Columbia Wants Reitman Off Ghostbusters 3 ?

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Vulture is reporting that Sony’s Columbia Pictures is looking to make Ghostbusters 3 without the first two films’ writer-producer, Ivan Reitman. The site says:

The studio’s strategy is to revitalize the franchise for next year by having the original ‘busters train a dramatically younger crew in Ghostbusters III, while a correspondingly younger director handles things behind the camera. However, Reitman’s old contract — made at the height of his and Ovitz’s powers — still gives him exceptional creative control over the series, including director approval.

The site adds that, along with Reitman, original stars Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis have deals in which they can single-handedly veto and kill the project if they don’t like something. The studio would like to have the actors on board, however.

A second draft of the script by “The Office” writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky will be turned in in May.

According to Vulture, Columbia had hoped that Reitman’s new project would conflict with Ghostbusters 3, but Reitman thinks he can do both. He’ll next direct the comedy Friends with Benefits, starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. It’s a sex comedy wherein two friends in a purely physical relationship begin to develop true romantic feelings for one another. That movie is scheduled to hit theaters on January 7, 2011.

Would Sony still go ahead with Reitman to get a tentpole into theaters in 2011? We should soon find out.

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