Groundhog Day Live Read

10,000 years. That’s how long Phil Connors was stuck in Groundhog Day. At least, that’s what writers Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin said in an early draft of the now classic 1993 film. That revelation was later cut out, along with a lot of other things, to make the film we know and love.

But on March 20, Jason Reitman presented that early draft as part of his Film Independent at LACMA Live Read series. On a night dedicated to Ramis, the Groundhog Day co-writer and director, Reitman brought together a small but perfect cast to read through the script. That cast included Jason Bateman as Phil, Elizabeth Reeser as Rita, Jeffery Ross as Larry, Mae Whitman as Nancy, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, the role he originated.

That balance of familiarity from Tobolowsky, coupled with a fresh but perfectly poignant take from Bateman, made Groundhog Day one of the best live reads to come out of the series to date. Read More »

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Ghostbusters

The passing of Harold Ramis once again shined a well-deserved light on his absolutely remarkable career. Yet, despite the innumerable classics Ramis wrote and directed, he’s best known for playing Egon, one of the three Ghostbusters. (He also co-wrote those films.) His passing brought up questions about the long rumored Ghostbusters III, which Ramis had signed off on and was scheduled to appear in. Sources close to Sony Pictures, where the film is in development, report the film is still coming, and will only need minor script changes to account for Ramis’ passing. Read More »

Harold Ramis Has Died at 69

harold-ramis

Harold Ramis, who co-wrote Meatballs, Animal House, and Ghostbusters, and who wrote and directed Caddyshack and Groundhog Day in addition to many other directorial achievements, has died at age 69, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Despite those achievements, Ramis is best known for playing Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, where he provided the essential and exaggerated straight-man character to anchor the team that also included Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Those two could be as looney as they wanted to be, and Ramis was there to anchor them, weird as Egon might have been.

Ramis died as a result of complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels. He had been struggling with health issues since 2010. Read More »

We’re covering a few sequels in very different stages of the development process today — one that’s gearing up to begin shooting soon, another that’s yet to be greenlit, and two more that’ve been in the works for what feels like forever. After the jump:

  • Bill Murray literally shreds the latest Ghostbusters 3 script to pieces
  • David Fincher wants to shoot the two Dragon Tattoo sequels back-to-back
  • Gary Mitchell — or Harry Mudd or Trelane or the Talosians or the Horta — could be the baddie in Star Trek 2
  • Kathleen Kennedy says Roger Rabbit 2 is stalled for now

Read More »

VOTD: Uncut Ghostbusters Commercial

If you’ve seen Ghostbusters — and I’m betting it’s a safe assumption that just about all of you have — you’ll probably recall the scene where Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) first learns of the Ghostbusters. She’s in her apartment putting away her groceries when she notices a television commercial for the paranormal extermination service, founded by parapsychologists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). Unfortunately, the scene cuts between Dana’s television and her reactions to the ad, so we don’t get to see exactly what she sees.

Happily, the Internet is here to help. After the jump, watch the uncut Ghostbusters commercial. It’s not a totally perfect match for the commercial playing in Dana’s apartment — there’s a second or two missing at the very start, and it doesn’t have the phone number splashed across the bottom — but it does have Egon acting delightfully extra-awkward right at the very end.

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A week ago, we told you that the original Ghostbusters would be back in theaters soon for a limited release. Now we’ve got the details: Sony will put the movie on screens through the month of October, but only on Thursdays, starting October 13. So you might get a chance to see Ivan Reitman‘s original and still truly entertaining film on October 13, October 20 and October 27. Read More »

‘Ghostbusters’ to Get Theatrical Rerelease

As we look forward to the most anticipated movies of the fall season, one very exciting release has unexpectedly popped up. The official Ghostbusters Facebook page has just announced that the sci-fi comedy classic is set to return to theaters this October for a rerelease. Read on after the jump.

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Ghostbusters 3 is not a film I’m particularly keen to see made, but at this point I really want it to happen just so people can stop asking Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray about whether or not it is going to happen. No one likes to talk about the project like Aykroyd likes to talk about it, and when the big question was put to him this week — is it happening? — he says yes, and suggests that it’ll happen with or without Bill Murray. And he’d like to see one of the Criminal Minds cast members suit up to battle the supernatural. Read More »

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