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There are two kinds of original cast cameos in remakes or rebooted properties. There are the ones that are fun and find a way to naturally fit into the story being told; and then there are the ones that feel incredibly forced and really take you out of the movie. To try and avoid this, the filmmakers behind the new Ghostbusters, for the most part, gave the stars of the 1984 blockbuster characters to play who were already featured in the script. The interesting thing that happened when Bill Murray decided to be game, however, was that the role he was playing had to be more limited to suit the actor's availability.
In addition to discussing Dan Aykroyd's role in the new Ghostbusters, Katie Dippold and I also talked a bit about Bill Murray when we sat down for a one-on-one interview during the upcoming blockbuster's Los Angeles press day. I had asked about the approach that she and co-writer/director Paul Feig took when approaching the movie's cameos (specifically whether or not they the actors were assigned existing characters), as she explained why the part designated for Murray needed to operate in the story differently after he signed on. Said Dippold,
I know for Paul, he really didn't want it to feel like anything was jammed in. He wanted it to feel like part of the story - so Bill Murray's cameo was a character in the story. But then it was interesting. If it hadn't been Bill Murray, that character probably would have been introduced earlier, do you know what I mean?
Because it's something you should see on the big screen, we won't be spoiling Bill Murray's part in Ghostbusters right now -- but be sure to come back next week when you can be sure that we'll be discussing it in detail!
There are many cases where getting an original cast actor is not an issue, but, as many of you are already surely aware, Bill Murray appearing in any Ghostbusters-related media was a subject of debate for a very long time. As rumors of a possible Ghostbusters 3 kept swirling around a few years ago, he notoriously refused to commit to the project -- despite clear interest from former co-stars Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. It led to some aggressive words shared between Aykroyd and Murray... but that was before Harold Ramis' death and the franchise moving in a new direction. It was in August 2015, when the film had begun production, that word leaked out of Murray having a part to play in the Ghostbusters remake.
You'll discover the answer to the mystery of Bill Murray's cameo in Ghostbusters very soon, as the movie will finally be hitting theaters this Friday, July 15th. Be sure to stay tuned for more about the blockbuster from our interviews with the cast and filmmakers!