The screenplay for Ghostbusters 3 has been as much a source for rumor and wild speculation as the entire project, over the years. Writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Year One, Bad Teacher) have long been credited for the current draft and, depending on who you believe, franchise scribes/stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis may have done a rewrite (which failed to win Bill Murray’s approval).

It seemed the point of no return had been reached when, earlier this year, Aykroyd announced that Murray is out for a third Ghostbusters movie (should it ever happen). The latter comedic actor has since hinted that he’s not. Fans have been given little reason to think much of either actor’s claims, though, as the belated threequel has supposedly been “in suspended animation” for months.

Aykroyd recently made a stop in Amherst on a promotional tour for his popular Crystal Head Vodka and there the newbie sexagenarian announced (via WIVB) that a new – as yet, unnamed – writing staff is at work on the Ghostbusters 3 script. He went on to emphasize that “It’s got to be perfect. That’s the whole thing. There’s no point in doing it unless it’s perfect. So that’s what we’re up to now.”

The most heavily-rumored storyline for a third live-action Ghostbusters movie has been a passing-the-torch scenario, where the original team of paranormal investigators (Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Ernie Hudson) train a new generation of ghost catchers – with Murray’s character, Dr. Peter Venkman, dying in the first act (or prior to the beginning of the film) and returning as a specter thereafter.

One has to wonder how the new writing staff will deviate from that setup, given’s Murray’s apparent lack of enthusiasm. There’s a possibility that the actor’s role could be significantly reduced, for that reason; given his non-committal status either way, though, it’s unlikely that Murray will be written out entirely (but not utterly inconceivable).

Murray’s most recent comment about GB3 is, “You just have to have a really good script, you know, it’s hard. I think, you know, we’ll try again.” That polite response is on the same level as Murray’s previous claim that Ghostbusters 3 remains “a possibility.” In other words: the actor’s not completely against the venture, but he doesn’t exactly seem to have high hopes (a sentiment many fans surely share, at this juncture).

So, in summation: Ghostbusters 3 is once again slowly making progress down the production pipeline (creaking and groaning along the way). Whether or not it will break down somewhere, and end up being scrapped entirely – that remains to be seen.

We’ll keep you updated on Ghostbusters 3 as more information is released.

Source: WIVB, Bill Murray [via Bloody Disgusting]