Columbia calls up new 'Ghostbusters'
Eisenberg, Stupnitsky to write reunion film
By MICHAEL FLEMINGColumbia 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 bring back together the original cast of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.
Studio would not comment on the development and has been mum on recent rumors that there was interest in making another installment of the franchise.
The scribes just wrote "Year One," a comedy that was directed by Ramis. Ramis with Aykroyd wrote the first two installments of the films. Ivan Reitman directed both the 1984 original and the sequel that was released in 1989. The close proximity between the writers and original Ghostbuster Ramis is evidence that the ghost chasers have sparked to the idea of returning.
"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 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.
No deals will be made with the original cast until the script is ready, but the gross percentage will certainly be an issue. Sony has a standing policy not to allow 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.