Bill Murray may carry an almost-mythical aura, especially when it comes to the Oscar-nominated film star’s off-camera adventures, but one subset of his reputation centers on his now-famous reluctance to appear in the long-mooted Ghostbusters threequel. It’s a narrative that, for decades, has bombarded the news cycle, with Murray’s cryptic comments and blatant trolling. However, his latest comments reveal a possible change of heart about once again putting on his proton pack.
Appearing at the Cannes Film Festival to promote his latest film, director Jim Jarmusch’s comedic-horror film, The Dead Don’t Die, Murray fielded the inevitable Ghostbusters 3 question, posed by IndieWire, with a surprisingly positive answer. Murray, referencing his surprise cameo in director Paul Feig’s (unfortunate vitriol-inciting,) 2015 female-fronted Ghostbusters reboot, reveals an evolved attitude about his formerly-distanced franchise fame. As he explains:
“I was in that movie just because [stars Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon] asked me, and I knew if I said no, I was saying I didn’t support that movie. I felt like, OK, I’m going to support them because I support them as people. So, I did that one and I would do this next one.”
Of course, the “next one” in question will manifest as a direct sequel to the classic film franchise of 1984’s Ghostbusters and 1989’s Ghostbusters II, this time under the direction of Jason Reitman, son of original franchise helmer Ivan Reitman. The Ghostbusters 3 endeavor recently made its presence known with the subtlety of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, simultaneously announcing its very existence with news of the junior Reitman’s directorial tenure, and blew minds with an early teaser trailer. It seems that Murray has come to a realization about what his support means for the project. As he further explains of what he owes to his Ghostbusters legacy:
“This franchise paid for my son’s college,” he said, as he sipped on coffee at the Carlton Hotel. “We made this thing. We are the caretakers of it. It’s a great thing and it was a really fun movie to make. It’s a real movie with some really funny stuff in it.”
Indeed, 30 years after the previous entry in the classic films, stars seem to have finally aligned for the long-coveted threequel, with a fresh cast of newcomers like Carrie Coon, McKenna Grace and even Stranger Things and It star Finn Wolfhard onboard, prospectively set to be joined by the original team of exterminators of the ectoplasmic, consisting of co-star and behind-the-scenes stalwart Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz, Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore – sans the late Harold Ramis as Egon Spangler, though possibly joined by Annie Potts’s Janine Melnitz and Rick Moranis’s Louis Tully. The addition of Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman – the sarcastic everyman protagonist of the franchise amongst his eccentric scientist teammates – would certainly bring it all home; an idea that he seems to acknowledge.
As Murray lauds of his Ghostbusters castmates:
“They’re wonderful people,” he said. “Danny [Aykroyd], Ernie [Hudson], Harold [Ramis], Rick Moranis, Annie Potts — they’re some of the coolest people and they had real careers. They treat people well. They really understand what it is to be a movie actor. It’s a complete collaboration.”
However, when it comes what Murray says – specifically pertaining to Ghostbusters 3 – a healthy grain of salt is always best kept. Pertinently, those with long memories about this saga may remember a stunt he pulled back in October 2010 – with momentum surging at the time for Ghostbusters 3 – when Murray showed up to the Spike TV Scream Awards, accepting an award for his (now-legendary) cameo in Zombieland dressed in full Ghostbusters regalia. The move was perceived by some as virtual confirmation of his return, and a sardonic shot across the bow by others.
Murray’s return notwithstanding, Ghostbusters 3 (formal title to be revealed) is certainly set to evoke happy memories of a time when bustin’ made them feel good, with the film currently scheduled to arrive on July 10, 2020.