Yesterday brought the saddening news that legendary comedy filmmaker/actor Harold Ramis has passed away, following his battle with a rare autoimmune disease. Many people have wondered if Ramis' death might be the final grain of sand that tips the scale against the perenially-rumored Ghostbusters 3 from happening. However, that's not the case, as Sony still intends to make the project a reality - after some script revisions, of course.
In recent years, the Ghostbusters 3 story has evolved to account for the passing of 25 years (yep) since Ghostbusters 2; as it stand, the plot is now said to revolve around the remaining founders of the eponymous paranormal investigation department - which might just be Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) since Ramis has died and Bill Murray doesn't want to come back (assuming that he doesn't change his mind as a way to honor Ramis) - recruiting a team of up and coming Columbia University physics students to restart the ghost-catching business in the post-millennial world.
THR is reporting that Ghostbusters 1 & 2 director Ivan Reitman - who remains attached to helm the third installment in the horror/comedy franchise - will soon be meeting up with Sony officials, in order to discuss how best to revise the most recent script draft for the project. The first script draft was penned by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Bad Teacher), but the current Ghostbusters 3 screenplay may already includes revisions by Etan Cohen (Men in Black 3), in addition to possibly story tweaks directly made by the original franchise scribes Aykroyd and Ramis.
Apparently, before Ramis' passing, his beloved geeky alter ego Dr. Egon Spengler was only going to have a "cameo role" in Ghostbusters 3, so the script won't require an intensive overhaul (unlike what happened with Fast & Furious 7 when Paul Walker died last year). Still, it would be logical for the script revisions to at least include, say, a scene that respectfully acknowledges the passing of Ramis - as well as the Egon character in the film's universe - as a heartfelt salute to his contributions to the Ghostbusters brand.
That said, the THR report mentions that even prior to Ramis' death, the Ghostbusters 3 script wasn't considered to be far enough along in development for production to get started by 2014 (despite Aykroyd's assurances to the contrary last year).
Fact of the matter is, in the wake of Ramis passing, Sony could decide to take a different approach and simply not include any of the original Ghostbusters cast. That alternate route might result in the studio taking even more time with pre-production on the third Ghostbusters movie installment, so as to properly restructure the script as more of a "hard" reboot of the franchise (even more so than it was before).
What do you think is the best approach to take with Ghostbusters 3 - or, at this point, would you rather that this project simply not happen at all?
We'll keep you posted on the status of Ghostbusters 3 as more information becomes available.