Ghostbusters III: Hellbent is an unused script written by Dan Aykroyd and Tom Davis. [1]

It is not to be confused with the cancelled Ghostbusters III or the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Development

Note: Approximately between 1993 to 2007, this version of Ghostbusters III was in development and such then in 2008, the Eisenber-Stupnitsky drafts began.

In the August 1993 issue of Playboy, there was an interview with Dan Aykroyd on the set of "Coneheads" and a third Ghostbusters movie came up. Aykroyd replied, "The one I don't think we'll necessarily further exploit is Ghostbusters. It looks like that's about had its run" but then hinted, "If I could get that team together, it would be a real dream, because I think there's a great story to be told. But it won't be for a while."[2]

Between February 7 to the 12, 1994, Dan Aykroyd appeared on WWOR Channel 9 News. When asked about doing another movie, he responded he had a story in mind he was thinking about but a factor was getting the others together again.[3]

In 1996, Harold Ramis mentioned Aykroyd was writing a script with "a whole new, younger, and probably much more handsome team," and likened it to 'Ghostbusters: The Next Generation'.[4][5]

On September 10, 1996, Aykroyd confirmed he finished the first draft, meeting with Sony, he spoke with Chris Farley about a part he is writing for him, and thinks Will Smith would make another great Ghostbuster.[6]

On September 15, 1996, Aykroyd stated he was working on the second draft, Ramis was in negotiations to reprise Egon, Murray and Weaver passed, and a role was being written for Chris Farley.[7]

On November 2, 1996, it was rumored Oscar, now an adult, would have a large role.[8]

On April 15, 1997, it was reported Aykroyd and Ramis wrote an outline that included a new team. Aykroyd hinted he would love to see Chris Farley in it.[9]

On November 9, 1997, it was reported Aykroyd offered Murray a five minute walk in role but was refused so he started working on a draft without Peter.[10]

On January 5, 1998, John Calley, then the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment, reportedly had a Ghostbusters sequel among his plans for the studio.[11][12]

On January 19, 1998, it was reported the cast demanded more than 40 percent of Sony's receipts but everyone except Bill Murray all backed down to a more reasonable price and he wanted a cut of the gross not to star in the movie.[13]

On February 10, 1998, Aykroyd commented he and Harold Ramis had a treatment but admitted Bill Murray and Ivan Reitman weren't interested.[14]

On March 28, 1998, it was rumored Will Smith was in talks to star in the movie.[15]

On April 14, 1998, it was reported the first draft was a "disaster," a new writer was brought in to work with Aykroyd and Ramis in late March, Murray was reconsidering, and it was unlikely Weaver would return.[16]

On July 9, 1998, it was reported the plot concerned Egon and Ray's attempts to continue the business after Peter leaves with Dana, and that the main villain might be Hades, the Greek god of the underworld.[17][18]

On August 14, 1998, it was reported Aykroyd and Ramis were working on a screenplay.[19]

On September 1, 1998, it was rumored George Fenton would score.[20]

On October 25, 1998, it was rumored Aykroyd spoke with Jason Alexander about a role as a Ghostbuster and he also has Jeff Daniels in mind.[21]

On January 27, 1999, Ramis confirmed Aykroyd was writing a sequel, done two versions of it, but likened it more to a hobby. He speculated a new movie would have any original cast members "as mentors to a new, young cast."[22][citation needed]

On February 19, 1999, Ramis confirmed he talked to Aykroyd about it on a regular basis and the studio was interested but admitted Murray was very elusive and Reitman was "kind of standing on the side." He revealed the 'dream plan' was for him and Aykroyd to produce it while he would direct it and the story would be about the Ghostbusters recruiting a new team.[23]

On February 24, 1999, it was reported in a Chicago radio show the day before, Ramis said they wouldn't do it without Murray and Murray "said that he would only do the movie if his character was killed off in the first two minutes of the movie. That way he could play a ghost in the remainder of the movie."[24]

On June 18, 1999, in Entertainment Weekly, Reitman revealed Aykroyd went to his house 3 weeks ago to talk about the movie and the idea would Ramis directing it and Reitman producing.[25]

On July 30, 1999, Reitman commented he would probably only produce the movie.[26]

On November 12, 1999, Aykroyd commented the chances of the movie seemed slim and attributed it to Sony trying to make too many "bargains".[27][28]

On May 9, 2000, in Jam! section of the Calgary Sun, Reitman commented he couldn't solve script problems and was uncertain about making deals with Sony and the cast.[29]

On November 17, 2005, Ramis mentioned they had Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and Ben Stiller in mind to play three of the new Ghostbusters.[30]

On February 1, 2007, Aykroyd mentioned they were looking into making the story into a CG animated movie.[31]

On December 4, 2012, Aykroyd displayed interest in using the Manhellttan idea for a fifth or sixth Ghostbusters movie. [32]

On April 28, 2016, Aykroyd wrote in his "The Ghost Writer" piece in the June 2016 issue of Empire that he wanted Alec Baldwin to play the villain. [33]

Plot

During the 1990s, Aykroyd wrote a script for a potential third film in the series. The concept reportedly would have the characters transported to an alternate version of Manhattan called Manhellton, where the people and places are hellish versions of their originals and they meet the devil.

Dan Aykroyd, as quoted by Hollywood Online on February 10, 1998:

"The concept is that there's a positive image of life and there's a negative image of life. Hell is not some distant place, far away from this dimension or realm. Hell is right next door. It's like those old tintype photos where you turn them one way and they look positive, then you just flick them slightly and they look negative. That's our concept. Given the right technology you could flip the switch and all of a sudden the positive that we see in this room suddenly becomes negative. It's kind of neat."
"We're going to set it in New York and do a Hades version of New York, very close to life in the city as we perceive it now. You look down at the river and there's a ferry of Wall Street commuters, except they're being shoved off with pitchforks into the river which is now boiling blood. Flick it back and it's just the Brooklyn Bridge and just a normal traffic jam."
1989 converted Cadillac, Ecto-12[34]

Taken from Daily Sci-Fi "Movies: Bustin' Out" March 4, 1999

"It's the early 21st century, and they're retired. Hell gets filled up, and all other damned souls begin to roam the earth, unleashing a poltergeist plague. So, they come out of retirement...passing the torch to some younger, slimmer guys."[35]

Review comments from ProtonCharging.com:

"After all these years, Aykroyd has made Ghostbusters a full blown corporation, with dozens of employees, including mechanics to look after the fleet of converted ambulances; one scene echoes the shot of the Ecto-1 driving across the Brooklyn Bridge, only this time there's a whole line. They've also built themselves the Ecto-50, a converted truck with (if I understand correctly) its own Containment Unit. Winston is in fact a doctor, but it doesn't feel quite right, as if the normal guy we identified with was now indistinguishable from the rest of the team - having him working on his degrees would have been cool, while still keeping him a tad more down to earth than Egon and Ray. Venkman is noticeably absent for most of the movie, a concession I'm assuming to the fact that Murray didn't want to do another GB installment." [36]

Taken from MovieChronicles.com:

“We go to the hell side of Manhattan, downtown, Foley Square. It’s all where the cops are–they are all blue minotaurs. Central Park is this huge peat mine with green demons there, surrounded by black onyx thousand-foot high apartment buildings with classic red devils, very wealthy. We go and visit a Donald Trump-like character who is Mr. Sifler. Luke Sifler. Lu-cifer. So we meet the devil inside” [37]

Taken from IGN FilmForce July 30, 2002:

"Bill Murray/Peter Venkman doesn't appear until the end and then it's only a cameo (he's portrayed in a way you've never seen before, which was the script's most memorable gag). There's also no sign of Sigourney Weaver's character Dana nor is there any mention of her kid Oscar (remember him?), who you'd think might be included among these new, younger GBs given his importance in the last film."
"Ray (Aykroyd), Egon (Ramis), and Winston (Ernie Hudson, now referred to as "Dr. Zeddemore") have prominent supporting roles here. (Louis Tully and Janine have cameos.)"[38]

Taken from In Focus November 2005

"So all the Ghostbusters would need to do [to go to Hell] is take themselves "out of phase" one beat. And we create a device to do it, and it's in a warehouse in Brooklyn. And when we step out of the chamber, it looks just like New York -- but it's Hell. Everything's gridlocked -- no cars are moving, no vehicles are moving, and all the drivers are swearing at each other in different foreign languages. No two people speak the same language. It's all the worst things about modern urban life, just magnified."
"And Heaven was across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey -- which was irony. The Ghostbusters had to make this journey from lower Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge."
"There was a good structure -- because some of us were in Hell, while some of us were in the real world, tracking our journey through Hell. We had new Ghostbusters and old Ghostbusters."[39]

Taken from CISN Country 103.9 with Dan Aykroyd February 1, 2007

"And if you can basically, build a phase - an interdimensional phase system, so that you can go from one dimension to another, we've succeeded in doing that, and we go to the Hell side of Manhattan."[40]

Cast

Script Writer

Characters

New Ghostbusters

  • Franky
    • a body-pierced, tough New Jersey punker [41]
  • Lovell
    • a dread-locked dude. [42]
  • Moira
    • a pretty but uptight gymnast and science grad. [43]
  • Carla
    • a Latino beauty. [44]
  • Nat
    • a prepubescent genius whose powerful brain has made his head abnormally large. Despite his youth, Nat serves as a supervisor for the new GBs. That's all we ever get to know about these characters. [45]

Returning Ghostbusters

Villain

  • Mr. Luke Sifler, the Lord of Hell. [51] [52]

Comic Book Pitch

In the 2010s, Tristan Jones pitched a comic book adaptation to IDW Publishing several times but it was not greenlit.[53][54] IDW discussed the pitch with Sony but several factors like the passing of Harold Ramis and Sony and Ghost Corps' new priorities sidelined it.[55]

See Also

Trivia

  • On the Regular Cover of Ghostbusters International #11, there are several references to Hellbent:
    • In the bottom right, Luke Sifler is referenced.
    • In the bottom center, Manhellton is referenced.
    • The hellish landscape is an homage to the concept outlined in the Hellbent script.

External Links

References

  1. Esquire Dan Aykroyd Interview 12/4/12
  2. Sheff, David (August 1993). Playboy, p. 54. Playboy Enterprises, Beverly Hills, CA USA. Dan Aykroyd says: "If I could get that team together, it would be a real dream, because I think there's a great story to be told. But it won't be for a while."
  3. Spook Central recording of WWOR Channel 9 News February 1994 Dan Aykroyd says: "Ah, it might happen. I've got a story in mind that I'm thinking about. So, we'll see, we'll see. It's certainly something I always wanted to do. It's just getting the other players together."
  4. Vulture "A Roundup of Every Ghostbusters 3 Rumor From the Past 25 Years" 8/7/14 of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Busters May Be Back" circa 1996
  5. Ghostbusters Homepage archive of Milwaukee Journal Sentinal "Busters May Be Back! Harold Ramis says: "Dan Aykroyd would love to do one. He has approached all of us about it. Dan's even writing a script that has the old Ghostbusters training a whole new younger, and probably much more handsome team. I sort of think of it as 'Ghostbusters - The Next Generation."
  6. Ghostbusters Homepage archive of Vancouver Province Showcase 9/10/96 Dan Aykroyd says: "I've completed one draft of the script, and Sony definitly wants to make the movie, and so do I. I would want to do it with Harold (Ramis). We have been discussing it and are going back into meetings now. They (Ivan Reitman and Bill Murray) want to concentrate on other things. I can definitly see Chris Farley stepping into the cast, he'd make a great ghostbuster,and so would Will Smith. I've already talked to Chris about the casting and have told him I'll be drafting the part for him."
  7. Corona Productions Online 9/15/96
  8. Corona Productions Online 11/2/1996
  9. Ghostbusters Homepage archive of USA Today 4/15/97
  10. Ghostbusters Homepage archive of The Sunday Mirror 11/9/97
  11. Vulture "A Roundup of Every Ghostbusters 3 Rumor From the Past 25 Years" 8/7/14 of TIME Magazine circa 1998
  12. Time Magazine 1/5/98 Line reads: "His plans also include another Ghostbusters installment and movie versions of such TV shows as I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched."
  13. Ghostbusters Homepage archive of Newsweek Magazine 1/19/98
  14. Hollywood Online "Dan Aykroyd Turns From "Blues Brothers" to "Ghostbusters"" 2/10/98 Dan Aykroyd says: "We got a treatment. Harold and I have a treatment that we really like, and it's just a matter of writing it now. We're, probably, gonna try to do that this Summer. Billy doesn't want to do it, and neither does Ivan Reitman, but the concept is still strong and I think Harold and I can pull it off if we have the time."
  15. Ghostbusters Homepage archive of MJI's Big Picture 3/28/98
  16. Corona Productions Online 4/14/98 Line reads: "We've been told by our source that Aykroyd's first draft of Ghostbusters 3 (set in a Hellish NYC) was a "total disaster." In late March an unnamed screenwriter was brought in to work with Ackroyd and Ramis to make the script work. Bill Murray may re-consider starring in the flick depending on the script's quality, but it's unlikely Weaver will reprise her character...unless they offer her a lot of money."
  17. Vulture "A Roundup of Every Ghostbusters 3 Rumor From the Past 25 Years" 8/7/14 of Cinescape circa Summer 1998
  18. Cinescape 7/9/98 Line reads: "The film is rumored to follow Raymond Stantz (Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Ramis) as they cope with Peter Venkman's (Bill Murray) departure with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), plus their attempt to stay employed while fighting a new otherworldly entity, possibly Hades, the Greek god of the underworld."
  19. Spook Central Facebook recording of Sci-Fi Channel's "Sci-Fi Entertainment" 8/14/98
  20. Corona Productions Online 9/1/98 Line reads: "Our scooper learned from composer George Fenton that "he's taken a handshake agreement to score the project." Whether that means things are moving along or not remains to be seen."
  21. Corona Productions Online 10/25/98 Line reads: "Some interesting casting rumors: "Recently news I have overheard is that Dan Aykroyd spoke with former 'Seinfeld' star Jason Alexander, and he asked Jason to maybe consider playing a role AS a ghostbuster in this upcoming film sequel. Dan also mentioned that he is thinking about having Jeff Daniels and a peewee ghostbuster Will Smith step into the cast lineup."
  22. Spook Central Archived Ghostbusters III - Cinescape "Ramis Debunks 'GB3' Rumors" 1/27/99
  23. Entertainment Weekly "Who You Gonna Cast?" 2/19/99 Harold Ramis says: "Dan (Akroyd) and I talk about it on a regular basis, and he's done some writing. The studio would love to make a deal, but they're not sure who to make the deal with, since Bill (Murray) is very elusive, and (original director) Ivan Reitman is kind of standing on the side. The dream plan is that Danny and I would produce it, I would direct it, and we would recruit some newer, younger, popular Ghostbusters to star."
  24. Corona Productions Online 2/24/99 Line reads: "Yesterday morning Harold Ramis was interviewed on a local radio morning show in Chicago. When asked if he would ever do another Ghostbusters he said that Aykroyd and him would only do it if Bill Murray was involved. He said that they have apporoched Murray and he said that he would only do the movie if his character was killed off in the first two minutes of the movie. That way he could play a ghost in the remainder of the movie. Harold Ramis pretty much left it at that, not saying whether or not he would consider working that into a script."
  25. Corona Productions Online 6/18/99 Line reads: "He said 'Dan Aykroyd came to his house three weeks ago to talk about the idea.' Harold Ramis wants to direct and Ivan would produce. They haven't really figured things out, but it sounds like a definite possibility..."
  26. Sony Ghostbusters.com Interview 7/30/99 Ivan Reitman says: "We have talked about doing "Ghostbusters 3", but nothing is set. If we were to go ahead with the project, I would probably produce the film, not direct it."
  27. Spook Central Facebook recording of Access Hollywood 11/12/99 Dan Aykroyd says: "Because they're trying to get bargains, they're trying to get the next Blair Witch. But, you know, sometimes you have to seed for the big harvest to come in."
  28. Corona Productions Online 11/12/99 Dan Aykroyd says: "It doesn't look like it's going to happen for the same reason they aren't going to make Men In Black 2. The above the line cost is way too much for the studio to see it to be economically feasible. It's a shame too because everyone wants to do it. Even Bill Murray said he would work a few days on it. I did finish a script. Harold Ramis liked parts of it. Ivan Reitman liked parts of it too. There's definitely an interest from all of the original parties invovled to make it. But the studio just doesn't want to take the risk. My personal opinion is when you look at the success of the other two..well, there would be plenty of money to go around for everyone. So unfortunately, it looks like its just not going to happen based on the studio's feelings, not from anyone else."
  29. Corona Productions Online 5/9/00 Ivan Reitman says: "There will be no Ghostbusters 3. There's an audience for one, but I can't solve all the script problems. I'm also not certain I could make the deals with the stars and the studio...I read those stories...but people should remember that Bill marches to his own drummer and he changes his tune an awful lot."
  30. Ain't It Cool News 11/17/2005 Harold Ramis says: " And this was so long ago, we were thinking Chris Rock, Chris Farley and Ben Stiller taking over. That would have worked."
  31. CISN Country 103.9 with Dan Aykroyd 2/1/07 Dan Aykroyd says: " Now it won't happen as a live action 'cause Billy will not come onto the live stage anymore for it, but he will voice his part, and we're looking to do it as a CGI animated project."
  32. Esquire Dan Aykroyd Interview 12/4/12
  33. Aykroyd, Dan (2016). Empire Magazine, p. 69. Bauer Media Group, Harborough, Leicester, United Kingdom, ISBN 1234567890. Dan Aykroyd writes: "The villain was based on Donald Trump. I wanted Alec Baldwin to play him, the devil in a thousand-foot tall black onyx tower overlooking the hell-pit mine of Central Park."
  34. Spook Central Archived Ghostbusters III News
  35. Spook Central Archived Ghostbusters III News
  36. Proton Charging Ghostbusters 3
  37. Ghostbusters Movie Chronicles
  38. IGN Film Force "The Stax Report: Script Review of Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent!" 7/30/02
  39. In Focus Magazine 11/2005
  40. CISN Country 103.9 with Dan Aykroyd 2/1/07
  41. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  42. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  43. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  44. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  45. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  46. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  47. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  48. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  49. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  50. http://movies.ign.com/articles/366/366119p1.html
  51. http://ghostbusters.moviechronicles.com/
  52. http://www.ectozone.com/gbtimeline/03.php
  53. Ghostbusters Fans Tristan Jones post 3/12/16Tristan Jones says: "Tried pitching it, several times. Got pretty much ignored at every turn."
  54. Ghostbusters Fans Tristan Jones post 3/13/16Tristan Jones says: "I'd love to do it, but I tried pitching it so many times that I'm not doing it again."
  55. Ghostbusters Fans Tom Waltz post 3/14/16Tom Waltz says: "We've discussed it a bit with Sony in the past but unforeseen circumstances (not the least of which was Mr. Ramis' tragic death) sidelined the idea as newer priorities within the brand (both at Sony and IDW) took center stage."


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