Dan Aykroyd on 'Ghostbusters 3': It's Closer Than Ever, Awaiting Greenlight

Sony has yet to sign off on the long-awaited third installment, but it's getting closer, despite Bill Murray's decision to not participate.
Columbia/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Good news, Ghostbusters fans: The third installment in the franchise is still being planned. The bad news? There's still that sticky matter of getting it approved, funded and produced.

In a new interview with Esquire, series co-creator (and vodka salesman) Dan Aykroyd says that despite all the bumps in the road in trying to create a second sequel over 20 years after the first, the franchise's producers have agreed on a screenplay draft and are "closer than we've ever been" to making the film.

And no, it does not include Bill Murray, who famously decided not to play Peter Venkman for another go-round. Yet legally, Aykroyd says he no longer needs Murray's permission to make the film, despite his producer rights.

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"He abrogated his rights by sort of, by saying, two years ago he said, 'I don't want to be involved,' and the picture company I think had some clause in there that if he actually passed on the third of fourth offer, he no longer has a view of the franchise," Aykroyd asserted. A previous version with Murray was written by The Office scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and Aykroyd lamented Murray's decision.

"Had Billy chosen to do the Eisenberg/Stupnitsky script of two years ago, it would be out this summer, and it would be a massive hit," Aykroyd said. "If Billy had said yes, it would have satisfied his … performing skill and how he wanted to be depicted in the movie."

As for the actual draft, Aykroyd says that it would include new members of the Ghostbusters -- a "next generation" -- to whom he and co-star Harold Ramis would hand the ghost traps.