A Slimer For Each of Us: Why I Wrote Ghostbusters 3

This article can also be found on The Huffington post here.

It seems that you can’t swing a dead interdimensional entity without hitting news of Ghostbusters 3 these days. For decades, the whisper has been there for the elusive sequel to reveal its form and purpose, but it looks like only now in the age of the “20-year sequel” will we see it hit the big screen.


Of course, it’ll have to do without Bill Murray. The only way he’d do the film is if Venkman was killed, as he’s famously said. Apparently he’s too busy being the world’s most awesome person, dropping in on ice cream vendors or lifting newlyweds over his shoulders — presumably without knowing any of them for more than a few minutes.

It’ll have to do without Harold Ramis, too; but for slightly different (although very on-the-nose, considering the subject matter) reasons. He always did have impeccable timing. His loss is felt more keenly than a million Murrays, if only because we could always tell ourselves that if the movie was good enough then Bill Murray would be Peter Venkman again. But no matter how amazing or terrible Ghostbusters 3 turns out to be, it will be (barring some CGI in very poor taste) a definitively Ramis-free incarnation.

Does this mean that Ghostbusters is to revert back to Aykroyd’s original vision? Without his counterbalances, can Aykroyd reproduce the genius of the first two (the second of which was done in the midst of the original sequel boom) or will it be another soulless and contrived Blues Brothers 2000 in grey coveralls instead of black suits and sunglasses?

On the off chance it might turn out to be the latter, I went ahead and wrote it for him.

I don’t envy Aykroyd the position he’s in. This was never going to be an easy task.

How do you cater to fans of the original without upsetting the natural order that they will want to return to every time they re-watch their favourite two movies, contaminating them with the foreknowledge of your sequel? There would be nothing worse than re-watchingGhostbusters and knowing that none of it mattered because the Chosen One hadn’t come along until 2014 to show the old dudes emoji and dubstep. (Yes, I know, that’s already old; I’m making a point here.)

At the same time, how to avoid this becoming a Crystal Skull? It sounded great to George Lucas. Grumpy pants old Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford one broken ankle away from Han Solo being written out of Star Wars sequels (or put in one of those hovering wheelchairs, whichever Disney thinks is cheaper) because the times have caught up with the scruffy scoundrel once and for all.

This is Murray’s fear, I think. He and the rest of them, slogging winded across endless green-screen sets in those same grey coveralls, sweating and panting with one-hundred combined years between them and who they used to be. He’s right to be afraid, if Indy’s infamous rape is to be avoided for the boys in grey.

You might ask what it is that makes the screenplay I’ve made available on Scribd in its entirety today different, what makes it the perfect incarnation of the idea that’s been floating around for 25 years.

In short, it’s not.

But this wasn’t written to make money. Nor was it written to satisfy some fan-fiction desire to see MUH GHOSTBUSTERS battling valiantly against some Mary Sue of my own design. At the same time, it is both of these things. Along with a little good-old fashioned love for the source material, it was just for fun.
Now that Ramis is gone, the secret dream I had wrapped up inside that maybe my just-for-fun script would one day be plastered across a big screen is gone too. It’s evaporated like so much ectoplasmic residue, chalked up along with who-knows-how-many other ‘what-ifs.’ What I’m left with is just a story, which is what I started with. There doesn’t seem to be any reason not to tell it.

No matter how it winds up, Ghostbusters 3 is not, and was never going to, please everyone. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise. So whether the upcoming 21st century adventure with proton packs is a blockbuster or just destined to become ‘that other one,’ I’ll have mine and you can have yours.

Except mine has a bit where Egon explains the metaphysics behind kicking a god in the balls.

Which works for me.

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