Yesterday, the news broke about the unexpected and tragic death of Harold Ramis, far too young at the age of 69. While he was best known for starring in the Ghostbusters movies, Ramis was also a very accomplished director for some of the most iconic comedies of the last 30 years, including Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Groundhog Day. He hadn’t worked in Hollywood since 2009 because of his illness, but Ramis was expected to appear in the on-again-off-again project Ghostbusters 3, and in spite of his death, it sounds like that project is still continuing.
Cinema Blend reports that director Ivan Reitman is expected to meet with Sony executives about what to do with Ghostbusters 3 after the loss of Harold Ramis. It was already rumored that Ghostbusters 3 would introduce a new, younger crew of ‘busters, but the old gang — Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and maybe Ernie Hudson — making appearances in the film as well. However, it seems that the film’s screenplay, penned by The Office‘s (U.S.) Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, has to be re-worked due to the passing of Ramis.
THR’s studio source also says that Ramis’ involvement in Ghostbusters 3 was minimal, but he still had a first-dollar gross stake (10% of the film’s profits) in the third film with Murray, Aykroyd, and Ivan Reitman, as a co-writer and star of the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
Ghostbusters 3 has been in development since the ’90s, but there hasn’t been much movement with the project over the years. It gained a bit of steam as early as 2009, with the release of the Ghostbusters video game, but nothing solid happened. Lately rumors have suggested it was targeting a 2014 release, to tie in with the original film’s 30th anniversary, but the project has stalled without any clear idea when it would go into production. Sony has yet to officially greenlight the film.
There are no confirmed plot details available for Ghostbusters 3, but according to Aykroyd the film might feature a dimensional rift that would open in the middle of New York City. Naturally, the Ghostbusters would be called on to stop all the scary beasts from overtaking the Earth. Aykroyd even has plans for a Ghostbusters 4 that would possibly involve the team going to Hell.
Meanwhile, one of Ramis’ co-stars believes Ghostbusters 3 shouldn’t move forward at all after his death.
TMZ caught up with Ernie Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore in the two Ghostbusters movies, and asked him about the death of Harold Ramis and if Ghostbusters 3 is still going to move forward. “Well, there can’t be another Ghostbusters without Harold. It will be a Ghost- something, but it won’t be… That was always my fear – that something would happen before we all got together,” said Hudson.
It’s hard to say if Ghostbusters 3 will still happen. It just wouldn’t be a real Ghostbusters movie without Harold Ramis.