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Ivan Reitman
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Director Ivan Reitman backs out of 'Ghostbusters' sequel

By Ryan Reed
Rolling Stone

While the upcoming "Ghostbusters" sequel is moving forward after the death of writer-actor Harold Ramis (with plans to start shooting in 2015), the project will no longer be helmed by Ivan Reitman.

According to Deadline, the comedy legend has officially abandoned the director's chair after the passing of his close friend and collaborator, though he'll remain onboard as a producer and help Sony Pictures find a replacement.

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"A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend and extraordinarily influential in my career," Reitman says. "When I came back from Harold's funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things. I'd just finished directing 'Draft Day,' which I'm really happy with and proud of. Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying. I just finally met with [Sony's] Amy [Pascal] and Doug Belgrad when I got back. I said I'd been thinking about it for weeks, that I'd rather just produce this 'Ghostbusters.' I told them I thought I could help, but let's find a really good director and make it with him. So that's what we've agreed will happen.

"It was such an amazing time in my life 30 years ago, and I felt that way on the second film," he reflects. "With Harold no longer with us, I couldn t see it."

Reitman also addressed the wild speculation about the project's writing and casting (including the possible involvement of original "Ghostbuster" Bill Murray), which has been brewing over the past four years. "We'd decided not to comment up until now," he continues. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do."

Reitman says two scripts have been written for the film: The first was co-penned by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (with help from himself, Ramis and Dan Aykroyd), but when Murray failed to commit ("He never actually said no, but he never said yes"), they started from scratch with a script from Etan Cohen (and "Dan lending a helping hand") that the "studio is very excited about."

While he does confirm that the sequel will feature the original "Ghostbusters" team in "a very minor role," he's hesitant to give specifics on the new cast, which will be assembled soon. "I'm not going to say how many Ghostbusters there will be in the new cast, but we are determined to retain the spirit of the original film, and I am pleased that all of this seems to have happened organically," he says.

Related articles from Rolling Stone:
The 25 Best Movies of the 1980's: 'Ghostbusters' 
In Pics: The 25 Greatest Movie Sequels of All Time 
'Ghostbusters II': Return of the Money-Making Slime

Mar 20, 2014 7:36PM
Without Reitman and most definitely without Ramis, this movie should be put to rest. Without Bill Murray it was going to be a hard sell anyway. But now without two very important people behind the scenes...just not worth it. Reitman may stay on as producer but not anywhere the same. RIP Harold Ramis.....damn good writer and actor.
Mar 20, 2014 11:28PM
I'm sure the film with be just as good as Blues Brothers 2000.
Mar 20, 2014 9:29PM
If it doesn't have the originals staring it is not ghostbusters  that simple.
Mar 21, 2014 5:48AM
I realize the first movie was a lot of fun.  But let's be honest... the second one wasn't that great.  Why would we then make a third one with less people than the first and second and pretend it's going to be anything better than a sad attempt to remember the 80s?  Sometimes you need to let things go.
Mar 21, 2014 3:36AM

The concept is an awesome one, and it will fly with a new generation. And to be honest, the old cast is too old to star as the protagonists. They need a new generation of actors to play the main characters, so the new generation of fans can relate. Ghostbusters is basically a family film that will attract kids, and they need a cast those kids can relate to. The original cast would better serve the film as supporting roles. Maybe write the main characters as the kids of the old cast.

Time waits for no one. And the time for the old cast to make another film as the main characters is long past. So I think its a wise decision for the studio to go with mostly new people. The concept is a winner no matter who they cast anyway.

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