Ivan Reitman has just announced that while he is still on board to produce ‘Ghostbusters 3’, he will no longer be directing the film. Last year it seemed that the project was finally ready to move forward. Even this year with the death of Harold Ramis,  the film was set to move forward. With Ramis’ death, Reitman had decided that stepping down from the director’s chair is really best for him.  While that news might give mixed results, he does stress that he still believes in the film itself. Still, this may be the final nail in the coffin for a film that many have already lost hope in.

In an interview with Deadline Reitman spoke extensively about ‘Ghostbusters 3’. First he addressed the rumors about the film’s development:

“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about ‘Ghostbusters’. I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters.”

Reitman reveals that he tried to lure Murray back for a third installment of the franchise by tempting his with not just one but two separate scripts:

“The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan helped them on it. It was a really good script, but then it became clear that Bill really didn’t want to do another Ghostbusters and that it was literally impossible to find him to speak to for the year or two we tried to get it going. When Bill finally…well, he never actually said no, but he never said yes, so there was no way to make that film. We decided to start over again, and I started working with Etan Cohen, with Dan lending a helping hand. Harold got sick about three years ago, and we kept hoping he would get better. I kept pushing forward on the Etan Cohen and we now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about.”

Reitman doesn’t say much on the script except that “it’s a version of ‘Ghostbusters’ that has the originals in a very minor role… 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..”

As for why he is stepping off the helmer’s chair, Reitman explains:

“When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things. I’d just finished directing Draft Day, which I’m really happy with and proud of. Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying. I just finally met with Amy and Doug Belgrad when I got back. I said I’d been thinking about it for weeks, that I’d rather just produce this Ghostbusters. I told them I thought I could help but let’s find a really good director and make it with him. So that’s what we’ve agreed will happen. I didn’t want all kinds of speculation about what happened with me, that is the real story.”

He is happy with how the film has held up over the years though:

“It was such an amazing time in my life 30 years ago, and I felt that way on the second film. With Harold no longer with us I couldn’t see it. It really seems to have resonated, and I think a lot of adults who saw it when they were younger have shown it to their kids and they seem to respond much the same way. Sony sees this as a huge worldwide opportunity, and it is eager to make the film.”

Finally, regarding when the production of the film may start, Rietman says:

 “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.”

What do you think about Reitman stepping down from ‘Ghostbusters 3‘ in favor of another director? Is this going to take away from the feel of the franchise he’s helped direct since the beginning or with an entirely new cast in the works is this a good change? Share your thoughts below!