Remember the rumor that Bill Murray hated the GHOSTBUSTERS 3 script so much that he shredded it and sent the pieces back to Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd with a little note attached that said "No one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts!"? Well, it turns out that was just a rumor and there was absolutely zero truth to it.
Aykroyd, when asked about the incident in a recent interview with Empire, had this to say :
"Bill Murray is not capable of such behavior. This is simply something that would not be in his nature. We have a deep, private personal relationship that transcends business. We communicate frequently and his position on the involvement in GHOSTBUSTERS 3 has been made clear and I respect that. But Bill has too much positive estimation of my writing skills to shred the work."
Good. Nice to see that Murray and Aykroyd have a deep respect for each other. Does this mean that their personal relationship might be strong enough to pull Murray into GHOSTBUSTERS 3? Um …probably not. Especially after what you’re about to read.
During the Empire interview, Aykroyd cryptically alluded to the fact that Murray’s character Peter Venkman is just a character and that he could be replaced. He supposedly mentioned how the character of Jack Ryan was played by three different actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck) and fans didn’t seem to mind and the same approach could possibly be taken with Venkman if Murray opts to not return
Oh and he mentioned that he’s hoping to bring back Rick Moranis (who left the movie industry nearly fifteen years ago for reasons that have never been made clear) as Louis Tully and …WHAT THE F**K DOES AYKROYD MEAN HE’S GOING TO REPLACE BILL MURRAY?!?
Sorry about that. I’m a little emotional. Teary even. And I’m pretty sure you know why. Any self-respecting Ghostbusters fan knows that Bill Murray IS Peter Venkman. This is not a case of an actor being a character. This is a case of a character being an actor. Jack Ryan was a cipher. He was an action hero that any solid action actor could’ve played. That’s why the recast didn’t bother too many folks. We liked the character and as long as the actor fit him it was okay. Venkman is not like that. Venkman is Murray. So to replace Murray is to basically assassinate the character of Venkman. Venkman IS Murray. Murray IS Venkman! FINKEL IS EINHORN!!! Er ..wait. Wrong movie.
If Murray doesn’t want to come back, write the character out. Kill him off. Have him die off-screen. Do anything other than recast him. Recasting him Venkman kills the movie. Kills it dead. I won’t watch it and I love Ghostbusters. Love it, love it, love it. But I won’t watch some other actor/comedian roll in an pass all over Murray’s performance. Won’t do it.
You lost points with me today, Aykroyd. You lost points with everyone.