Who ya gonna call? The answer is "all of your friends," because the Ghostbusters are putting the proton packs back on for a new case.
In an exclusive interview with franchise director Ivan Reitman, sources say that Bill Murray has finally agreed to reprise the character of Dr. Peter Venkman and team up with Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis for not just one, but two 'Ghostbusters' adventures. They are set to be filmed concurrently and released back-to-back for Christmas 2012 and Christmas 2013.
The development of 'Ghostbusters 3' has been brewing for years, but news about the project really started to heat up in the past 12 months. For quite some time, the delay in getting the movie made has been Murray, who was vocal in his displeasure with the previous draft of the screenplay written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. But back in the fall, Dan Aykroyd told Vanity Fair that he had taken over scripting, and then last month, while promoting 'No Strings Attached,' Reitman revealed that Murray had seen the newest draft, and going forward with a new 'Ghostbusters' installment would come down to his approval.
"Bill loves these characters as much as we all do, and it was simply a matter of nailing the timing," Reitman explained.
As was previously speculated, the plot of 'Ghostbusters 3' and '4' will focus on Venkman, Egon and Ray Stantz training a new generation of Ghostbusters. If fans respond positively to the young cadets, Sony also has plans to move the series forward with their own movie in the future.
Reitman didn't reveal much in the way of plot, but added, "Bill had a lot of say in how Venkman would return to the screen. He's really excited to take the character in a new direction." Given Murray's previous statements on how he would like to play the smart-mouthed doctor, coupled with the news that he recently signed on to play FDR in a biopic, the early speculation is that Venkman will appear only in a supporting role -- and as a ghost.
No word yet on who will play the young Ghostbusters, but given the release date, Sony will have to fast-track production by the summer, meaning we should hear some big casting updates soon. In the past months, Aykroyd and Reitman have talked up Anna Faris, Eliza Dushku and Ashton Kutcher as taking up the Ghostbusters mantle.
When asked for comment, Murray responded, "I came, I saw, I kicked this sequel's ***."