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Ivan Reitman quits 'Ghostbusters 3' and confirms movie has new cast of stars

Ivan Reitman
Ivan Reitman
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Ivan Reitman has decided not to direct "Ghostbusters 3," and he has confirmed that original "Ghostbusters" stars Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray will not be starring in "Ghostbusters 3," which Sony Pictures is planning to start filming in 2015. The cast and new director of "Ghostbusters 3" have not been announced yet.

In a Deadline interview that was published on March 18, 2014, Reitman (who produced and directed "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters 2") said that his decision to not direct "Ghostbusters 3" was in large part because of the death of Harold Ramis, who starred in and co-wrote the first two "Ghostbusters" movies. Reitman is still a producer of "Ghostbusters 3."

Reitman told Deadline: "“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about 'Ghostbusters.' I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. 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 who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both 'Ghostbusters.'”

On Feb. 24, 2014, Ramis died from complications from vasculitis at his Chicago-area home. He was 69. The Associated Press reports that Chris Day, a spokesman for United Talent Agency (which represented Ramis), announced Ramis' death, and said that Ramis was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his passing. Vasculitis is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation and damage to blood vessels.

After Ramis' death, Aykroyd issued a statement that he is "deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend ... May he now get the answers he was always seeking."

Ramis had been working on a "Ghostbusters 3" screenplay, but Murray reportedly rejected the screenplay and declined to participate in the movie, which is still in development.

In the months before Ramis' death, "Reitman said in many interviews that he, Ramis and Aykroyd were still committed to making "Ghostbusters 3."

According to Deadline, a "Ghostbusters 3" screenplay has been written by Etan Cohen, with some assistance from Aykroyd. It has been speculated that Aykroyd might make a cameo in "Ghostbusters 3" if the movie is ever made.

Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal commented to Deadline about Reitman's decision to not direct "Ghostbusters 3": “We totally understood. He was thinking he might feel that way when Harold died, and then came back to us and confirmed it, that while he was excited to return and make the movie as producer, but did not feel he wanted to direct the movie. We are delighted to work with Ivan on this movie in that capacity. We love him, and he’s going to continue to play an important role. We’re very anxious to get the movie started.”

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