Bill Murray Finally Explains Why He Kept Passing On Ghostbusters 3

For years, everyone from Dan Aykroyd to Ivan Reitman tried to get Bill Murray to commit to a third Ghostbusters movie. And while Murray stayed elusive, he never gave a concrete reason as to why the various screenplays presented to him fizzled. Until today.

Bill Murray has done a lot of press for his upcoming comedy St. Vincent. During an interview with Variety, the comedian breaks down why the different takes on a third Ghostbusters never felt right. They are insightful comments from a welcome, candid actor who rarely does a movie for the paycheck.

The most famous version of a rumored third Ghostbusters had Bill Murray participating as a ghost. Peter Venkman would be dead, but still haunting the remaining three Ghostbusters: played by Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and the late Harold Ramis. "It was kind of funny, but not well executed," Murray recalls about that premise.

As for a later draft that Aykroyd had penned and presented to his former co-star, Murray admitted to Variety that it was "crazy bizarre and too crazy to comprehend." This might be the one that had the Ghostbusters traveling to an alternate dimension, where they fight demons in a hellish version of Manhattan dubbed "Manhellton." Aykroyd wrote the treatment for Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent with Tom Davis, but nothing ever came of it.

In the Variety interview, Bill Murray reminisces about the creative synergy that fell in line to make the first movie happen.

Those guys, Danny and Harold [Ramis], were at the top of their game [for the first movie]. They were burning nitro at that moment. Unless you have a really clear vision, you’re always trying to recreate that."

So let’s hope that director Paul Feig and screenwriter Katie Dippold have a clear vision, because they are mounting a new Ghostbusters and have been saying that they will not connect back to the first two movies – choosing instead to start their own journey down an original path. At the time of the announcement for a new Ghostbusters movie, Feig said that they would not look to have the original stars back playing the characters they made famous. And I still think that’s the right idea. No one needs to see those guys in this new movie. Murray does say in the Variety article that he’d consider a cameo if it were fresh and new. I say cut that out. Let the new movie be its own thing. Let the original Ghostbusters be its own magic act. And let’s stop asking Bill Murray Ghostbusters questions for the next few years.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.