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When you look at a lot of the comedy actors who were insanely popular in the 1980s, quite a few hit really rough patches in the 1990s only to make big resurgences in the last decade or so - Bill Murray being the prime example. Murray’s Ghostbusters co-star Rick Moranis spent the 1990s making films like the admittedly enjoyable Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (and it’s less enjoyable sequels), as well as the the godawfully repugnant Big Bully. Then he intentionally left acting in his rear view mirror, as a short hiatus soon became an extended break which soon became a complete career change for the Toronto-born actor.
While it’s known that his veering away from acting was due to both raising a family as a single dad as well as an increasing number of projects that wanted to use his identity more than his actual comedic talents, Moranis doesn’t often talk about the proposed sequels to his two biggest cult hits, Ghostbusters and Spaceballs. But in a candid interview with Heeb Magazine, Moranis has offered some insight as to why Spaceballs 2 never came into being, as well as a whole host of other interesting bits about where life has taken him in the last few years.
After admitting that he hasn’t been in contact with anyone he’s worked with for quite a while, Moranis was asked if he was still getting hit up for sequels and threequels. “Not anymore,” he said. “I think the sequels exhausted themselves from the old franchises. So I hadn’t heard any of that stuff for many years now.” And while Spaceballs jokingly told fans that everyone would be back together in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money, that wasn’t exactly the goal for all parties involved.
“Mel wanted to do a sequel after [Spaceballs] became a cult video hit,” Moranis continued. “It wasn’t a box office hit. It was a cult video hit, and MGM wanted to do a sequel. And my idea for it was Spaceballs III: The Search for Spaceballs II…But the deal he presented me, what he wanted me to do, was not workable. It was two or three years later…It’s better if I don’t get into the particulars of it…But I was unable to make a deal, and it would have been something I wanted to do.” And not even the Schwartz could bring him back years later for the 2008 Spaceballs: The Animated Series.
He also mentions “the perennial talk of another Ghostbusters," saying that he was contacted about Ghostbusters 3 years ago by a producer associate of Dan Aykroyd’s. The man asked him if he’d be interested, to which Moranis replied, “I don’t say no to anything until everything is presented to me.” Only a silly person would jump into a project that’s gone through as many behind-the-scenes changes as Ghostbusters 3 has without a fully-functional script and production plan set in stone. And after over 15 years of staying out of the acting limelight – only resurfacing for voiceover roles and a Bob and Doug McKenzie anniversary film – no one should expect any less from Moranis.
The interview also promotes Moranis’ newly–released Jewish-doused comedy album My Mother’s Brisket, and Other Love Songs, the third album of his career. Take a listen to one of the hilarious tracks below, titled “The Seven Days of Shiva.”