Bill Murray talks Ghostbusters (and other things) with GQ

In the recent issue of GQ, Bill Murray sat down to talk with Dan Fierman – the two cover a lot of ground (including the revelation that Bill considers Kung Fu Hustle a crowning achievement in 21st comedy – hard to argue with that. It was a fantastic movie), but inevitably, as it often does, the chat turns to Ghostbusters. Bear in mind, younger readers, magazines have a lead-time that the Internet does not, meaning Bill didn’t make these comments yesterday. More than likely he made them weeks to months ago (sometime after March, as he references his infamous visit to South By SouthWest 2010), and these comments were made around the time he was talking about Ghostbusters 3 on Letterman. It’s a great article, but not necessarily indicative of where his feelings for a third movie are at right now.

As well, his comments on the script do fit with all previous talk that revisions were being undertaken. So, this is informative… not gospel.

Big nods to Chris and Hayden for sending this my way.

Read the whole article here;

You know, my younger brother will absolutely murder me if I don’t ask you this question.…

All right. I should worry.

Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What’s the story with that?

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. [laughs] 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. And they had just written this movie that he had directed.

Year One.

Year One. 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 vaporized. 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.

Oh, sure, I remember. The soundtrack. The lunchboxes. The action figures.

Right. And it’s still one of the biggest movies of all time. And ever since that story broke, everywhere I go people are like, “So are you gonna make that movie?” I was down in Austin at South by Southwest, and you go at it hard down there—fun but, man, you need to sleep for days afterwards. Anyhow, I got into it one night with a bunch of younger people who were like, Oh, I love Peter Venkman! I grew up with Peter Venkman! We got to talking, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, Oh Christ, I should just do this thing.

A generation awaits, for sure. You weren’t even supposed to play that role, right?

Yeah. Originally it was Belushi. Like a lot of my movies. [beat] God, John died, what was it, twenty-five years ago?

It was ’82, right?

Yeah, I think it was ’82. I dunno. That part of life is getting fuzzy.

I read that you wanted to play a ghost in the movie. That’s kind of brilliant.

Well, I hadn’t wanted to do the movie. They kept asking, and I kept saying no. So once upon a time I said, just joking: “If you kill me off in the first reel, then fine, I’ll do it.” And then supposedly they came up with an idea where they kill me off and I was a ghost in the movie. Kinda clever, really.

But has the Zombieland cameo stolen that gag?

[genuinely confused] But that was a zombie. Not a ghost.

Read More

Photos surface of cut GB2 ending!

Red Bubble user, DilettantO, lucked out (from what I can tell) – the same day in 1988 he was visiting Liberty Island, Ghostbusters 2 production was shooting the final scene of the film, in which the team is honored by the city, finally. The scene was quite elaborate initially, only to be cut down to a quick glimpse at the end of the film as it fades to black and the main credits roll. Given how little we’re able to see in the final film, getting to see these amazing, crisp, 35mm slides is a revelation!

In Dec ‘88 I got to go to NYC for the first time, courtesy of Random House, as I was doing the Thomas The Tank Engine book illustrations for them at the time. On this trip, not only was Gorbachev in town meeting with Ronnie Raygun (sic) but Ghostbusters II was being filmed in the city. I took myself out to Liberty Island and was lucky enough to go up inside the statue (which isn’t allowed anymore). I have some great shots of that which I will post sometime. Coincidentally, they were shooting the final scenes of the movie on Liberty Island when I was out there, so while all this was happening, I got myself into a good position on the ‘plinth’ overlooking the set and slapped on my long lens. I got a few great shots like this one showing Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. I especially like this one as Ackroyd seems to be looking straight at me. After the shoot, I collared both Murray and Ackroyd for autographs ( not sure where Weaver and Ramis were) . Ackroyd obliged, but Murray demurred, say he was ‘hungry’. Sadly I lost the Ackroyd autograph, but at least I still have the memories and a few pix, plus I know I’m in the aerial shot behind the closing credits in Ghostbusters II, even though only I know I’m there.

The scene had at least one piece of physical comedy, as Louis and Janine make-out on stage… I’m actually kind of glad they cut that bit. Kind of an anti-climax to the film.

Thanks to Glen Yard for spotting the pics!

Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size
Click for full size

GB3 "a role of a lifetime" for Bill Murray, says Aykroyd

Prior to a recent Crystal Head vodka signing in San Antonio (interesting aside – they’re about to produce their 1 millionth bottle. They originally only estimated a demand for 3-4 thousand), Dan Aykroyd took a moment to talk to for a bit about all the recent Ghostbusters 3 talk, which continues to strengthen Harold Ramis’ recent comments on the film aiming for a Christmas 2012 release;

“The role of a lifetime has been written for Bill Murray. Contrary to what was in a lot of the press, I did not call him and tell him the ultimatum… ‘don’t be a jerk’. I was quoted as saying, ‘You better get on board.’ I would never ever talk to Billy like that,” he says.

A draft for the new script has been turned in by the young writers assigned by the studio.

“So, if we can pull it off, we’re going to start to work pretty soon,” he says.

He then talked a bit about the level of GB fandom he sees and how he sees it as an indication that a third film is a no-brainer;

“We were reasonably expectant that it would work then. As to its endurance today, I am quite surprised honestly, because I go to signings like I’m doing in S.A. and there’s Ghostbusters at every one of them. Some of them have cars and trucks that they’ve absolutely outfitted with the phone number and lights on them and everything — total packs, jump suits exactly down to the rubber gloves. It’s just really, really a gratifying thing to see and hilarious as well.

“The funniest part is the girlfriends and wives of the Ghostbusters. … I always give them a special kind of, you know, sympathetic hug.”

So, a carrot has apparently been written into the plot of a third film, in order to attract the reticent Murray – whether that carrot is the fabled Ghost Venkman idea or something new (like, say, a father/son/mentor/trainee relationship between Venkman and Oscar) remains to be seen, but one thing is clear; the final days of hammering this out are on now. If they don’t come to some sort of deal that suits all parties in the coming months, it will likely fall apart.

Thanks to Steven Hough for the heads up – someone start a stopwatch and how long it takes for MTV to report this news, with link to SlashFilm, and any reference to PC or removed (narf). Bonus points if Perez Hilton reports it. Man, we could make a game out of this.

Bill Murray thinks Ghostbusters 3 not going to happen [UPDATE]

Out promoting his new film, Get Low, Bill Murray sat down to answer 5 questions for – talk of New York movies lead, naturally, to Ghostbusters;

4. What’s your favorite movie set in New York?
‘Ghostbusters.’ Sure, why not? I was in it. It was great. There’s a scene where Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson drive across the Brooklyn Bridge and they go, “Judgment day.” And that’s the coolest scene in any movie that ever took place in New York. It’s just wonderful to watch. And then they pull away and you see this big town in the background and these guys are heading right into the heart of the monster. What I really love about New York is that the first time I came, I think I came from the airport, and when you drive [from John F. Kennedy International Airport], there’s a massive graveyard that you see just before, and there’s New York. And I always say to people, those are the people that didn’t make it [laughs]. They just threw them over here and then buried them.

5. Is ‘Ghostbusters 3’ ever happening?
No, it’s ridiculous. That’s an absolutely — that’s just a horrible rumor. It’s like illegitimate children in Antarctica, it’s ridiculous. … Mind you, we only made two, and the first one was still the better one, so another one wouldn’t seem to be any better. The studio wants to make it because they can re-create the franchise and put new Ghostbusters in it. That’s what it’s about.

This does not mean Ghostbusters 3 is not still being actively pursued, despite Murray referring to it as a “rumor” – we know for a fact Sony is actively working on it, something Bill even admits in the same paragraph where he called it a rumor. Basically, it’s more of Murray griping about the possibility of the movie getting made. Which is a shame – it seems like the production was prepared to bend over backwards to accommodate him and he still doesn’t want to see it move ahead.

Thanks to Hayden for the heads up. C’mon, Bill! Don’t be a party pooper!

Bill had more to say on the subject when speaking to on the same Get Low press tour.

“You know, it’s really the studio starts this stuff,” he told us. “They start saying ‘Ghostbusters.’ They want to do (it) and it’s really the world of sequels and bringing these things back again, and then some wiseacre said, ‘Hey, we got a couple of new writers who are gunna write something.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, well, maybe there’ll be some writers’ and there was always this joke, sort of a half-true, half-joke thing like, ‘Well, I’ll do it if you kill me off in the first reel.’ That was my joke, you know? So supposedly someone was writing a script where I actually got killed in the first reel and became a ghost, which I thought, ‘Well, that’s kind of clever anyway.’ But then these guys that were supposedly the writers that were going to do it, they wrote a film that came out and people saw the film* and went… ‘We’re not going to do it after all, are we?’ So it’s just a kind of a dreamy thing. They want to create a new generation of Ghostbusters, you know? They’d just like us to pass the torch.” (*Presumably that was Harold Ramis’ last movie Year One.)

When asked to clarify whether making the movie really would be a “nightmare,” Bill Murray told us this: “Well, it’s true, but we made a great movie and then we made another one, you know? So we went to the well twice and it’s almost impossible to do the second movie as well. Only horror movies get better as they go along because they have more money to spend for more crazy effects. I actually thought the other day–it’s just become so irritating–but I actually heard people like, young people that really [heard] of the movie when they were kids and I thought, ‘You know, maybe I should just do it. Maybe it’d be fun to do.’ Because the guys are funny and I miss [Rick] Moranis and Annie [Potts] and Danny. Those people are some people that were really, you know, I miss them. I think that’s really a big part of it.”