Pay Dirt

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Picture Above: Director & Cast Having Fun On Location

Reitman, Aykroyd and Ramis did not want to make the sequel. The studio was making some good coin with the cartoon series, The Real Ghostbusters that was getting decent ratings for its genre. Unlike some TV series that went on to spawn an animated series, none of the actors were paid to go in and read lines. Other actors provided the voices for their characters.

They kept pressuring the threesome, since they had the sequel rights. In many cases, the studios buy the right to make sequel decisions, but in this case, probably due to the fact that nobody expected the movie to be so successful, the studio was not in charge when it came to deciding whether or not to continue the saga. The trio eventually succumbed to the horrendous, almost unspeakably tragic pressure of having to add millions of dollars to their asset portfolios.

Flop? How About, "Record Setter?"

Twenty five years after the sequel, many people are thinking that G2 was a bit of a flop. If you are among those who erroneously think it barely made back its production costs, you now stand corrected. G2 actually set the record, at the time, for the most money made in the opening day, as well as the opening 3 day weekend. In fact, it more than doubled the amount taken in during the G1 opening weekend, believe it or not.

With a budget of $37 million, it has grossed $215 million, worldwide. The original had a $30 million budget, and started out with $229 million domestically. A re-release the next year added about $10 million. Worldwide, the total was at $294 million as of August, 2014.

At least a few more million will be added to the total, as a result of the 30 year, remastered release. The weekend was about $2 million more.

Anomalous 2011 Re-relese

Interestingly, there was a three day re-release in 2011. I haven't found the box office figures for it. What is curious is that is wasn't even 3 days in a row, like the traditional, Friday, Saturday and Sunday movie weekend. It was 1 day a week for the three weeks preceding Halloween.

It's true that G1 cost $7 million less than G2 and has made about $80 million more, but there is no way that a movie like Ghostbusters 2, that grosses $178 million more than it cost, could ever be called a commercial flop.

Mixed Reviews

A movie that makes that kind of cash could certainly be a critical flop, though. To be sure, a number of critics were not as kind to the sequel as they were to the original, but the overall critical reception was mixed. It wasn't one big pan fest. Most movie goers didn't complain.

Rotten Tomatoes shows a 61% favorable rating from the public, and 51% from their critics. Curiously, the original is not listed from 1984, but they list the 2014 re-release. It has a 97% favorable rating from 60 critics, averaging 8.1 out of 10 stars. From the public, there is an 88% favorable rating, average 3.6 out of 5. (Why they do it out of 10 for one and out of 5 for the other, is beyond me, but if my elementary school fractions math still serves me, 3.6 out of 5 is the equivalent of 7.2 out 10.)

Ghostbusters Trivia

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Hollywood folklore says that Eddie Murphy was meant to star in the film, but that's not true. It was original a Dan Aykroyd script that he was shopping around as a vehicle for him and his partner; a person i like to call, Jim Belushi's brother.

It dawns on my after writing that, that to some young people, it might not have been the joke that it was intended to be. A lot of young people might not realize that Jim Belushi had a brother, John, and that it was Jim who was thought of as John's brother, rather than the other way around; (or, for that matter, rather than as the Belushi brothers.) It's true though. Before the Blues Brothers had Jim Belushi, let alone, John Goodman and that little kid, it was Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.

But I Digress

That reminds me, one night in the late 70s, when John was still alive and hardly anybody had heard of Jim, I was in Hollywood, California on Highland Ave, a couple hundred feet from Hollywood Boulevard, when someone crossed my path and asked if I knew where he could buy a pack of cards at such a late hour.

I was pretty sure it was Jim, so I said, “Hey, you're Jim Belushi, right?” He said, “Yeah.” I was like, “Oh cool. Um, there's a 7-1ll a few blocks down that way. I'm pretty sure they have playing cards.” (Yes, he thanks me.)

That was the cool thing about living in Los Angeles. One day I was in downtown L.A. when I saw an bright red-orange Gran Torino being pulled by a truck with cameras. I recognized that car, even before I recognized the actors. It was Starsky and Hutch's wheels, man. As they rode by me, I waved to Starsky, actually kind of surprising myself when I did it.

I found myself thinking, Seriously? I'm waving at the guy? What am I? Six years old? (I was just out of high school.) Yet, since they had been in my home, via the TV, it was a kind of feeling of familiarity, the way you'd wave to a friend who happened to be riding by.

As I felt my hand going into the wave motion, a part of me thought he was thinking something along the lines of, “Look that big dork of a man-boy waving at me like he's six years old.” Actually, though, he waved back and smiled.

Back To Ghostbusters Trivia

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Anyway, in the original Dan Aykroyd script, John and Dan were going to be not so much guardians of the galaxy, but at least, ghostbusters of the galaxy. They were going to be fighting space ghosts.

When Ivan Reitman signed on to direct and produce, he looked at the script and said it would cost too much to produce such a galactic setting. I wonder about that though. I might have told him that it doesn't have to be filmed on location throughout various solar systems in the milky way.

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Was Reitman Being Forthcoming?

Are special effects for space travel that much more than for ghost hunting? Does an interior spacecraft set cost more than the giant rooftop set that was so grand, various filmmakers visited the sound stage just to see it?

I'm thinking that maybe it was a convoluted storyline, that Aykroyd is prone to write, once he ventures out of sketch comedy. Reitman may have felt that keeping the ghost hunting terrestrial was a way to rein in the scattered directions the original script may have taken. Obviously, it's just a hunch, but I'll try to ask Reitman if I ever see him being pulled by a truck as I'm walking down a sidewalk somewhere. 2)

Possibly Not Focused And Trying To Do Too Many Things

But in my extremely limited3) screenwriting experience 4), and teleplay experience 5), it is not uncommon for a writer to have too many things going on at once. A good creative producer (who deals with the script, as opposed to a line producer who focuses on budget, logistics and the like), will often have a writer redo a project that isn't focused enough.

So, in the original Ghostbusters script, Reitman may have felt that mixing the concept of ghostbusting with space antics would needlessly muddle things up. It may have been a matter of, do we want to be a space comedy or a ghost comedy? We can't be both.

Meatballs And Stripes Collaborators

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Reitman brought in Harold Ramis, who he had worked with on Meatballs and Stripes, to work with Aykroyd on the rewrite. I believe that Reitman could have legitimately taken, at least, a story co-credit, but he certainly didn't need the money, and evidently didn't need the ego stroking.

Of course, Reitman worked with Bill Murray on Meatballs and Stripes as well. Reitman's choices and skills transformed the project into the cult classic it is today. Murray's presence was absolutely perfect. It's even difficult to imagine the film without him.

Which is why many fans are not expecting a lot if G3 ever really gets made. The loss of Murray alone is a deal breaker for a lot of people. Add to that, the loss of Ramis. and you'll know why many hard core Ghostbusters fans won't even go to see G3, if and when the time arrives.

Not Murphy But Candy

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Although it's not true that Eddie Murphy turned down the movie, the same can not be said for John Candy. Candy would not have been one of the Ghostbusters. He would have played the part taken by Reitman's second choice, Rick Moranis.

Reitman also had worked with Candy on Stripes. He thought it would be great to have the 3 actors who brought such strong performances in that movie, to this new one, but it was evidently not meant to be. Reitman said Candy never really got the script. He told Reitman that he should speak in a thick German accent and have a big German Shepherd.

He ultimately passed on it, possibly saving Reitman a headache, having to deal with Candy's seeming obsession with all things German for the character he would have played. When Rick Moranis got the script he loved it. In fact, 3 hours after delivery, he called Reitman and told him to give a message to Candy, his old colleague from the classic Canadian TV show, SCTV, (that was exported to the US), and the Mel Brooks movie, Spaceballs; “Tell Candy thanks for turning this down. It's great.”

So, Is It Happening, And If So, When?

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A number of entertainment and/or gossip websites are talking about G3 like it's almost carved in granite. The word is that the script has been written, and is in the process of being tweaked. That's often par for the course. Some movie scripts get rewritten many times over.

It's expected to be released sometime in 2016. Paramount Pictures is said to be the movie studio. The word is that a new team of female ghostbusters will be involved, but Aykroyd and Ernie will likely be involved in the story. Perhaps it will be a matter of bringing them out of ghost-busting retirement for one final gig.

One report says that Sigourney Weaver asked Reitman if her character's baby from the sequel could have grown up to work in the GB business. Reitman is reported to have said that was already taken care of. Another report says that Bridesmaids director, Paul Fieg, is being considered for the job.

Of course, none of these particulars may be in the final script, but then, that's what makes it this whole process fun. Only time will tell. Personally, until I read that principle photography has actually started, I'm going to remain dubiously optimistic.

Movies | Entertainment

1) Nearly impossible but not absolutely impossible. A number of paranormal researchers who died, went on to do continue their research with their partners, even though they were on the other side of the veil, as they say. For more information, go to http://worlditc.org
2) I guess, he'd actually be more likely to be on the truck, filming the car, but then again, he'd probably have his second unit doing the exterior motion shots, so… never mind.
3) One can actually learn a lot by writing and getting people with experience to read ones work and give their notes to you.
4) IE, one screenplay that didn't sell. You can't get much more inexperienced in screenwriting than that, but again, the process can be edumacational.
5) 13 that didn't sell that set me up for 2 that were bought and produced

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