Movie Chronicles » Ghostbusters III

Ghostbusters 3, a brief history March 8th, 2009

The long rumored, long desired, third Ghost­busters movie has been through many iter­a­tions, scripts, con­cepts, ideas and what­not. At long last it finally looks like the film could actu­ally get made, and hence I wel­come you to the lat­est arm of Movie Chron­i­cles — our cov­er­age of the Ghost­busters III movie devel­op­ment and production.

Hell­bent, 1999

In May 1999 Dan Ack­royd scripted a 122 page first draft of the movie enti­tled “Ghost­busters 3: Hell­bent”, with plans for it to be a Real D Cin­ema Dig­i­tal 3-D fea­ture, com­pletely in CGI. “I can do all the things I wanted to do for much, much less money”. IGN have since com­mented on this script, sug­gest­ing it was too tech­ni­cal (‘more Jar­gon than jokes’) with all too sim­i­lar char­ac­ters. The out­line of the 1999 Hell­bent plot arc is described below, and it doesn’t sound all too con­vinc­ing — ulti­mately it did not go into development:

With­out reveal­ing too many spoil­ers, Ghost­busters 3: Hell­bent sug­gests that hell (por­trayed as a sty­gian mir­ror image of The Big Apple dubbed “Man­hell­ton”) has grown over­crowded and con­gested. As a result, hell is lit­er­ally evict­ing peo­ple back into the world of the liv­ing in order to alle­vi­ate their con­ges­tion problem.Obviously, this isn’t good for our world so the Ghost­busters must use their lat­est tech­nol­ogy to lit­er­ally go to hell and ask the devil why he’s doing this and to see what they can do to make him stop. Nat­u­rally, the devil – por­trayed here as a Don­ald Trump-like mogul named Sif­fler – has a secret agenda that leads to a grand con­flict with our tit­u­lar heroes. The Ghost­busters must once again save New York City from the evil forces of the after­life. There is indeed a younger crop of Ghost­busters (or, as the script abbre­vi­ates it, GBs) intro­duced that per­form much of the oth­er­worldly leg­work here. This new crew includes: Franky, a body-pierced, tough New Jer­sey punker; Lovell, a dread-locked dude; Moira, a pretty but uptight gym­nast and sci­ence grad; and Carla, a Latino beauty. There’s also Nat, a pre­pu­bes­cent genius whose pow­er­ful brain has made his head abnor­mally large. Despite his youth, Nat serves as a super­vi­sor for the new GBs. That’s all we ever get to know about these char­ac­ters (we don’t even learn their last names!) and they’re our guides through­out most of the story.

Ghost­busters in Hell, 2005

This con­cept entered the news again in 2005 as Harold Ramis and Ack­royd attempted to get the ball rolling again. Ramis suggested:

“the dream plan is that Danny and I would pro­duce it, I would direct it, and we would recruit some newer, younger, pop­u­lar Ghost­busters to star.”

One of those young new stars could have been Ben Stiller as a Venkeman-esque replace­ment, as reported Hol​ly​wood​.com.

Whilst the story stills keeps much of the 1999 draft; the Ghost­busters were still going to hell:

“We go to the hell side of Man­hat­tan, down­town, Foley Square. It’s all where the cops are–they are all blue mino­taurs. Cen­tral Park is this huge peat mine with green demons there, sur­rounded by black onyx thousand-foot high apart­ment build­ings with clas­sic red dev­ils, very wealthy. We go and visit a Don­ald Trump-like char­ac­ter who is Mr. Sifler. Luke Sifler. Lu-cifer. So we meet the devil inside”

New Script, 2008

In Sep­tem­ber 2008, Colum­bia Pic­tures hired Office writ­ers Lee Eisen­berg and Gene Stup­nit­sky to script a third Ghost­busters movie (Vari­ety),

The stu­dio has set “The Office” co-exec pro­duc­ers Lee Eisen­berg and Gene Stup­nit­sky to write a script for a film designed to bring back together the orig­i­nal cast of Harold Ramis, Bill Mur­ray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.

Eisen­berg and Stup­nit­sky have just fin­ished work­ing on “Year One”, a com­edy directed by Harold Ramis and star­ring Michael Cera and Jack Black. The arti­cle also gives a fresh angle on the devel­op­ment ‘hell’ GB3 has seen,

An attempt to make a third install­ment of the fran­chise was stymied in the deal­mak­ing stage. Sources said so much gross was pledged to the par­tic­i­pants that it was next to impos­si­ble for the stu­dio to make any money on a third installment.

As a result, until this script has been com­pleted, the orig­i­nal cast will not be offered a new deal. Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reit­man are all con­sult­ing on the project whilst Bill Mur­ray has expressed an inter­est in repris­ing his role, AICN report from City of Ember screening:

But tonight he said that he knew “some writ­ers from THE OFFICE” were tak­ing a stab at the script right now (which we already knew) and that he thinks that’s a good start. He paused for a few sec­onds then said that he thinks enough time has passed and that “the wounds from GHOSTBUSTERS 2 are healed” and that he would def­i­nitely be into doing another GHOSTBUSTERS movie, stat­ing that the first 40 min­utes of the orig­i­nal film is some of the best stuff he’s been asso­ci­ated with and the whole shoot was an amaz­ing amount of fun.

He also went on to say that his enthu­si­asm for Ghost­busters was height­ened after record­ing the voice of Peter Venkman for the video game over the sum­mer. In fact, he said he found him­self walk­ing down the street singing the Ghost­busters theme song and then thought peo­ple walk­ing around him were going to start yelling at him to “get over your­self, Bill,” so he stopped… But the enthu­si­asm was there.

Harold Ramis also wrote to the Chicago Tri­bune:

“yes, colum­bia is devel­op­ing a script for GB3 with my year one writ­ing part­ners, gene stup­nit­sky and lee eisen­berg. judd apa­tow is co-producing year one and has made sev­eral other films for sony, so of course the stu­dio is hop­ing to tap into some of the same act­ing tal­ent. aykroyd, ivan reit­man and i are con­sult­ing at this point, and accord­ing to dan, bill mur­ray is will­ing to be involved on some level. he did record his dia­logue for the new ghost­busters video game, as did danny and i, and ernie hud­son. the con­cept is that the old ghost­busters would appear in the film in some men­tor capac­ity. not much else to say at this point. every­one is con­fi­dent a decent script can be writ­ten and i guess we’ll take it from there.

More recently, that Judd Apa­tow com­ment has been in con­tention, with Pro­duc­tion Weekly (Via /Film) recently sug­gest­ing that Apa­tow had offi­cially signed on to pro­duce, but this rumor has since been debunked by Doug Bel­grad, pres­i­dent of Colum­bia Pic­tures (Via LATimes):

We have some great new writ­ers work­ing on a new script, but Judd isn’t involved. Judg­ing from the frenzy on the Inter­net, there still seems to be plenty of inter­est in the idea of doing another film, so we’re cer­tainly tak­ing that as a good sign.

It is still hoped that the movie shall enter pro­duc­tion in late 2009. And that’s where we are now! The next step is word of the green-light on The Office scribes new script.

Comments 6 Responses to “Ghostbusters 3, a brief history”

mike b March 8th, 2009

what’s wrong with com­ing up with a new film? just watched watchmen,twas ok. y cna’t any­one write an ori­gianl script that’d blow every one awy. TDK was good. but it’s still bat­man. robo­cop sounds great. so does the new super­man. but why can’t any­one think of some­thing new, somthing dif­fer­ent. y is it every­hitng is a remake??

Brit­tany May 12th, 2009

why can’t it come out in 2010? i’ve been waitin for ghost­busters 3 to come out for so long

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