New ‘Ghostbusters 3′ Team Will Be Columbia University Physics Students

Published 2 years ago by

Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters New Ghostbusters 3 Team Will Be Columbia University Physics Students

Don’t feel bad if you’ve lost track of exactly what’s going on with the long-delayed threequel, Ghostbusters 3, because the will-they-won’t-they cycle of setbacks and resurgences has spanned decades. At this point, even long-term fans of the Ghostbusters films are starting to lose their enthusiasm for seeing the series rounded out into a trilogy, and Bill Murray has long opposed seeing the franchise continued on the big screen, at one point calling the plans for a third movie, “a bunch of crock.”

Two people who still passionately believe in Ghostbusters 3, however, are producer and star Dan Aykroyd, and director Ivan Reitman, both of whom are firmly locked on to return once the film heads into production. The question of whether any other cast members will return remains uncertain, and Aykroyd alone may not be enough to generate fresh interest in the movie, so it’s crucial that the producers pick a promising new cast of actors to step into the Ghostbusters uniform.

Speaking in interview with Larry King on the subject of casting, and what the plot of the film will involve, Aykroyd revealed that the four new Ghostbusters will all be students at Columbia University, who stumble across the supernatural whilst conducting research in the field of physics.

“We’re going to have to cast. We need four new Ghostbusters. We need four new Columbia students … It’s based upon new research that’s being done in particle physics by the young men and women at Columbia University. Basically there’s research being done that…I can say that the world or our dimension that we live in, our four planes of existence, length, height, width, and time, become threatened by some of the research that is being done. And ghostbusters, new ghostbusters have to come and solve the problem.”

Columbia University is the institution where Egon Spengler, Raymond Stantz and Peter Venkman all worked as parapsychologists before getting kicked out and embarking on their new career as Ghostbusters, so it’s possible that the film will see Stantz back at the university and working as a professor or researcher, as a way of tying him into the story. After all, if Columbia wasn’t willing to properly invest in a parapsychology department after a 50ft-tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man went on a rampage through the city (followed not long after by an animated Statue of Liberty), then they’re probably long overdue for a change in management.

ghostbusters 3 bill murray1 New Ghostbusters 3 Team Will Be Columbia University Physics Students

This isn’t the first time that Aykroyd has spoken enthusiastically about incorporating recent discoveries in the field of science into the Ghostbusters 3 script. It’s intriguing, but seems almost out of place for a franchise that has thus far dealt with, if not soft science, then certainly very slimy science. On the plus side, at least we might finally get a detailed explanation of why you shouldn’t cross the streams.

All this, of course, is dependent on whether or not Ghostbusters 3 ends up going ahead. Aykroyd recently said that he plans to start filming by early 2014, but with that promise comes the baggage of the many, many times that Aykroyd has said that the project is about to get underway. The main difference now is that the major delay to Ghostbusters 3 – Bill Murray’s refusal to sign off on the script – has now been resolved, since Murray lost the franchise rights after years of fighting against the movie being made.

Despite losing one of the franchise’s biggest stars, Aykroyd insists in the interview that there are no hard feelings. He also implies that Murray could show up on the first day of filming with a change of heart, and the script would be rewritten around him:

“He’s a good friend, I love him, but he just doesn’t want to reprise the role. However, there will be a hole for him. If Billy wants to walk in the door and be in the movie, we will find a place.”

It’s a touching statement, but also a slightly concerning one. At this point, Aykroyd should not be talking about leaving holes in the story for Venkman to make a last-minute return, but should instead be working on making the script as strong and cohesive as possible with the characters already in it. After all, it’s going to be challenging enough to get both old fans and new audiences invested in the rookie team, without the screenwriters still being hung up on the old dynamic.

Let us know in the comments if you have any nominees for the next generation of Ghostbusters.


If Ghostbusters 3 does begin filming in early 2014 then it could be out in theaters by 2015. Though, that’s a big “if.”

Source: Larry King Now [via ComicBook]

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. All the delay was Bill pleading and pleading that it not happen. Even when he’s not on camera… somehow the man is still hilarious.

    • How is bill murray funny? He’s as funny as Jay Leno & Jimmy Fallon, and that’s not funny. Even Chevy Chase is funnier than the both of them combined

  2. I’m not sure I want to see a new team at all but it could be interesting I guess.

    Funny thing is, I got into parapsychology because of the first movie. Granted, it’s not as interesting as it is in the movies (obviously) but it sure is fun debunking and finding rational explanations.

  3. If Bill Murray, the guy that did Garfield, refuses to return you know it’s a bad sign. Just let this movie die already. And I loved the original.

    • I don’t agree with you anyway. Go ahead and we will judge it and if it is bad then there is no need to be fourth one. :)

      • But then you risk ruining the legacy that was created with the first 2 films. If the script isn’t good enough then don’t risk it. Don’t make a crappy movie for the sake of having one.

        • Really? So The 70s Star Wars is ruined? Die Hard, ruined? The first 2 Supermans ruined thanks to the last few?

          Does the opposite hold true? Is now Bat Nips not ruined based on the success of Nolans Batman?

          Sorry it makes no sense. It is like a remake ‘ruining’ the original. The original is still the original it is.

        • So, what ,the first two movies would be gone forever and no one would ever be able to watch them again?

          Kind of funny sing GI Joe happened and I can still watch the older media of it. Same for Transformers, and Batman.

    • Lorenzo Music was the original voice of Garfield and also the voice of the cartoon version of Peter Venkman. It is only fitting that upon his death Bill Murray step into the “live action” Garfield movie.

      • This is true but Murray only chose to voice Garfield because the Coen brothers were directing it and he loved Fargo.

        He’s since admitted that he wished he’d found out WHICH Coen brothers were directing because if he knew they weren’t the ones with the popular movies, he wouldn’t have done it.

        Doesn’t explain why he did the even worse sequel though.

        • That’s not entirely accurate. Murray thought the script was written by Joel Coen, instead of Joel Cohen, which is a bit more understandable. He wouldn’t sign on to a movie without knowing exactly who is directing it. Besides, who in their right mind would think the Coen brothers would ever consider directing a live action Garfield adaptation?

          • Hey, I love Garfield. Always have, since the early cartoon days. And the movie was good. It’s a kid’s movie. It was advertised and promoted as a kid’s movie. Yet adults somehow feel duped into thinking it wasn’t, and still find a reason to trash it. And the movie was a huge hit, so the haters can suck it.

  4. Will Not buy a ticket. Blasphemy.

  5. So……………..what will happen first…….

    A. Ghostbusters 3
    B. A Justice League movie.
    C. The apocalypse

    The Answer: C, Th Apocalypse

    • Lol…good one Tony 😀

  6. They need 4 college aged actors?

    Hell I’m studying acting, I need to start looking at finding acting jobs. Where do I sign up for a casting call? Haha

  7. By “hole” he prob means that he could have a walk on cameo role in certain scenes where the old cast an new interact. Or they sub him in as a teacher or something. Murray is an improv pro wouldnt be to hard to intergate him into a scene for him to chew some scenery ala zombieland (but smaller role obv)

  8. I re-watched Ghostbusters 2 last week. I really liked it. Anyway, I think that Murray’s absence will definitely detract from the movie. However, I still would like to see Ghostbusters 3. It’d be nice if Ernie Hudson ends up joining the cast.

  9. They already explained why not to cross the streams.

    Egon: “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”
    Ray: “Total protonic reversal.”
    Peter: “Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.”

    If they try to Midi-chlorianize the proton pack…I swear I’ll just….FREAK OUT.

    • The game kind of already did, since in it crossing the streams more or less just stuns you, and toward the end egon mentions that he installed a “cross stream governor” in the proton packs to keep them from killing themselves if they accidently do it.

  10. This movie is dead without Bill’s involvement, why not reboot it with fresh faces like Bill Hader, and ect ect. It would be a great comedy film with fresh faces, and not a re-hash of the old films.

    It COULD work. It could. With the right director, and right screenwriter(s) it could work.

    Let’s let GB3 die already.

    • I remember the rumours years ago that said Ben Stiller and Jack Black would be amongst the new team.

  11. they end up crossing streams to kill gozer and marshmallow man in the end

    im down for GB3

  12. At this point I’m just meh with GB3. “If” it ever happens I will watch it but if it doesn’t I am not going to sweat it. Just give me a new animated Ghostbusters cartoon and I would be happy.

  13. best ghostbuster team

    patton oswalt(leader)
    bo burham(young/new guy)
    ed helms(tech expert)
    kevin hart(ghostbuster)
    john heder(ghosbuster whos dies and is replaced by bo)

  14. Alls I will say is, if this new plot detail inspires the filmmakers to cast Jim Parsons as one of the physics students, I will lose what ever little resolve I had left in the faith of this movie

  15. Well we all know there will be a girl ghost buster. Not to sound racist but there will be the token black guy. And then 2 nerdy white dudes. So who knows who they will cast. But I guarantee Emma Stone will be the chick. I don’t know any youngish black dudes. And the two nerdy white guys. Prolly like Zac Effron. Lol. And the other prolly Taylor Lautner. Hahaha. It’s gonna be a friggin joke. I can’t wait to hate it already

  16. Jonah hill omg can you imagine!!!!!! I think yeah it sux no bill but how could he think his fans wouldn’t want to see them again in action. Itd be friggen hilarious..old men trying to run up stairs and stop and take a breath making a funny were to old for thus s*** ha ha. I’m saying tho they shouldn’t make it where there not in three movie much i hate that idea…there there helping the students. Not here and there appearances. Butseriously JONAH HILL!!!!! Oh please oh please!!!! And ya know maybe Jared padalecki from supernatural just cuz he’s so sexy :-) but i have faith in this daddy had me obsessed and in love with it since i was a baby. Re watched our over and over every day all day as a kid. Not cartoons thus movie and a few others :-)

  17. Not happy. I was afraid this would happen…..the old team out, a new unknown team in. It won’t be the same, Unless the original cast can be brought back to some capacity, I’ve already lost my interest.

    • It won’t just be “out with the old in with the new” as you put it, the old crew will still be there in a mentor capacity.

  18. J.J. Abrams to direct!

  19. I’ve never acted before but I would LOVE to be one of the new Ghostbusters. Where do I American Idol the s*** out of this? I was BORN for this! Granted, not trained or experienced but why should that matter?

    • If this movie is indeed a pasding of the torch, then it will probably be in need of some star power and the built-in box office draw that occompanies it so I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

  20. i wouldn’t mind seeing the original actors back one last time but just long enough to fix whatever the new crew screws up. then they should die in the process of saving the world and the new kids who take over finally take the job seriously after accidentally vaporizing Bill Murray when out on a case.

  21. If anyone should be cast it should be the guy who plays Moss on The IT Crowd, he looks close enough to a college student

    • They are probably going to go after the likes of Azis Ansari as well as younger looking members of Judd Appatow’s stable of clowns. They should make the new characters professors instead of students so they can get the younger generation of SNL cast members like Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and if there must be a female ghostbuster, Kristin Wiig. Of course she could also be a younger secretary as Jenean’s replacement or one of the younger guy’s love interest.

      • Tina Fey would make an awesome Ghostbuster. Would prefer her over Wiig.

  22. I know it won’t stop it from being made and I like Dan Aykroyd, but I don’t think I’d want to watch this without Bill Murray. The dynamic of the main three and then the straight man Winston kind of made the movie. Sure they could find a similar dynamic with new actors but I think it would come off as a copy. Hope for the best, but don’t expect it.

  23. If charlie day isnt one of the new ghostbusters it will be the biggest missed opportunity ever on their part.

  24. I have a bad feeling about this….
    Com’on ! Bill muray doesn’t want to do it, Dan akroyd is ready to make last minute changes to have him back…
    Oh Dan is it about having a blockbuster or having a story??? If it’s the latter you can’t massively alter the script at the last minute. Recently there is a French franchise “the hearts of men” about a gang of 4 buddies who lost its most high profile actor for its third part… Reminds you something? Well the writer director tried his best to make his star change his mind : calling him, sending him every script tweaks… To no avail. After a couple of months like this he called it quits. He had a story to tell, an audience waiting he carefully thought about a new actor, completely changed his script to introduce a new character, and started shooting without looking back. Now this guy has a blog and he explains every week how he’s spending his time cutting his movie, obsessing about every shot to get the best product. You think that if the star comes back he will jeopardize the structure of the story, its very meaning, just to have him in the picture? This ship has sailed! Bill is out. Period. So either you have a story without bill( and I doubt it somehow considering how long you stalled) or you don’t and why bother making gb3 except for a quick cash grab

  25. If Murray winds up not being a part of this, at least have an explanation as to why Venkman is not around. There has got to be at least a mention of him, whether Peter be dead or some other wacky idea

  26. I always imagined the tech expert in the new Ghostbusters team-up to be Egon’s son, but extremely young despite his incredible intelligence. I could see the scene where he and his father would be approached by Ray, in a lab, and see Egon and his son next to each other, wearing lab coats and studying a subject through a window glass while consulting their i-padds, the youngest almost a carbon copy of his father, down to the hair, even pushing his glasses up his nose in synch with his father, completing his sentences, making his father extremely proud as doing so (sorry, long sentence). He’d be a great addition to a team of next generation Ghostbusters as the prodigy who can only relate to adventure through theories and technological mumbo-jumbo, while not having the drinking age.
    A catch phrase when facing the ubber-bad-ghost, “My dad didn’t prepare me for THIS…” Just my two cents.

    • You also have to look at Ghostbusters as a comedic franchise. Egon had his hilarious moments just as much as the rest of the team did.

      I’d go with something more like:


    • Sounds like a scene from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Wayne and Nick Szalinski did the pushing up the glasses scene like you described.

      • Wow! Dejà-Vu all over again! I didn’t remember that until you pointed that out. Thanks Professor. :)

  27. So they’re recasting them all?

    • No, this is an entirely new team to be mentored by at least most of the old team, apparently after some sort of monumental screw up.