Columbia Pictures is getting serious about scaring up a new installment of its blockbuster “Ghostbusters” franchise.
The studio has set “The Office” co-exec producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky to write a script for a film designed to resuscitate the franchise.
While original castmembers Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson could return, it’s believed that the film will pass the torch to a new group of ghost chasers.
Studio would not comment on the development and has been mum on recent rumors that there was interest in making a new installment of the franchise.
The scribes just wrote “Year One,” a comedy that was directed by Ramis. Ramis and Aykroyd wrote the first two installments of the films. Ivan Reitman directed both the 1984 original and its 1989 sequel. The close proximity between the writers and original Ghostbuster Ramis is evidence that the principals involved in the original have sparked to the idea of a franchise resuscitation.
“Ghostbusters” was Columbia’s highest grossing film ever, until it was beaten by “Men in Black” and then “Spider-Man.” An attempt to make a third installment of the franchise was stymied in the dealmaking stage. Sources said that so much gross was pledged to the participants that it was next to impossible for the studio to make any money on a third installment.
That won’t be an issue if the principal cast is comprised of newcomers. Sony now follows a strict policy of not allowing more than 25% of first dollar gross out the door.
The scribes, who are Emmy nominated for their work on “The Office,” just set up another picture at Columbia, selling their spec script “Bad Teacher” to the studio for Jimmy Miller to produce.
WMA reps them.