Oh, Venkman. Oh, Venkman, we're sorry...
It's been floating around the interweb for a while now - mainly because Sigourney Weaver let the cat out of the bag when she was doing Avatar press duty back in December - but Bill Murray has confirmed that he will be appearing as the glorious sleazeball, Dr. Peter Venkman, in Ghostbusters 3. And yes, Virginia, he will be a ghost.
I'll come back in Ghostbusters 3 only if I get to be a ghost, Murray told The Mail On Sunday in an exclusive interview. I said to them, 'I'll do it if you kill me off in the first reel.' So now they are going to have me as a ghost in the film.
Now, bear in mind that this interview probably took place in October, when Murray was in the UK for Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a lot could have changed in Ghostbusters 3 World since then. But if we were a gambling website, we'd be Bet365.com. And we'd also put money on the story proving true.
On one level, we're disappointed. We've never been huge subscribers to the school of thought that Ghostbusters 3 needs a new, young, sexy team of hot comedians (even if the likes of Paul Rudd do end up wielding the proton chargers) to replace the Murray-Aykroyd-Ramis-Hudson team. And this would seem to indicate that Murray will only be making an extended cameo in the film, while the New Ghostbusters get the lion's share of screentime.
However if Ghost Venkman sticks around, and becomes an integral part of the film's storyline, this could be comedic gold. In life, Venkman was an incorrigible hounddog with an eye for the ladies, a world-weary quip for every occasion, and a that'll doattitude that set him apart from a thousand cookie-cutter heroes. In death, there'll be no limitations to what Venkman can say or do. If he's allowed to interact fully with the other Ghostbusters - old and new - then this could be an inspired decision for Murray. After all, he garnered some of the best notices of his career as Zombie Bill Murray (kinda) in Zombieland. So why not tackle Ghost Bill Murray?