The question of whether or not there will be another Ghostbusters film has long been the subject of a public tug of war between beloved actor Bill Murray, who has always seemed more than skeptical about reviving the franchise, and vodka baron Dan Aykroyd, who would like to fill his many crystal skulls with riches paid in our nostalgia. But throughout their back and forth, there has at least always been the basic understanding that--even if Peter Venkman comes back only briefly, and as a CGI ghost--at least everyone would be returning to their respective roles before handing the whole operation over to the lanky guy from Criminal Minds.
No longer! Turns out, if you won't sign on to a mediocre script, Dan Aykroyd will just replace you with some other guy, even if you are GD Bill Murray.
Speaking to Empire, Aykroyd today hinted that certain uncooperative parties could easily be replaced--even if it was almost entirely said party's charming screen presence that made the original Ghostbusters such an enduring classic. While providing no exact quotes, the magazine claims "Aykroyd hinted that Bill Murray may not return as Peter Venkman, and that the character could be played by a different actor, a la Jack Ryan." Because whether it's Bill Murray or Harrison Ford or Ben Affleck, once they've got the "Venkman" jumpsuit on, Ghostbusters is Ghostbusters, right, Dan?
Not exactly! Though Aykroyd's eagerness to drop someone else into Murray's inimitable part might imply a cavalier fill-in-the-pieces approach to Ghostbusters 3 casting, apparently that mentality does not apply to Rick Moranis. When questioned about the participation of the now-reclusive Moranis--who hasn't showed his face on film since reprising the role of Wayne Szalinski in the 1997 straight-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves --Aykroyd implied the entire film hinged on the return of Louis Tully, saying:
"If we can get the script to Ghostbusters 3 right, then it would definitely have Moranis as a major component. None of us would want to do the movie without having him as a participant."
Of course, if I recall, Dan Aykroyd used to say the same thing about Bill Murray, back before Murray reportedly sent back a shredded Ghosbusters 3 script with the note, "No one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts." But Aykroyd says that didn't happen anyway. Asked about the admittedly-dubious Enquirer story, he replied:
"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."
Hear that, everyone? We could only hope to one day share such a deep, private personal relationship that transcends business to the point that re-casting our friend's iconic role is somehow not a personal and professional slight.
Dan Aykroyd, you need to go to the quiet corner with George Lucas right now, please.