Ivan Reitman details what would have been Ghostbusters 3

Screenwriter Max Landis also explains how close he came to writing the sequel


Well, now that Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters has finally hit theaters, the lovers and haters and the in-betweeners can either start roastin’ mallows or move on with their lives. Still, we can’t expect the gooey, green slime to wash off that soon, especially as more and more op-editorials, reviews, and news clippings keep popping up by the hour.

One more intriguing piece is Vulture’s in-depth interview with Ivan Reitman, the director of the original 1984 blockbuster and the producer of the reboot. The veteran filmmaker discusses a wide range of subjects, from his confusion over the gender politics to why the films remain so iconic, but what really stands out are his comments on the would-be Ghostbusters 3.

Up until Feig’s involvement, the Internet had been plagued with rumors and what-ifs, leaving fans to cling on to every word that came out of Dan Aykroyd’s mouth. In other words, they sat through a lot of interviews about Crystal Skull vodka, UFOs, parallel universes, and the sweet, tasty Chicago blues, which mostly led to crushing disappointment. Now, there’s a little clarity, thanks to Reitman, and here’s how the third film might have gone down:

“Bill and Sigourney’s kid, Oscar, is a postgrad student, and weird things start to happen,” he explains. “Bill Murray dies in the first scene, because he always said, ‘I won’t do it unless I die.’ And I said, ‘Okay, you got it.’ [Laughs.] It was a father-son story, with him as a ghost. By the way, the studio green-lit it. Everything was ready to go. I couldn’t get his attention, and in the midst of that, Harold got really sick. And that was pretty much it.”

Reitman even addresses Aykroyd’s loony, apocalyptic Hellbent script, which he “was never a big fan of,” adding: “To me, what was funny about the ghostbusters was putting these extraordinary situations in a world that we knew, surrounded by people that we recognized, real New Yorkers acting like New Yorkers. I thought the comedy was in that juxtaposition. I’ve never liked the more fantastical versions.”

The rest of the interview is a pretty great read for fans, digging deep into the history of the franchise and its probable future. As for that third film, the likes of it happening are slim to none, although Reitman jokes that, “It could. I haven’t looked at it in about three years. It just hurt too much.” Don’t hold your breath; after all, we kind of, sort of, maybe got one back in 2009.

In related news, screenwriter Max Landis hit up Twitter this week to not only offer his two cents on the film, but also digress on how close he came to writing the third entry. Granted his concepts for the sequel have been public knowledge for some time, but it’s wild how he came within a single meeting from seeing his dreams come true. Here are some of the many, many tweets:

For fans who waited over two decades to see a proper followup — this writer included — it’s a shame neither of these ideas ever came to light. But then again, who knows. It’s rare any sequel works, let alone one three decades later and sans two of its most beloved characters. Best to file these stories under “Oh well” and go see Kate McKinnon do some good, instead.