The other members of the Ghostbusters, and the director of the first two films (and potentially the third) pay their respects to actor Harold Ramis. For those that don’t know, Harold Ramis played Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. He returned to the character, lending his voice to Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and was due to cameo in a scene as Egon in Ghostbusters 3. Ramis passed away on February 24, and I wanted to share what the others had to say about Ramis.
Ivan Reitman, director: “The world has lost a wonderful, truly original, comedy voice with the passing of Harold Ramis. He possessed the most agile mind I’ve ever witnessed. He always had the clearest sense of what was funny and how to create something in a new clever way … Harold had an extraordinary impact on my career and I loved him like a brother.”
Dan Aykroyd (Raymond Stantz): “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking.”
Bill Murray (Peter Venkman): “Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”
Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddmore): “Harold was the glue. There wouldn’t a ‘Ghostbusters’ without Harold Ramis. Harold Pulled it together. And I know I probably wouldn’t be in the business had I not had the chance to work with Harold at that time in my career. He taught me a lot, not overtly by trying to teach me, just watching him work and how he dealt with things. He will be missed.”
It’s hard for me to put into words what it’s like to lose a member of the family. I think it’s hard for all of us. Last year, I lost three grandparents: my grandma, and my wife’s grandpa, and her grandma from the other side of her family.
Today we lost another person that I find myself having a difficult time coming to terms with. Harold Ramis. He played Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. And for most of my childhood, he was part of my family. While others had heroes in Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, my heroes weren’t really superheroes, but they could do heroic things. They were brave when no one else would be. They sought to understand what no one else would dare to even try to understand. They were the Ghostbusters.
In a pair of movies, and a couple of animated series, the Ghostbusters were a big part of my life, and still are. I’m always as ready as I ever have been for Ghostbusters 3, and hopeful that it still sees the light of day. I anticipate that the script they have will need some re-writes, potentially major ones, too. I can see it being a fitting tribute to the one that made it all possible, in memory of Harold Ramis.
I never got to meet him, but it still feels like I’ve lost a member of the family. But he will live on. He’ll live on in the Ghostbusters films, as they are passed down from generation to generation. He’ll live on in the Ghostbusters stories that are still being written, in comic book form and potentially beyond. This, to me, is part of his legacy. A gift to many of us that have loved his work, who he has never met before. It makes life just that much more fun, and I will miss him in whatever future adventures are created. He’s left this world for the next, and I hope to one day meet him there. But until that day comes, here’s to one of the Ghostbusters.
A couple of websites have chimed in with their thoughts on different directors taking on Ghostbusters 3. Now that it is actively being written, and Sony has put it on their 2011 film slate, this is an obvious question, and I thought I would add my thoughts to the mix. I’m going to comment on the choices that they list for potential directors below:
Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis have commented on the upcoming Ghostbusters 3 script that is in the works, and in the process revealed some new plot points as well as new Ghostbusting tools that will be at their disposal. I am assuming this is in addition to the classic and iconic Proton Pack, which wasn’t mentioned, but most definitely will be a part of it.
Aykroyd explains: “There will be a whole new generation that has to be trained, and that whole new generation will be led by an individual who you’ll all love when you meet him but I’m not going to tell you anything yet.”
This is really interesting and I wonder who it could possibly be. The first time that I read this, I took it to mean that the person training the Ghostbuster Cadets was who he was referring to. But reading it again, it seems that he means a new leader for the new group of primary Ghostbusters.
I grew up with Ghostbusters. The first film was released in theatres when I was 3 years old. I saw Ghostbusters II in theatres and have been looking forward to the possibility of a third film ever since.
In recent years, there have been rumors of a third film, but it would continuously fall apart.
Then the video game was announced, and Dan Aykroyd got involved. The game company handed him a 300 page script, and he worked in parts of the script he had written for what was supposed to be the third film in the series.
Not only that, but all of the original Ghostbusters cast (save for Rick Moranis) came back to supply voices to their characters in the game. Talk about a dream come true. Although it’s not the movie that I wanted, it’s the video game that I had always dreamed of.
Over the course of the last week, there have been glimmers of hope, as writers were rumored to be attached to the project. Not only that, but it’s a couple of very good writers that I think could do a pretty fair job of it.
This morning, the Chicago Tribune posted an e-mail from Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler in the films), and here’s what it says:
“yes, columbia is developing a script for GB3 with my year one writing partners, gene stupnitsky and lee eisenberg. judd apatow is co-producing year one and has made several other films for sony, so of course the studio is hoping to tap into some of the same acting talent. aykroyd, ivan reitman and i are consulting at this point, and according to dan, bill murray is willing to be involved on some level. he did record his dialogue for the new ghostbusters video game, as did danny and i, and ernie hudson. the concept is that the old ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity. not much else to say at this point. everyone is confident a decent script can be written and i guess we’ll take it from there.
Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are now confirmed as writers on Ghostbusters III. They’ve also been writers on The Office over the last few years.
Hopefully they don’t take things out of the feel of the original films. But that’s what my next Ghostbusters related entry will be all about.