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For many movie fans, Bill Murray has become a kind of grand statesman of comedy. Evolving from goofy antics of '80s comedies to some darker, more mind-bending ventures in the '90s like Groundhog Day, then to some bittersweet indies with a quirky sense of humor like The Royal Tenenbaums and Lost in Translation, he's emerged as a magnificent actor and funnyman with a fearless attraction to daring new material. But to many, many more he will always be remembered best as Dr. Peter Venkman of Ghostbusters. For better or worse, it's a movie he will always be asked to speak about, especially with Ghostbusters's co-star and screenwriter Dan Aykroyd's proposed Ghostbusters 3 ever looming.
The last we heard on the proposed sequel was that Aykroyd had at long last admitted Bill Murray would have nothing to do with it. This sounded like the death rattle for Ghostbusters 3, and after hearing some of Aykroyd's horrifying pitches—including dispirited, crippled Ghostbusters, a dead Venkman, and some young blood in the form of female eye-candy, many fans of the original two movies were admittedly relieved. I mean, who wants to see their childhood heroes limping about being shown up by newer, flashier models? But none of this stopped Chicago reporter Pat Tomasulo from asking Murray about the sequel that will not die.
After some Cubs talk, the topic turns to movies, and Tomasulo asks about the "possibility of Ghostbusters 3" and if Murray would be "involved with that." In response, Murray admits, "It's a possibility," before quickly moving on to talk about Wes Anderson's latest Moonrise Kingdom, which he called, "One of the funniest [movies] I've ever been in."
You can see the full interview at WGNtv, where it's clear Murray call his inclusion in Ghostbusters 3 "a possibility," but it's worth noting the word is one plucked from the interviewer's question, not of Murray's own devising. This coupled with his rush to talk about movies he is presently making/promoting suggests Murray's just too good a guy to talk trash on a former colleague's project. He might shred its screenplay and return to sender, but he'd never invite a line of questioning that would lead to insulting Aykroyd. Notoriously hard to reach, Murray also admitted rumors that he doesn't have an agent who brings him movie projects, and instead favors a phone service where filmmakers must leave pitches as voicemail are true. He doesn't check them daily, explaining, "You don't want the phone to ring all the time, so you just—when you feel like it—collect some messages, and sometimes they are interesting." Basically, the heralded and sought after comedian is highly selective about what projects he chooses, and by all accounts does not seem interested in Ghostbusters 3. So this really seems more like a polite way to defuse the situation than any real hope for Ghostbusters 3.
Moonrise Kingdom opens May 25th.