Are you ready for yet ANOTHER story involving Dan Aykroyd not only brushing off the latest rumors about Billy Murray causing trouble for Ghostbusters 3 - but also promising a fantastic screenplay for the film, which he is intent on seeing made?
Yes, Aykroyd's been doing this Ghostbusters dance for years now, to the point where it's really best to take anything he says about GB 3 - or any rumors concerning the belated horror-comedy threequel in general - with a bucket of salt. Today, thankfully, the comedic actor/writer isn't so much promising that the film will be made, so much as he's clarifying who will and won't be involved IF it actually happens.
The last "significant" development in the ongoing saga that is Ghostbusters 3's attempt to claw its way out of development limbo was a report that Bill Murray shredded the screenplay after he finally read it, as a means of symbolically (and literally) denouncing the whole endeavor as worthless. Aykryod, however, claims that eyebrow-raising rumor really is just a load of hot air.
Here's what Aykroyd offered Empire, with regards to that story about Murray's supposed shenanigans:
"Bill Murray is not capable of such behaviour. This is simply something that would not be in his nature. We have a deep, private personal relationship that transcends business. We communicate frequently and his position on the involvement in 'Ghostbusters 3' has been made clear and I respect that. But Bill has too much positive estimation of my writing skills to shred the work."
As mentioned before, it's probably best to assume that neither the story about Murray - nor Aykroyd's diplomatic denial, for that matter - are entirely (if at all) accurate. Such is the current state of the Ghostbusters 3 rumor/news mill, sadly.
As for those rumors about Ghostbusters 3 moving ahead, without Murray being committed to reprise his role as the smart aleck scientist Peter Venkman? Aykroyd hinted to Empire that this could indeed happen, but not in the sense that Murray's character would now be a ghost (as has long been rumored) - but, instead, by having an entirely different actor portray Dr. Venkman.
While devoted Ghostbusters fans are unlikely to be pleased by the idea of Murray being replaced - even if it does proves necessary, in order for GB 3 to actually move forward - the other issue such a casting shakeup would raise has to do with who could serve as a fitting stand-in for the 61-year-old comedic actor (in terms of both age and comedic screen presence, of course).
All the same - if there's one thing that can be said for certain about a third Ghostbusters movie, it's that Aykroyd and Co. will eventually have to recast the part of Venkman - or find a fairly clever way to write out the character entirely - if they want the project to actually come to fruition, seeing how Murray has made it crystal clear: he won't give his needed blessing otherwise.
In the meantime, we will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of Ghostbusters 3.