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Bill Murray out, Ghostbusters sequel in 'suspended animation'

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Bill Murray won't be appearing in a third Ghostbusters film. Photo / Supplied
Bill Murray won't be appearing in a third Ghostbusters film. Photo / Supplied

Who you gonna call? Not Bill Murray if it's about signing on for the long-rumoured Ghostbusters sequel.

There's been talk of a possible third film in the franchise since the release of Ghostbusters 2 back in 1989, but despite studio interest, a script, and having various cast members on board, the project has never got off the ground.

Murray's non-commitment to resurrect the franchise has also put a major spanner in the works.

The actor has made it pretty clear over the years that he's not that keen to be involved.

He told GQ in 2010: "It's all a bunch of crock. It's a crock. There was a story - and I gotta be careful here, I don't want to hurt someone's feelings.

When I hurt someone's feelings, I really want to hurt them! Harold Ramis said, 'Oh, I've got these guys, they write on The Office, and they're really funny. They're going to write the next Ghostbusters'.

"They had just written this movie that he had directed ... Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives.

"So that dream just vapourised. That was gone. But it's the studio that really wants this thing. It's a franchise. It's a franchise, and they made a whole lot of money on Ghostbusters."

Dan Aykroyd, who starred in both Ghostbusters movies, has previously said he hoped Murray could be swayed into reprising his role of Dr Peter Venkman.

"We hope to make the movie with Bill Murray. That's where we're standing ... I'm in," he told Access Hollywood last June.

"There's a great story to be told. The promise of the new movie is handing the torch to the young because, you know, [the original Ghostbusters] Ray and Winston and Egon and Peter Venkman, we're a little taxed physically now. We can't be frontline operators anymore so we need the youth!"

Screenwriter and director Ivan Reitman chimed last year that a "very good script" for the third film - penned by the writers of the US version of The Office - had been sent to Murray for his perusal.

A net rumour surfaced in December that Murray had read it, shredded it, and then sent the screenplay back to Reitman, with a note attached that read: "No-one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts."

Aykroyd later denied that had been the case, but hinted in an interview with Empire magazine that Murray was unlikely to join the threequel.

"Bill Murray is not capable of such behaviour. This is simply something that would not be in his nature," he said. "We have a deep, private personal relationship that transcends business. We communicate frequently and his position on the involvement in Ghostbusters 3 has been made clear and I respect that. But Bill has too much positive estimation of my writing skills to shred the work."

While the script remains intact, Murray may have shredded Aykroyd's dreams of seeing the spooky sequel on the silver screen.

Aykroyd tells The Telegraph: "At this point it's in suspended animation. The studio, the director Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis feel there must be a way to do it, but Bill Murray will not do the movie. He doesn't want to be involved," Aykroyd explains.

"He's got six kids, houses all over America. He golfs in these tournaments where they pay him to turn up and have a laugh. He's into this life and living it. I know we'd have a lot of fun [but] I can't be mad at him," he adds.

"He's a friend first, a colleague second. We have a deep personal relationship that transcends business and he doesn't want to know."

Aykroyd says there's still studio interest in the movie, and that he's considered the idea of recasting Murray's role.

"We're not going to do a movie that exploits the franchise," he says. "The script has to be perfect. I'm the cheerleader, but I'm only one voice in the matter. It's a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie, however there is still interest from the studio."

What do you think, readers? Are you interested in a sequel? Would you see Ghostbusters 3?

Watch the Ghostbusters trailer below:

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