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Ivan Reitman certainly didn't need to give up the director's chair to Ghostbusters 3. He had been attached to helm the film for years, and as the director of both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 he was the most logical choice to close out the trilogy. Still, that didn't stop him from giving up the job back in March, and letting Sony search for a new filmmaker to guide the project. So why exactly did Reitman decide not to direct Ghostbusters 3? According to him, it was a mix of both personal and professional conflicts.
With Reitman's most recent film, Draft Day, soon coming to Blu-ray and DVD, the filmmaker recently did an interview with Coming Soon and revealed what his ultimate reasons for not directing Ghostbusters 3. As you might have imagined, the death of Ghostbusters star Harold Ramis had a significant impact on the decision, but also playing an important factor was the fact that Bill Murray showed no interest in returning as the great Peter Venkman. He became aware within himself that Ghostbusters 3 didn't need him to direct, and that he didn't really need to be the one to direct Ghostbusters 3. Said Reitman,
I thought it was better for me just to produce it and to make sure we're going to have the quality and style of what is appropriate for another version of that film. But the franchise could benefit from somebody else's point of view. I've done it twice before and it will be great to get somebody else to lend a hand as well."
While it hasn't been officially confirmed yet, recent reports have suggested that Sony has already found their "somebody else." Earlier this month it was reported that the studio is now looking at Bridesmaids director Paul Feig as the new director of Ghostbusters 3. This news paired well with the rumors that the blockbuster sequel would be changing gears and feature a predominantly female cast. None of this has been confirmed yet, though the sources are strong. Sadly, Reitman made no mention of the developments with Feig, so there's no new information there. Still, the original Ghostbusters director did stress that he is still very involved with the development of the movie as a producer, which presumably means that he has a big part in finding his replacement.
We learned earlier this year that Ghostbusters 3 is aiming to go into production at the start of 2015, and right now it looks like the project is actually on schedule to make that happen. None of the cast has been set in place yet, though its been reported that both Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson will have small roles to play. We can probably expect the next few months to be filled with regular casting rumors/official announcements, so be sure to stay tuned!