Bill Murray says he's open to appearing in director Jason Reitman's as-yet untitled Ghostbusters 3. The comedy legend starred in the original 1984 Ghostbusters as Peter Venkman, a wise-cracking parapsychologist who (along with his friends and peers) starts up a ghost-catching business. And while he went on to reprise his role in 1989's Ghostbusters II, the sequel was far less well-received than its predecessor, despite being a commercial success in its own right. As a result, Murray was pretty open about his disinterest in making Ghostbusters 3 over the years that followed, despite co-creator Dan Aykroyd's relentless efforts to keep the project alive.
At the same time, Murray never disowned the property and even reprised his role as Venkman (along with his Ghostbusters 1 & 2 costars) for 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game. He later went on to cameo as a different character in Paul Feig's 2016 Ghostbusters franchise reboot, along with several other actors from the previous films (sans the late Harold Ramis and retired Rick Moranis). Jump ahead to the present and it seems Murray's even game to appear in the current version of Ghostbusters 3 that's moving forward.
Reitman, who's also the son of Ghostbusters 1 & 2 director Ivan Reitman, is currently working on a movie that takes place in the original Ghostbusters timeline (as opposed to the reboot's) for a 2020 release. Speaking to IndieWire at the Cannes Film Festival - where he's promoting Jim Jarmusch's zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die - Murray said he'd have no problem appearing in this new film, if asked. He went on to voice his continuing admiration for the first Ghostbusters movie's cast:
“They’re wonderful people. Danny [Aykroyd], Ernie [Hudson], Harold [Ramis], Rick Moranis, Annie Potts - they’re some of the coolest people and they had real careers. They treat people well. They really understand what it is to be a movie actor. It’s a complete collaboration.”
The actor went on to indicate his relationship with Sony was the real barrier that stopped him from agreeing to make Ghostbusters 3 over the years, as opposed to his feelings about the franchise and/or his collaborators. To be fair, there's some real evidence to back that up. Murray, as mentioned, agreed to make the Ghostbusters video game and lend his support to the reboot, so it's not like he ever fully distanced himself from the property. Similarly, it was reported for a long time the actor simply didn't think Aykroyd's earlier pitch for Ghostbusters 3 was particularly good, and didn't want to make the film for that very reason. Murray never exactly hid his disappointment over Ghostbusters II and how it turned out either, which further explains his hesitancy to commit to a new sequel that he didn't truly believe in.
All things considered, then, it's not surprising that Murray's willing to come back for Jason Reitman's Ghostbusters 3. Whether he'll actually appear in the film, though, is another matter. Details on the movie are scarce to be found right now, but the plot reportedly follows a new generation of heroes as they take up the ghost-catching business for themselves. Murray's Ghostbusters 1 & 2 costar Ernie Hudson has confirmed he spoke to Reitman about the film earlier this year, but it's not clear if this means he'll be working on the project or not. That goes double for Aykroyd, Murray, and the other original Ghostbusters cast members - though, at least we now have a clear answer on where Murray stands on the matter.
- Ghostbusters 3 (2020) release date: Jul 10, 2020