How Bill Murray Would Have Died In Ivan Reitman’s Unmade Ghostbusters 3

Bill Murray in Ghostbusters
(Image credit: Sony)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is poised to become the new number one movie at the box office this weekend. The continuation of the franchise captures the spirit of the original while introducing the franchise to a new and younger generation. Director Jason Reitman was tasked with making his father Ivan Reitman’s franchise his own, paying homage while moving it forward with his own style and sensibilities. But what would have Ghostbusters 3 been in Ivan Reitman’s version? Apparently, the elder Reitman planned to kill Bill Murray at the beginning of Ghostbusters 3, and here’s how it would have happened. 

Ivan Reitman has revealed his plans for Bill Murray in his third Ghostbusters film, and it sounds interesting-- despite the iconic actor dying in the first sequence of the movie. The movie was never made, and the 2016 reboot came out and didn’t hit the mark, and now a true continuation of Reitman's original two films is here in Afterlife. The duo recently appeared on CinemaBlend's ReelBlend Podcast, with Ivan speaking about the third film in the franchise that didn’t get made, and how Bill Murray would die in the movie, saying:

It was probably something I was working on with Harold (Ramis) before he passed away. We wanted to tell a story. In that story, in fact, Bill Murray dies in the first sequence. … He gets hit by a bus in Manhattan, and then Murray was coming back as a ghost. Unfortunately, Harold died, so that never got made. I decided I was never going to make another Ghostbusters movie myself as a director. Then Paul Feig made the next one, and now Jason has really continued the story that we started with the first and second films.

The idea actually sounds like it would have worked, especially if the movie was made in the same vein as the first two Ghostbusters. Bill Murray getting hit by a bus and returning as a ghost would probably be comedic gold, and an excellent twist to the dynamic of the group. It’s a bold choice and would have taken audiences by surprise, but the movie never materialized.

Reitman’s third Ghostbusters movie was never never filmed due to the passing of Harold Ramis, who played Egon. And the director is clear that they all wanted to tell a story to make a proper follow-up to the original two movies. After the sequel fell through, Reitman says he decided never to return to the franchise, but that didn’t stop the 2016 reboot from being made. And now his own son taking over the reins and making something to bridge the old generation and the new. 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman has talked about working with his father on the film and the most challenging part of their working relationship. Their collective stubbornness seems to have worked out as Afterlife looks like it’s a fun movie that succeeds in what it sets out to do. The original films are heavily referenced in the new film, and if you are interested in more details from the originals, here are some behind-the-scenes facts about them. 

It sounds like Ghostbusters 4 is going to happen, and it is looking like it will be a triumphant return to the franchise. We cant wait to see where the new generation goes and how the originals will still impact the future of the moves. 

Jamil David

Movie and TV obsessive. A good Heist movie is the way to my heart. Enjoyer of everything from Marvel Movies to Rom-coms.