It’s Over! : Bill Murray won’t be in Ghostbusters 3

A couple of weeks ago, “Ghostbusters 3″ actor/unofficial publicist Dan Aykroyd twisted the knife into the food-compactor when he revealed that Bill Murray still (he’s basically been letting anyone and everyone know that he’d be keener on doing a “Man Who Knew Too Little” sequel than another “Ghostbusters”) didn’t want in on the long-gestating sequel.

Aykroyd -who for years has been trying to convince his co-star to reunite with him, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson for a second sequel to the 1984 hit – said at the time that if Murray ultimately passes they may have to cast the part of Peter Venkman.

In the past couple of weeks, seems Murray has given Aykroyd a more definitive answer to his oft-asked “So, coming for a slide down the HQ pole again?” question. And it’s… : No.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Aykroyd says, rather conclusively, Murray won’t be doing the film. End of story.

Though we know he’s quietly kicking Carl Spackler’s ass on the inside, Aykroyd said he has no hard feelings (for Murray ruining the actor’s last-shot comeback movie) and understands why Murray doesn’t want in.

“He doesn’t want to be involved. He’s got six kids, houses all over America. He golfs in these tournaments where they pay him to turn up and have a laugh. He’s into this life and living it. I know we’d have a lot of fun [but] I can’t be mad at him. He’s a friend first, a colleague second. We have a deep personal relationship that transcends business and he doesn’t want to know.”

As a consequence of Murray’s non-involvement, “Ghostbusters 3″ is “in suspended animation”, said Aykroyd, who reprised his ‘Ghostbusters’ role for a split-second in 1994′s “Casper”. “The studio, the director Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis feel there must be a way to do it, but Bill Murray will not do the movie.”

Though Murray is definitely out, Aykroyd says Sony still wants to relaunch the “Ghostbusters” brand – but as yet nobody’s suggested an alternative to the ‘Bill Murray starring’ version of “Ghostbusters 3″.

“We’re not going to do a movie that exploits the franchise. The script has to be perfect. I’m the cheerleader, but I’m only one voice in the matter. It’s a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie, however there is still interest from the studio.”

If those last words are anything to go by, the current script by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg may be retooled now that Murray’s not involved. Initially, the character of Peter Venkman was going to be a Ghost in the film – meaning Murray wouldn’t have been required to be on set too much. It’s quite likely someone will take another pass at the script, writing out Venkman (cue ‘Grave’ scene) and bringing in some other ‘name’ to solidify the studio’s confidence in the project.

Aside from the aforesaid Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson, “Ghostbusters 3″ was expected to feature returning castmembers Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis. Ivan Reitman is attached to again direct.

Who else thinks they might just do away with the old cast, bring in some zany Apatow-alum’s and relaunch an in-name-only “Ghostbusters” reboot?