"Ghostbusters" fans have been whispering about a third film for several years, now. But once original cast member Bill Murray backed out, it seemed like a no-go. Esquire caught up with "Saturday Night Live" legend and "Ghostbusters" star Dan Aykroyd recently to pin down the details of the '80s sci-fi comedy classic:
Aykroyd on why "Ghostbusters 3" is finally ready:
I've worked on every draft in the last three years, as Ivan has, and now we have a story and a draft that everybody seems to agree would make the third movie. At this point, I think we're closer than we ever have been. And because of the ever-shifting sands and nature of the motion-picture business, I will just say that hopefully, at some point, it will be morphing into what is known in the business as a [Aykroyd mimes air quotes] "production number XP39789." Then I will begin to rent cars, get hotel rooms, and bill for writing. But that point hasn't come. All my work has been gratis to this point, as Ivan's has, and I'm hoping that I can get that production number set up in L.A. and help everyone bring the movie to fruition, as the originator and creator of the concept. If it does not happen, the life of Dan Aykroyd and his family and friends will be quite full without Ghostbusters 3.
And what happens if Sony doesn't greenlight it now:
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 publicly, 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... You don't take advantage of that in the next three or four months, I'll see you in Australia, where we'll be selling Crystal Head.
On what role Bill Murray would have played if he agreed to be in it:
I originally had him as a ghost in the Stupnitsky/Eisenberg draft. Because he said, "If I do this, I want to be dead, and I want to be a ghost." So I said, well, we'll build you in there. And had he said yes two years ago to the ghost concept, I'm telling you, we'd be making the movie this summer, and it would be massive.
Thinking ahead to a "Ghostbusters 4"... or "5":
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. It can be scary, it can be Ghostbusters, it can be the new franchise, the new people, but if it's not funny … Wait a minute, it started as a comedy. Let's make sure there's laughs and no laugh unturned and that we really make that our priority, to make it funny and exciting, but mainly funny.
For more of the interview, head over to Esquire.