The third Ghostbusters film just lost its legendary director

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Dec 6, 2019, 2:51 PM EST (Updated)

Like it or not, Ghostbusters 3 is still moving forward, but now it'll be doing it without director Ivan Reitman.

Reitman, who directed the first two Ghostbusters films as well as comedy classics like Meatballs and Stripes, has been attached as a director to the long-gestating third installment in the franchise for years, but recently told Deadline that he's decided to move to a producer-only role after the death of his friend and Ghostbusters actor and writer Harold Ramis, who passed away last month after a long illness.

Reitman's Deadline remarks (we're not including all of them here, but they're all very much worth reading) feature a number of Ghostbusters 3 development details, including the uncertainty surrounding Bill Murray's involvement and the decision to make a new group of Ghostbusters the stars of the show, but the main point seems to be that, with Ramis gone, Reitman simply doesn't want to be in the director's chair this time around.

“It was such an amazing time in my life 30 years ago, and I felt that way on the second film,” Reitman said. “With Harold no longer with us I couldn’t see it.”

Reitman will be staying somewhat close to the project, though, as he works to help Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal find another director to helm the project. Despite his decision to back out of the directing role, Reitman sounds optimistic about what's next for Ghostbusters 3.

“I’m not going to say how many Ghostbusters there will be in the new cast, but we are determined to retain the spirit of the original film, and I am pleased that all of this seems to have happened organically,” he said. “I’m hoping we can get started by the fall, set in New York, but given the logistics and the stuff that happens, the beginning of 2015 seems more likely.”

Pascal also spoke on Reitman's decision, and sounded very supportive.

“We totally understood,” she said. “He was thinking he might feel that way when Harold died, and then came back to us and confirmed it, that while he was excited to return and make the movie as producer, but did not feel he wanted to direct the movie. We are delighted to work with Ivan on this movie in that capacity. We love him, and he’s going to continue to play an important role. We’re very anxious to get the movie started.”

So, it looks like it's still very much full steam ahead for Ghostbusters 3, even with Reitman changing roles. So, now that the film's director's chair is empty, who will step in?

(Via Deadline)