Director reveals plot of abandoned third ‘Ghostbusters’ movie starring Bill Murray

"Bill was always the holdout," director Ivan Reitman recalls

Original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman has revealed what could have been a third movie’s premise.

Reitman, who serves a producer on the Ghostbusters reboot which opens in US cinemas today (July 15), re-iterated that it was Bill Murray who prevented the original films from becoming a trilogy.

“Bill was always the holdout,” Reitman told Vulture. “I think he was just not interested. He loves Ghostbusters, and he appreciated all the good that it did for all of us, but he just wanted to pursue different things as an actor. And at the same time he didn’t want to do anything that would sully the other movies.”

Despite Murray’s reluctance to return to the franchise, Reitman and Ghostbusters co-creators Harold Ramis, who died after an illness in 2014, and Dan Aykroyd came up with several premises for Ghostbusters 3 over the years and even worked on draft scripts.

Asked to describe the premise of the most recent iteration of Ghostbusters 3, Reitman explained: “Bill and Sigourney’s kid, Oscar, is a postgrad student, and weird things start to happen. Bill Murray dies in the first scene, because he always said, “I won’t do it unless I die.” And I said, “Okay, you got it.” It was a father-son story, with him as a ghost. By the way, the studio green-lit it. Everything was ready to go. I couldn’t get [Bill’s] attention, and in the midst of that, Harold got really sick. And that was pretty much it.”

Reitman also told Vulture that Bill Murray has seen the new Ghostbusters movie starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon – which he has a cameo in – and apparently “loved it”. Read NME’s review of the reboot here.