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Ghostbusters 3: Director Ivan Reitman leaves after Harold Ramis's death

Reitman said Ramis's death made him 'think about a lot of things'

Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman has said he will not direct the forthcoming third installment in the film franchise, following the death of original star Harold Ramis.

Reitman, who directed the first two films, said that the death of his close friend and colleague had influenced his decision.

“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,” he told Deadline.

Instead, Reitman will remain on board as producer and help co-producer Amy Pascal to find a new director to reboot the popular series.

Reitman has been involved in the planned sequel for years, during which time he was part of an unsuccessful campaign to get Bill Murray to reprise his original role as Dr Peter Venkman.

Alluding to talks with the actor, Reitman said that Murray “never actually said no, but he never said yes”. He confirmed that the new film “has the originals in a very minor role”.


Reitman worked on the script for the third movie alongside Ethan Cohen and Dan Aykroyd.

“We now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about,” he said.

But Reitman said that he had decided to take a step back after the death of Ramis, who was perhaps best known as the bespectacled science nerd Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters.

“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.”

Reitman said that Sony have already drawn up a shortlist of possible directors and that after a decision has been made they will begin finding a new cast for the film.

Sony hopes to start filming Ghostbusters 3 in New York in early 2015.