Serpent Eats Its Own Tail: A Ghostbusters 3 Development Timeline

At this point, you might have an easier time indexing every bit of information in the latest WikiLeaks cables than sifting through the last 10-plus years of rumors surrounding Ghostbusters 3. And then, today news hits that the movie is indeed still in development, but not confirmed for production because... Bill Murray hasn't signed on yet. Okay, so Aykroyd's on the radio reassuring everyone about the sequel and Murray's keeping his distance. Has anything at all changed since the beginning of this ridiculously over-hyped and probably unnecessary project? Just to double check, I waded through pages of old news and rumors to construct some sort of working timeline about the film's development. Might want to take a painkiller in advance for this post.

1999-2005: Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis try multiple times to put a script Aykroyd wrote titled Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent into production. The script finds the Ghostbusters caught in an alternate, ghoul-infested version of Manhattan called "Manhelton." Reportedly budgeted for somewhere around $150 million, Columbia refuses and also refuses to let them take the film elsewhere.

July 2002: Still no money for the Hellbent script. IGN claims it's too "technical."

February 2007: Dan Aykroyd goes on Country music radio station touting his script for Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent. He says that Bill Murray has agreed to do the film as long as it's totally CGI. Bill Murray is hilarious.

September 2008: Columbia Pictures officially announces Ghostbusters 3! No, actually they just ask for a script from The Office co-executive producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. Moving forward, all rumors concern this script, and not Hellbent. In this one, the old Ghostbusters train young Ghostbusters

March 2009: Why no, Judd Apatow will not be involved with the new Ghostbusters. But Harold Ramis says Bill Murray is definitely in!

May 2009: Aykroyd says Ghostbusters 3 may be in production by Winter.

June 2009: A script exists! But now news is that Aykroyd, Ramis, Murray, Ivan Reitman and Sony/Columbia need to reach unanimous approval to make it a reality. Meanwhile a Ghostbusters video game with most of the original talent and a script longer than a screenplay renews speculation about a sequel.

October 2009: Murray would prefer not to do Ghostbusters 3.

Winter 2009: Ghostbusters 3 does not go into production. Sigourney Weaver says that she's up for acting in it and possibly spoils several plot points.

March 2010: Murray would still prefer not to do Ghostbusters 3.

April 2010: Please stop asking Murray about Ghostbusters 3! He just doesn't want to do it, okay?

May 2010: No real news, but that low-budget, guerilla re-enactment from Improve Everywhere sure was fun!

September 2010: Rick Moranis agrees to come out of acting retirement and take a break from country music to act in the film.

November 2010: Dan Aykroyd is doing the same thing he was doing in 2007! He goes on the radio and fuels the Ghostbusters 3 rumor bonfire even more. Anna Farris, Bill Hader and Eliza Dushku are mentioned.

December 2010: Ernie Hudson wants this movie to happen! But he blames Murray for the hold up and adds that "his definition of good is a little different than everybody else's." Burn? Meanwhile, DAN AYKROYD WOULD REALLY LIKE TO TALK TO EVERYONE SOME MORE ABOUT GHOSTBUSTERS 3!

January 7, 2010: Reitman says, "Virtually everything you've read on the internet [about Ghostbusters III] is not accurate." Jesus Christ.

Today: Bill Murray has made no indication that he would like to make a Ghostbusters sequel, but Reitman says they have sent him a new draft of the script. Please... make... it... stop...


  • Jeremy says:

    We all know Bill Murray is going to be in this film. 1. Look at the vast press building on the "Murray" delay in making this film. This publicity is free and viral. 2. Bill Murray has always been a bit like Andy Kaufman with his self promotion and need to be loved/hated. He is a childish genius and it's why we love/hate him.