Ivan Reitman to Produce, not Direct, Ghostbusters 3; Filming in Late 2014/Early 2015

Ghostbusters and director Ivan ReitmanWith everything that has been going on with the script for Ghostbusters 3, it’s no wonder that people didn’t think it would ever actually happen. I’ve never doubted that it would be produced at some point, and have been waiting for it since Ghostbusters 2. While we don’t really have word of an official green-light from Sony, it seems as though that may have already happened.

Deadline.com has an exclusive interview with Ivan Reitman in which he talks about working with Harold Ramis, work on the scripts for Ghostbusters 3 over the years, and plans for the film. First, he addressed things from internet speculation, to Bill Murray’s involvement.

“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters. I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters.

“The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan 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, 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.

“It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role. When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things. I’d just finished directing Draft Day, which I’m really happy with and proud of. Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying. I just finally met with Amy Paschal and Doug Belgrad when I got back. I said I’d been thinking about it for weeks, that I’d rather just produce this Ghostbusters. I told them I thought I could help but let’s find a really good director and make it with him. So that’s what we’ve agreed will happen. I didn’t want all kinds of speculation about what happened with me, that is the real story.”

GhostbustersSony’s Pascal confirmed this. “We totally understood. He was thinking he might feel that way when Harold died, and then came back to us and confirmed it, that while he was excited to return and make the movie as producer, but did not feel he wanted to direct the movie. We are delighted to work with Ivan on this movie in that capacity. We love him, and he’s going to continue to play an important role. We’re very anxious to get the movie started.”

Reitman just didn’t feel right retracing his steps without Ramis around for the film.

“It was such an amazing time in my life 30 years ago, and I felt that way on the second film,” he said. “With Harold no longer with us I couldn’t see it.” Reitman is proud of the original film, and the way it has remained vibrant, even after all of these years. “It really seems to have resonated, and I think a lot of adults who saw it when they were younger have shown it to their kids and they seem to respond much the same way. Sony sees this as a huge worldwide opportunity, and it is eager to make the film.”

Reitman also confirmed that they are working on a short list of directors for Ghostbusters 3. They’ll reach out to each of them before they begin the search for the new cast. And from how things are coming together, it’s feeling more and more like Star Wars: Episode VII, in the way that the film is coming together. Like Star Wars: Episode VIIGhostbusters 3 will feature original actors reprising their roles, alongside a new cast of characters that will carry the franchise into the future.

“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, and I am pleased that all of this seems to have happened organically,” he said. “I’m hoping we can get started by the fall, set in New York, but given the logistics and the stuff that happens, the beginning of 2015 seems more likely.”

And with that, we move into the future of Ghostbusters.  I’m excited. Let’s hope that whomever they get to direct Ghostbusters 3, it’s a good one. And for those that haven’t read it, here are my Thoughts and Feelings on Ghostbusters 3. I wrote it back in 2009, and much of it still holds true today. However, I think that the recent production of new Star Wars films have altered my thoughts a bit on it, and now I’m thinking that this format is exactly the sort of thing that we could use.

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