Dan Aykroyd Gives An Update On GHOSTBUSTERS 3; Hints At Plots For 4 & 5
Esquire Magazine recently chatted with original Saturday Night Live alum Dan Aykroyd about Ghostbusters 3. The actor shares his thoughts on Bill Murray and a possible Ghostbusters 4.
A few months back there was talk that Ghostbusters 3 was given the greenlight by Sony and could start filming as early as next summer, but shortly after that info came out Sony delayed the start for fall of 2013. Esquire recently conducted an interview with comedian/actor Dan Aykroyd, and started things off asking about the delay.
I'm as deeply inside Ghostbusters 3 as anyone involved in the project — that includes the executives at Sony, who have to go to sleep at night and have to decide to do it. Ivan Reitman, the director, who travels from Santa Barbara to L.A., and has for the last three years, working with writers to put it together. [The Office writers] Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, who worked on one of the drafts.
Aykroyd, who seems to care the most about the project, most likely because he originated the idea, and he and his family are ghost friendly, with a brother working in the supernatural field. He now says that a script for the third film is closer than ever, which is great news since they've gone through several writing teams and numerous script revisions.
DA: And I read every draft that's been turned in. When Gene and Lee, and Etan [Cohen, writer of Men in Black 3, hired last summer], and Ivan — when they've turned in drafts, I hand drafts right back. And at this point, we have a script that we like. And I'm hoping for it.
Sounds like Etan's script has won over Sony and rest of the principal cast (excluding Bill Murray), but also Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office) efforts aren't completely lost either. Aykroyd mentions that there will be arbitration to decide if Lee and Gene will earn a credit for their work, which is based on the final script.
One of the issues on this journey of making a third film is that Bill Murray has passed on the project numerous times. Now that is an issue because Bill has/had part ownership of the property along with Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis and of course Aykroyd. All of them had to give the okay or there was no third. We all know this, but Dan has some new info regarding Bill's stake in it.
DA: I'm not sure Billy does anymore, since he abrogated his rights by sort of, by saying, two years ago he said, "I don't want to be involved," and the picture company I think had some clause in there that if he actually passed on the third of fourth offer, he no longer has a view of the franchise. So, that's for the lawyers to decide. Of course, I'd love to have Billy call me tomorrow and say, "Let's go to work and start writing."
But time is ticking and the rest of the cast ain't getting any younger. Aykroyd tells Esquire that chances of this project happening are quickly coming to a head and decision needs to be made sooner than later.
DA: Now, this would add quite a bump to Sony's bottom line, quite a bump. If they make this movie, in its current shape, they would be looking at a pretty hefty, nine-figure return. And so I'm hoping they get on to move it, but if they don't, I have multiple trains. I've got tracks six, seven, and nine, and that's four. I'll be moving on to other things, as will Ivan, by the way. We can't wait forever. And now's the time to tell the picture company, and I'd say this quite publically, it's time now to sit down and make this movie, or you will lose your main principals, and you won't be able to make it without us, because we have rights, and now is time to make the movie.
As for the plot of Ghostbusters 3 it sounds the same as we've heard before from Aykroyd, "Next generation. Dealing with a problem, as the first movie did, but I think we would have to hand it off to the young."
When asked about an old plot, referred to as "Man-hell-ttan" Aykroyd said he envisioned that for a possibly fifth film in the franchise, not for three or four.
DA: Man-hell-ttan, and the Ghostbusters in hell, would be so solid, but we gotta get maybe one or two made before that. But, oh, wow... I wrote that with Tom Davis, my writing partner, recently deceased, who wrote Coneheads with me and stuff on Saturday Night Live. There's classic Tom Davis lines and funny stuff in there, really it's probably the most humorous of all the Ghostbusters scripts that have generated in that last little while. But we'll put the humor into this next one. It's gotta be funny, or it's not worth doing.
As for a fourth Ghostbusters Dan says Etan's latest script is designed for it, but sees a much more limited role for himself as he passes the torch to the younger generation.
DA: Uh, well, my role as an actor would diminish, as the next one came, and I would work as a writer, of course.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW
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