The return of Peter Venkman has never been so sweet. Beloved funnyman and chronic party-crasher Bill Murray will appear in the upcoming all-female reboot of the classic Ghostbusters franchise, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It’s difficult to overstate what a coup this is for director Paul Feig. While original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and the late Harold Ramis were all keen to reprise their characters in a third installment in the paranormal comedy franchise, Murray had long resisted entreaties, partially because of his transition to more serious roles like Lost in Translation, Broken Flowers and St. Vincent. According to CBC, Ramis and Aykroyd sent Murray a version of a Ghostbusters 3 script in 2011, only for Murray to run the things through a paper shredder and return the scraps to his former co-stars. That’s cold.
“I read one that Danny wrote that was crazy bizarre and too crazy to comprehend...It was kind of funny, but not well executed,” Murray toldVariety in 2014, attributing his disinterest to scattershot attempts at a third film. For Murray. the magic of the original films just wasn’t there. “Those guys, Danny and Harold, were at the top of their game,” he continued. “They were burning nitro at that moment. Unless you have a really clear vision, you’re always trying to recreate that.”
But with the new film, which stars featuring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, set to hit theaters on July 22, 2016, Murray’s decision to join the cast can be seen as something of a blessing for the reimagined team of ghost hunters. And if the beloved actor was once concerned about the specter of his early career as a funnyman, he’s obviously taken a page from the original Ghostbusters: He ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
Photos by Sony Pictures Entertainment