We're not sure how seriously anyone should take Dan Aykroyd's talk about Ghostbusters 3 these days. The sequel has been in development for over twenty years now and Aykroyd's costar, Bill Murray, has been very clear about his, to put it mildly, lack of enthusiasm for the project.
Vanity Fair caught up with Aykroyd recently and the comical actor/screenwriter revealed that he is currently at work revising the Ghostbusters 3script, which was penned by The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.
That writing duo also contributed to the screenplay for Year One, which was co-written and directed by another former Ghosbuster, Harold Ramis. When last Murray spoke about a third Ghostbusters movie, he admitted that learning about the involvement of the Year One writers in the project essentially destroyed what positive feelings he had about the threequel. He's not completely unjustified either - Year One was one of the more painfully unfunny comedies in recent memory.
Aykroyd remains adamant in his optimistic outlook towards Ghostbusters 3 and claims that the script that Eisenberg and Stupnitsky wrote features "the comic role of a lifetime" for Billy Murray. He also confirmed the rumors that the film will involve the Ghostbusters of old "... passing the torch to the new regime" - that is, a new generation of ghoul-catching professionals.
A new squad of Ghostbusters is a dicey proposition at best. The original crew (Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Ernie Hudson) had a good deal of comedic chemistry and its members' onscreen personalities played well off one another. It would be difficult for a younger generation of actors to join the franchise and replicate the success of their predecessors.
There is also the issue of whether or not most moviegoers would be interested in seeing a Ghostbusters movie that does not foremost feature the actors from the first two movies. Comic book movie reboots are one thing - fans love characters like Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne and want to see them done justice on the big screen. Rebooting a series that was popular in no small part because of the original cast and writing talent involved sounds like a less-than-stellar idea.
We will keep you posted on the development of Ghostbusters 3 as more news comes our way (or as Dan Aykroyd talks more about it).
Update: Film Drunk is reporting that Aykroyd is NOT doing a rewrite of the Ghostbusters 3 script and that the latest draft of the screenplay has been sent out to Bill Murray - if he approves, then pre-production will start next year, with a late 2012 release date in mind.