Let’s face it, a Ghostbusters movie with Bill Murray in it is automatically a better Ghostbusters movie, particularly since the franchise can’t contractually move forward without his consent. But since any movie with Bill Murray is just better, it’s hard not to be excited by the legend’s latest unafraid talk about bustin’ some ghosts.
While speaking to IndieWire in Cannes about his starring role in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, Murray spoke candidly about his love/hate relationship with Sony’s Ghostbusters franchise. After 1989’s Ghostbusters II, Murray, aka Dr. Peter Venkman, famously declined to participate in any further franchise endeavors, thus preventing another Ghostbusters film from being made.
That changed in 2016 with the Paul Feig’s rebooted Ghostbusters, where he had a cameo, namely because he wanted to support his friends, fellow-SNL alums Kate McKinnon and Melissa McCarthy.
“I was in that movie just because they asked me, and I knew if I said no, I was saying I didn’t support that movie. I felt like, ‘OK, I’m going to support them because I support them as people,’” said Murray, before delivering the zinger, “So I did that one and I would do this next one.”
The next one, of course, is the semi-secretive reboot coming from director Jason Reitman, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, who also directed Murray in Meatballs, his first starring role in a feature film back in 1979. So yeah, relationships with people matter to Murray, more so than relationships with corporate entities
“The relationship you have with those people as collaborators is not necessarily the relationship I have with Sony,” said Murray while talking about the original Ghostbusters. “For years, they said, ‘We can’t make another Ghostbusters because Bill Murray won’t change the deal he made in 1984.’ Well, no, I never did. And you know what? They made the movie. You’re the new guys, I’m the old guy. It was good enough for the other people so it’s going to have to be good enough for you.”
While mentioning his skepticism towards corporate filmmaking, Murray went on to relay a story about filming Columbia Pictures' original Ghostbusters, when a bunch of suits were invited to the set of the 1984 film.
“All of a sudden, there were like 25 guys from Coca-Cola hanging around in suits. You can smell people who don’t belong on sets, right? You can just smell ‘em. You can feel that there’s weird energies,” said Murray. “You can almost smell the enemy,” he said, “because the enemy is distraction.”
So what did he do? He went over and started talking to them, distracting production for as long as it took for the suits to realize they were holding up a very expensive shoot. "And they left, and never came back,” said Murray.
Whether or not Mr. Murray comes back yet again, we shall see. But it doesn't sound like he's against the idea.
Ghostbusters, directed by Jason Reitman, starring Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, IT) and Mckenna Grace (Annabelle Comes Home, Captain Marvel), and foregoing 2016’s story, opens wide July 10, 2020. Are you afraid?