The metaphorical shit hit the equally metaphorical fan earlier this week when it was announced that Ant-Man director/all-around comic genius Edgar Wright and Marvel had parted ways over “creative differences.” It was shocking given that Wright has been attached to Ant-Man for damn near a decade, beginning with his hire to direct and co-write (along with Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish) back in 2006. What happened? Who knows, but speculation about who might take over directing Ant-Man has revealed a possible new twist in the saga of the forever-in-development Ghostbusters 3, a movie that is so far into undeath at this point that I keep waiting for the ghost of Harold Ramis to toss down a trap and put it out of its misery.
So, who’s the latest contestant in the long-running reality series known as “Who’s Directing Ghostbusters 3 This Week?” None other than Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer. That according to The Wrap, which mentions he’s being considered for Ghosbusters 3 in a story about how he’s also being considered (but not the front-runner) to replace Wright on Ant-Man. They also add that, even if he gets the Ghostbusters 3 job, it “isn’t heading into production nearly as soon.” Quelle surprise!
As exhausting as it is to examine yet another Ghostbusters 3 rumor at this point, the possibility of Fleischer actually makes a lot of sense. Zombieland was very much a comedy in the vein of Ghostbusters — and a good one, at that. If anybody’s going to get a third Ghostbusters movie across the finish line, Fleischer is as good a candidate as any I’ve heard so far. It’s also worth pointing out that one of the best parts of Zombieland was the surprise cameo by Bill Murray as himself, so if anybody could actually get Murray enthused about the whole GB3 thing, it might just be Fleischer. And both Zombieland and Fleischer’s follow-up 30 Minutes or Less were for Sony, who hold the Ghostbusters rights, so it makes sense that they might hand him the baton.
What little steam Ghostbusters 3 might have built up was dealt a serious blow with the death of Harold Ramis in February, which also prompted Ivan Reitman to announce he would not direct the theoretical Ghostbusters sequel. In March it was rumored that Lego Movie directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller were in talks to take over, but they walked away in April, and we can’t say we blame them. I think they would have been a solid choice as well, but after all these years, does anybody out there really want to be the guy taking the risk — and the blame, if it doesn’t work — for Ghostbusters 3? Maybe somebody will finally make it happen, and maybe they’ll even make it good…but I sure as hell don’t envy them the job.