Dan Aykroyd is as sick and tired as you are when it comes to Ghostbusters 3. For years he’s been not only answering questions about the proposed film, but actually developing it for free in hopes one day it would get made. That’s all he wants, to get a movie made, and he’s had to constantly change his concept with new writers coming aboard and his co-star, Bill Murray, refusing to play ball.

Then, several months ago, it seemed like the film was ready to go. Things quickly cooled off and that seemed to be the final straw. Aykroyd has had it. He’s now publicly given Sony an ultimatum about making the film.

In an interview with Esquire, the co-creator, co-star and de-facto mouthpiece for the successful franchise not only calls for Sony to make the film now, or forever hold their peace, he talks about the scripts Office writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg did, the one by Etan Cohen, Bill Murray’s non-interest and potential ideas for sequels. Why would he talk about sequels to a movie that hasn’t been made yet? Because he all but guarantees a nine-figure hit if Sony makes the movie. The guy is on a marshmallow man fueled rampage and I love it. Read his quotes below.

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Let’s say you’re a Sony film exec. You’ve had a long partnership with Adam Sandler, who makes movies that critics hate, but audiences continue to see. Everyone hated Jack and Jill, right? But at just about $150m worldwide gross against a $79m production budget, it could be doing a lot worse, especially for something labeled a domestic flop. The guy doesn’t make a mint, but his movies are profitable — Jack and Jill will likely make money thanks to DVD and other rights sales — and they’re reliable.

So why did Sony let Sandler take his next film to Paramount? Why did it sell off half of George Clooney‘s Monuments Men — not a likely financial hit, but a probable prestige pic with a killer cast — to Fox? Why hasn’t Sony pushed forward aggressively on a sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, after being so bullish on the trilogy when David Fincher was hired to direct?

Those actions, along with the not-so-solid financial status of Sony as a whole, are contributing to rumors that Sony Pictures Entertainment is in trouble, and that the big powers at Sony are considering selling off entertainment units such as the film division. Those rumors have been denied by Sony’s head honcho, and are likely untrue at this point, but there is some minor change going on at Sony, which is making a couple fewer movies per year, and is going to wait a bit longer to shoot films like Ghostbusters III. Read More »

It’s a vicious cycle: as long as there is suffering, people will want to drink. As long as people want to drink, Dan Aykroyd will sell them Crystal Skull Vodka. As long as Aykroyd sells vodka, people will ask him about Ghostbusters III. And every time someone talks about Ghostbusters III, others suffer.

The last we’d heard about the sequel that has probably been the subject of more conversation than the production of the first two films combined was that Bill Murray didn’t like the script by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office, Year One), which had probably been rolled around like an old tire, and that the project was in suspended animation. Then, last month, David Letterman asked Murray about the film, and the reluctant actor said they would try again. And evidently a new script is in the works now. Read More »

Briefly: Bad Teacher is out on DVD this week, and to celebrate, director Jake Kasdan and writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have been announced as the creative team on a new untitled comedy for Sony. While we don’t have a title, Deadline does offer a plot synopsis: “After a Supercuts manager advises his best friend to break off his engagement, he unexpectedly falls in love with the jilted fiancee, testing both his new romance and his friendship.” Realism!

And, by the way, Stupnitsky and Eisenberg are the guys who wrote the main draft of Ghostbusters III, and Deadline repeats the oft-cited report that Sony won’t make the movie without Bill Murray and that he hasn’t read the script or made any effort to get a contract signed. In other words, GBIII is stalled as it ever was. Maybe they can get Murray for this Supercuts movie.

Briefly: Let’s rewind all the back to the early days of December 2010. That’s when Ernie Hudson said that Bill Murray is part of the holdup around Ghostbusters III. “I know he really cares about his work,” Hudson said, “which is probably why there hasn’t been another Ghostbusters as of yet. Dan and Harold are working on the script. If it happens we will see but Bill has been the hold up. His definition of good is a little bit different than everybody else’s.”

Turns out he may have been right. Sure, Ivan Reitman is out there stumping for the movie just as Dan Aykroyd and others have been. But if a new report is to be believed, there’ll be no movie without Bill Murray. If he doesn’t nod and smile and sign, then the movie doesn’t happen. Ivan Reitman just said that the script was truly just finished, and has been sent to Murray. So if his definition of ‘good’ lines up, then Slimer will pop out of his hole, not be scared by his shadow, and the show will go on. Oops, sorry. Getting my Murray movie metaphors mixed. We’ll have real news on the film just as soon as there is some.