When it comes to taking rather dubious movie concepts and making the best of them, directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller seem to have mastered the art. After making their feature debut with animated culinary adventure Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the pair went on to cook up a surprisingly good movie version of 21 Jump Street and the endlessly fun toy tie-in The LEGO Movie.

If there was ever a property in need of Lord and Miller’s revival techniques it was Ghostbusters 3, a project that has been gathering dust for decades despite many efforts to get it moving. When it transpired that the pair were in talks to helm the project after Ivan Reitman relinquished the job, it seemed like just the kind of shot in the arm that the long-languishing sequel needed.

For better or worse, however, it seems that Lord and Miller have decided to pass on the Ghostbusters franchise for now. TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider broke the news in a recent tweet, explaining that, “They were the studio’s choice but wanted to keep their options open.”

The news is the latest in a series of setbacks for Ghostbusters 3, the most significant of which was Bill Murray’s refusal to sign off on the script or agree to star in the sequel. The project finally passed through that particular bottleneck last year, when Murray lost the franchise rights, but after so many years in development hell we’re staying wary of any promises until Ghostbusters 3 actually begins production.

According to recent reports, filming is supposed to begin some time in 2015, though it’s worth remembering that this time last year it was supposed to begin filming in early 2014. The combined efforts of Reitman and Dan Aykroyd are what have kept the idea afloat up until now, but Reitman has said that the recent death of Harold Ramis somewhat dampened his passion for the franchise.

Presumably Sony will now be turning to the second choice on the director shortlist, but there’s been no indication yet as to who that might be. Hopefully the search goes well; Ghostbusters 3 will need a truly special director and cast in order to bring the franchise back to life after so many years.

Ghostbusters 3 is expected to begin filming in 2015, but no official release date has been set.

Source: Jeff Sneider