You know when Harold Ramis, who played Egon Spengler in the two Ghostbusters movies, starts making public statements to the Chicago Tribune about a definite Ghostbusters 3 that the rumor of the third sequel is no longer just a rumor.
First Showing reports that Ramis has corresponded with the Tribune via email, and confirmed that Ghostbusters 3 is, in fact, more than mere rumor this time. He wrote: "yes, columbia is developing a script for GB3 with my year one writing partners, gene stupnitsky and lee eisenberg. judd apatow is co-producing year one and has made several other films for sony, so of course the studio is hoping to tap into some of the same acting talent." All Ghostbusters fans everywhere rejoice. Oh, but wait, there's more:
aykroyd, ivan reitman and i are consulting at this point, and according to dan, bill murray is willing to be involved on some level. he did record his dialogue for the new ghostbusters video game, as did danny and i, and ernie hudson. the concept is that the old ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity. not much else to say at this point. [sic]
I'm sorry -- did he say the original crew was going to appear in some mentor capacity?? This email is a confirmation of my -- and all Ghostbusters fans everywhere -- worst fears. That is, using the original four guys as a bunch of retiring old fuddie-duddies in the process of handing down the business to, well, at this point it looks like it will be a bunch of dudes from Apatow's crew.
Let me just say for the record that I'm a big Apatow fan, I think he's brought very funny movies to the screen and seems great at bringing unheralded young actors to the fore and in general attracts a lot of talent to his projects. I loved The 40 Year Old Virgin, I really liked Knocked Up, and I've been really impressed with the projects he's helped produce: Super Bad, parts of Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, etc. This is clearly a talented man with a gift for humor.
But I will bloody scream if he and/or Seth Rogen get within spitting distance of the third Ghostbusters.
Am I overreacting? Die-hard Ghostbusters fans will say no. The thing is, for almost 20 years fans have been waiting and marinating in delusion and denial that this movie would, in fact, one day arrive. But now that it's on its way, we can't help but be overwhelmed by dismay and betrayal now that it's clear this is going to be yet another Apatow project. The genius and hilarity and awesomeness of the first two came from Ramis and Aykroyd's script, Reitman's directing, and the main ensemble's acting. Having these (undeniably talented) writers from The Office heist the script, then replacing the actors who made the first two movies as great as they were, a fan can't help asking, "Why, exactly, do the filmmakers and actors want to do the sequel at all, if it's going to substitute every element that made these movies so great to begin with?" This is like hearing Spielberg wanted to make a fourth Back to the Future film, but that Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were only going to be in the first fifteen minutes. What's the point?
Ok, so that's the end of that rant. I don't think I'm out of line, but feel free to let me know if you disagree.