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‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot: Will Bill Murray Return in Smaller Role?

Paul Feig is working on an all-female reboot of “Ghostbusters” for Sony Pictures, but that doesn’t mean the new film won’t include Bill Murray. According to insiders, the studio would jump at the chance to sign Murray for either a cameo or supporting role. The real challenge will be convincing Murray, who for years has resisted making another “Ghostbusters.”

“The studio gets really crazy about it,” Murray told Variety during a sit-down interview for this week’s cover story. “What they really want to do is resurrect a franchise. The first one was a spectacular movie, one of the greatest movies. The second one was”–Murray makes an unimpressed sound. “It had some moves. It had a few good scenes in it.”

Murray is one of the few actors in Hollywood who can’t be bought. “People say, ‘Bill, you could get so rich!'” Murray says. “I’m ok.” He looks down at his red pants and plastic watch. “I don’t look it, but I’m doing ok.”

Over the years, Murray has looked over several treatments for a third film. “I read one that Danny [Aykroyd] wrote that was crazy bizarre and too crazy to comprehend,” Murray says. And then there was the script where his character died and returned as a ghost. “It was kind of funny, but not well executed,” Murray says. Sony was interested, and director Ivan Reitman (who made the first two films) tried to get Murray onboard. “It was clear he just didn’t want to engage,” Reitman says. “His head was in a whole different place as an actor. He wanted to do smaller roles where he didn’t have to take on the weight of the lead.”

Aykroyd recalls a similar conversation with Murray. “He said to me, ‘I’ve done the character,'” Aykroyd says. “I totally understand. The studio knew in their hearts that without Murray there may be nothing there. Plus, ‘Ghostbusters’ needs a shot of youth. It’s got to be handed to the new generation.”

Still, that doesn’t mean Murray couldn’t be there to pass the baton. During his interview with Variety, Murray left the door open–by a hair–indicating that he’d consider another “Ghostbusters” if the idea felt fresh. Feig and Katie Dippold (“The Heat”) are now working on the new script. “Those guys, Danny and Harold [Ramis], were at the top of their game,” Murray says. “They were burning nitro at that moment. Unless you have a really clear vision, you’re always trying to recreate that.”

Murray says he’s happy right now with the trajectory of his “Ghostbusters”-free career. He’s starring in the Weinstein Co.’s “St. Vincent,” and he’s wrapped a new Cameron Crowe film (out in May 2015) and the Barry Levinson comedy “Rock the Kasbah.” “I got like three in a row that could be really great,” Murray says. “I could be sitting in a different chair in a year. If all three of these are as good as I think they are, it could be easy. I won’t have to think about ‘Ghostbusters’ all the time.”

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