Ivan Reitman Talks Ramis, Murray and Not Directing 'Ghostbusters 3'

The director explains why he left the long-gestating project and talks about being excited to see others bring a "fresh take for some of the things we built into this draft."

Ivan Reitman has explained his reasons for stepping away from Sony’s in-lengthy-development Ghostbusters 3 as director, saying that the death of Harold Ramis crystalized his feelings towards the project.

"A number of things pushed against [directing the movie]," he told SpinOff Online when asked about leaving the much-anticipated revival of the comedy series. "One, I wasn't getting any younger. I'd already done two of them, and I only had so many movies left," he admitted.

STORY: Ivan Reitman Out as ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Director

The reluctance of Bill Murray to get involved played a part as well, Reitman said. "I spoke to him three years ago when there was no script, and he just didn't want to talk about it. I don't think he ever read drafts as much as he's advertised that he has; I think he was embarrassed to say otherwise."

Ultimately, however, it was the loss of Ramis ("You know, we started together, we made five movies together and he went on to be a wonderful director in his own right.")  that "really focused all of those things, suddenly," the director said. "I just decided a few weeks ago, two days after I came back from Chicago for his funeral, that yeah, it's time … I suddenly felt excited about producing a movie with other people directing Ghostbusters, and seeing the opportunity for new ideas and kind of a fresh take for some of the things we built into this draft."

Reitman wouldn't be drawn on who's replacing him on the project. "We're just starting that process," he said when asked about reworking the existing material for the new director. "We’ll see how it goes."