Well, I take that back. There's actually been a LOT to post about, if we're going to talk politics, hasn't there? But the baffling actions of the McCain campaign have moved so fast that it really felt more appropriate to address them via Twitter than try to write up a meaningful blog about it, especially since I am having trouble understand what it all actually means besides "McCain is losing his marbles" and I don't want to stoop to that unnecessarily. Also, the mainstream media is FINALLY pulling their heads out and noticing that this is ridiculous, no longer forcing the Daily Show to be the sole source of sanity and accountability in this race, so I felt like the MSM had it covered.
So I've been out, although I probably will write a blog re: tonight's debate -- which, despite McCain's confidence, is anyone's game.
But I thought I'd follow-up on the Ghostbusters 3 story from my last blog with some new and exciting information.
One of the biggest stumbling points to another Ghostbusters film has always been Bill Murray. My understanding is this: like Indiana Jones, for which a sequel could only move forward with unanimous approval from Lucas, Spielberg, and Ford, Ghostbusters is split among the controlling interests of Reitman, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Murray. A third Ghostbusters film could only be made if all four of the principals approved of it, and for the last 20 years, Bill Murray wasn't having it.
When Ghostbusters 2 was produced, he was openly unhappy with the process of the production, as well as the final product, and declared that he was done with Ghostbusters. When the subject of the sequel came up, Murray either said no flat-out, or yes on the provision that Venkman be killed near the beginning of the film and return as a ghost.1
Things got more promising when Aykroyd, high off a viewing of TMNT, proposed that GB3 be made as a CGI feature. Though I'm on record around the web as hating that idea -- I would rather not have GB3 at all in that case -- Murray said that he would be willing to provide the voice for Venkman in that case. This opened the door to his willing reprisal of the role of Peter Venkman in the upcoming Ghostbusters video game, and apparently re-awakened his enthusiasm for the franchise, as he talks about in this video from Fantastic Fest (the GB talk starts at about the 5:00 mark):
It's funny, I always assumed that Murray was just kind of a crotchety guy and moved on from GB because of diva-esque "artistic differences," not getting enough screen time, whatever. But the interview here is so frank and open that I'm realizing that's wrong. It seems that the fact is that Bill Murray loves Ghostbusters, and he loves the Venkman character, and he was hurt and angry by the way the characters he so enjoyed, and the strength of the story possibilities, were marginalized and disrespected in favor of the effects and a lazy re-hash of the original.
Now, don't get me wrong, I personally like GB2, but based more on the mere fact of its existence than its relative merits. Objectively I can see where he is coming from. It was more slime than substance, and a clearly inferior sequel. And he didn't trust, for the last few decades, that a GB3 would be anything more than another hollow exercise in visual effects (and given the direction Hollywood movies have steadily taken, who can blame him?).
But it sounds like he's willing to give it another shot, and that he's in the same place I'm at with the talk of Office writers taking a crack at it -- new blood might be exactly what the franchise needs, not to re-invent itself, but to stage a triumphant return that more people would love to see than I think even the studio realizes.
If Bill Murray is on board, then this is the best news imaginable for the franchise.
- Considering that his problem with GB2 was what he saw as the overuse of visual effects, this seems like an odd request. I've long thought that this notion of killing off the most popular character was just a bluff that he knew they would never call, thereby saying "no" without having to say it.↩