If there's something strange in the neighborhood, who you gonna call to reboot it into a modern context? Apparently, Paul Feig and Katie Dippold. The team behind The Heat are exactly who Sony has called to take the reins on what used to be known as Ghostbusters 3. I say used to be, because Paul Feig has spoken more about his intent with the franchise, and the information he's provided is quite eye opening into what we'll be seeing in the future.
Entertainment Weekly chatted with Feig about his latest project, and he was pretty open with his intent of rebooting the Ghostbusters universe and telling an origin story. Naturally, when a project like this takes that sort of trajectory there's almost always room for the original cast members and characters to pop up. Considering that Ghostbusters 3 was supposed to pass the torch down to a new group of younger, leaner spectral ass kickers, this seems like it would have been in line with the previous game plan.
If that's what you were hoping for out of a new Ghostbusters movie, then prepare for some bad news: it isn't going to happen. When Paul Feig says he's a sucker for origin stories, he means that he's a sucker for origin stories. Full stop, no partial history rebooting, everything must go. That said, Feig wouldn't be opposed to any remaining Ghostbusters cast members (especially the three surviving Ghostbusters themselves) returning to the fold. As you'll see below, he's got a backup plan, should any one want to jump aboard.
...Those are my comedy heroes. So as far as I’m concerned, anybody wants to come back I welcome with open arms. It would just be in different roles now, but it would be fun to figure out how to do that.
Out of the three surviving Ghostbusters, I'd wager a guess as to say that Ernie Hudson is the most likely to return, should any of the original crew return. Dan Aykroyd was ready to turn Ghostbusters into a continuing franchise, on top of flogging the idea of Ghostbusters 3 for countless years at this point. To see everything turned over to a new team for rebooting might not instill the biggest smile on his face, and until we hear otherwise, It's a safe bet he won't be back.
As for Bill Murray, we already know he's comfortable with an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. Part of that reason is probably that he's a laid back, progressive fellow who thinks that it'd be quite funny, so long as the script is right and the casting fits. Of course, the other part of that reason is that with a rebooted Ghostbusters franchise, he won't have to shred any more unwanted Ghostbusters scripts, as well as mail them back from whence they came. So unless Bill Murray's concerns about shredding equipment, postal rates, and unwanted sequels have changed, he's probably not going to show up. (Unless he's become good enough friends with practical Feig shoo-in and St. Vincent co-star Melissa McCarthy...)
For now, Ghostbusters 3 should be considered dead, with The Female Ghostbusters taking its place as Sony's next franchise hopeful. When we find out more about just what sort of time frame this film is operating on (and what it really will be called), we'll report in with the news.