Yesterday, Dan Aykroyd revealed even more details about a third Ghostbusters movie. Before we get into this, I do want to preface this entire opinion by making clear how big of an admirer I am of Dan Aykroyd's work. The 'SNL' alum and Oscar nominee has been a part of some of the greatest works of comedy over the last 36 years and in no way am I suggesting anything other than that. But, my God , this 'Ghostbusters III' nonsense needs to end. Oh, sure, as the story that broke yesterday proves, there's buzz. So much buzz that Bill Murray can't do an interview without being asked about this f*cking movie. So, yes, people do like to read about the progress of 'Ghostbusters III', that's true. And, if this film were going to be anything like the original, yes, people would want to see that. But, no one really wants to see the movie that's being discussed ... because it sounds absolutely awful.
The average human being, when they first hear about 'Ghostbusters III,' reacts somewhere along the lines of, "Oh! I loved 'Ghostbusters,' I'm excited about this news." But here's the problem: when people read the actual details of Aykroyd's script, the excitement is quickly replaced by, at best, indifference and, at worst, horrification. Let's take yesterday's news for example: Aykroyd revealed that his beloved character, Ray Stantz, is now, "blind in one eye and can't drive the Cadillac," and, "he's got a bad knee and can't pick up the pack." Who, exactly, wants to see this? Ray Stantz is the heart of the Ghostbusters! Who would want to pay money to see him now partially blind with a bad knee? Good lord that sounds depressing. Oh, he wasn't done, Aykroyd has plans for Egon Spengler, too, "Egon is too large to get into the harness." Nice. That's comedy gold. Does Winston Zeddemore have gout? Because that's exactly something else I would never want to see.
Nobody wants to see debilitated or, even worse, dead Ghostbusters (or new Ghostbusters, hold that thought) -- oh, yeah, that was Aykroyd's other idea: that the Ghostbusters would be dead and in some version of hell. People want to see the vibrant characters that they loved in 1984, still cracking wise and still busting ghosts.
Here's what gets lost in all of the 'Ghostbusters III' talk: 'Ghostbusters II' was awful. What made the original 'Ghostbusters' so good was that it was, in a weird way, grounded in reality. It was about three scientists – Peter, Ray and Egon – who lost their grant at Columbia so, based on some strange paranormal activity they discovered, went into business for themselves. It was a rather adult story (Ray even had to take out a third mortgage on his house to fund the business) that delved into biblical prophesies, demon possessions, and just happened to include a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man stomping through New York City.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was absurd, but, in the context of the film, it made 100 percent sense why he was there. 'Ghostbusters II' dismissed everything that made the first 'Ghostbusters' a great film and, instead, gave us a movie about slime and the Ghostbusters walking the Statue of Liberty through New York City – which, too, is absurd, only it also made zero percent sense. All of the early indications about 'Ghostbusters III' is that Aykroyd wants to make it even more absurd – drifting even further away from what made the first film a classic. Only this time, giving us decrepit versions of the characters we love. Please, no.
From the earliest drafts of 'Ghostbusters III,' the plan has always been to "pass the torch" on to a new team of hip, young Ghostbusters. Oh, puh-leeze. In cinematic history, when has this ever worked? Hey, remember how much we loved Shia LaBeouf as Mutt in the fourth Indiana Jones movie? Yeah, well, get ready for four Mutts. Why does a torch have to be passed? Who out there is demanding that the Ghostbusters pass a torch? Why can't we just get a movie abut the four guys that we loved in 1984? I really think Aykroyd is underestimating how much we really just want to see them again. A little older, sure, but not broken down old men that have to pass a f*cking torch.
Look, I'm not against a well-done third Ghostbusters movie. Honestly, I really don't think Bill Murray is against the idea, either. But, if you're Murray, and you've used the last ten years building up an unprecedented amount of indie cred, would you risk all of that to star in the movie that Aykroyd describes? Murray would never come out and directly say that he doesn't like the script, considering that his friend wrote It – so the aloof, "I haven't read it yet" approach is probably for the best. But, I'll say it: 'Ghostbusters III' sounds like a box-office bomb in the making. Ray Stantz may be the heart of the Ghostbusters, but you absolutely cannot do a Ghostbusters movie without Bill Murray. Aykroyd claims that the concept is, "bigger than any one component." Bullsh*t.
So, either give us one more adventure out of these guys on par with the original – and none of this "blind in one eye" nonsense or handing the proton packs off to a hip new team – or, for the love of God, let the Ghostbusters rest in peace.
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