Instead of showing hesitation or trying to back out, what if Bill Murray - a showbiz savvy actor who fired his agent, began accepting job offers only through a 1-800 number and successfully re-created his own image into a Renaissance actor - was instead bobbing and weaving about his involvement with Ghost Busters 3 (which is supposed to begin production this spring) to actually create enough hype and anticipation for the movie and his third appearance as Peter Venkman?
This bizarre theory may be the only thing a rational mind can come up with to describe the production's back-and-forth, on-again/off-again speculation. As recently as Feb. 3, Screen Rant's Anthony Ocasio reported that the script by Year One writers agreed upon by Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, director Ivan Reitman and Sony Pictures - had not yet been read by Murray, but that that was OK and just part of the actor's routine. Then, this Monday, while promoting No Strings Attached, Reitman said Murray "has seen Ghostbusters script."
Except that may not be completely true. In an hourlong interview, Stern gets Murray to open up and admit that "I'm the problem" with Ghostbusters 3.
"Before I was an asset, [but] now I’m a problem. There’s a script somewhere [on my desk], but I haven’t read it yet."
He also admits that, agreeing with Stern's words, the sequel is a "bulls---t idea":
I only made one sequel and it was Ghostbusters 2 and it didn’t end up the way it was presented. About five years after we did the first one, the clever agents got us all together in a room and… we really are funny together, I mean they are funny people – Harold [Ramis] and Danny [Aykroyd] and myself, with Ivan [Reitman] and maybe one or two other people. We were just blindingly funny for about an hour or so and the agents, there was just foam coming off of them. They had this pitch and Danny and Harold had concocted some story ideas… and it was a story, it was good story. I think I had even read one or two [scripts forGhostbusters 2] that Danny had rolled out beforehand, but this one was a good one. I said, 'Ok, we can do that one.' It was just kind of fun to have all of us together… I mean [Rick] Moranis, Annie [Potts] – these people are just sterling people to begin with.
Ocasio did some follow-up reporting on Murray's appearance on The Howard Stern Show where the actor admitted he had received the script, but no reading had been done.
However, Murray does admit he will read the script but hasn't thought much about it, and lends more credence to the idea the new movie is at least partially about passing the mantle to younger 'busters.:
I gotta get to it – I feel bad. I got a message and I think people – I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings – it’s not the foremost thing in my mind, so I don’t think about it.So the end assumption I think we can all safely make? This movie is happening, but I just happen to think Bill Murray is building buzz in his very Bill Murray way.
You know, the studio gets excited every 10 years or so. What they’d really like to do is recreate the franchise. I remember when the new Ghostbusters was going to be Chris Rock, Chris Farley and Chris Crane… Kris Kringle… someone [laughs] – they had it together.
Either that, or all this round-and-round is some effed-up viral marketing for a Groundhog Day sequel.