Aykroyd has been amongst the folks trying quite hard to get Ghostbusters 3 made for decades, and over the last several years incessant questions to both comedy legends has yielded just enough information to give us the basic picture. That picture consists of a movie that can't get made without Murray, which presents an issue, since Murray rightly believes that a sequel twenty-three years after Ghosbusters II isn't a great idea. His apathy was such that he couldn't be bothered to read the last draft of the screenplay by The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.
Despite Murray doing God's work, it seems that Sony Pictures may now be psyched about a Murray-less sequel, and a new writer might just be on board. In an interview with Metro promoting "The Blues Mobile" on Jazz FM, Aykroyd provided a characteristically hopeful update, saying, "Yes, we've got a brilliant new writer on it and we'll be passing the torch on to a new generation. We're working on it to make it just right to satisfy our fans. I'm confident we'll be in production in the next year."
We've heard such quixotic talk from Aykroyd before, and he acknowledged that it has been a long process. "Yes, but now we've got the studio on side," he said, going on to reference a development process that he essentially lasted since the 1990s. "We've tried a few concepts which weren't right but now we've got a good structure and will make it happen."
Naturally, this led to a question about Murray's role in the hypothetical sequel, to which Aykroyd replied in no uncertain terms, "No, I can tell you he won't be involved."
Of his old Saturday Night Live cohort's unwillingness to once again strap on an unlicensed nuclear accelerator, Aykroyd said, "It's sad but we're passing it on to a new generation. Ghostbusters 3 can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn't seem to be coming and we have to move on. It's time to make the third one."
You have to admire Dan Aykroyd's dogged determination to make Ghostbusters 3, but empirical evidence suggests that the sequel probably won't be happening anytime soon. Empirical evidence also suggests that sequels to beloved movies arriving decades after the fact are pretty much uniformly terrible. Nonetheless, director Ivan Reitman has expressed hopeful sentiments about another installment, and if Sony has accepted that Ghostbusters 3 won't feature Bill Murray, then there might be a chance of this thing actually coming together. If it does, hopefully Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddemore will exercise that deadpan once again.
Lest you be given the impression that I'm beating up on the great Aykroyd, I present to you one of his classic and typically underrated bits of business from SNL. I give you E. Buzz Miller's Art Classics: