2005_11_ghostbusters1.jpgThis month InFocus has a good interview with Harold Ramis, the polymath actor/writer/comedian behind Caddyshack, Stripes, and our favorite NYC movie of all time, Ghostbusters, this side of anything involving the subway. Ramis discussed ideas for Ghostbusters 3, the sequel that never got made, where Peter, Ray and Egon would go to hell.

He does tend to think big [referring to Dan Ackroyd's idea that hell would extremely special effect driven] when he’s writing these, doesn’t he?

Oh, he’s amazing. [laughs] But my thought was that what works so well about the first two is the mundane-ness of it all. So my notion was that Hell exists simultaneously, and in the same place as our consensus reality. But it’s like a film shutter — it’s the darkness between the 24 frames. When we’re blinking on, they’re off — so we blink alternately with this other reality, which is Hell.

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.

It sort of makes me sad that I’m not gonna see that.
Yeah. 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.

I’ve read that you had a next-gen cast in mind. If you were casting those roles today, who would play the younger Ghostbusters?
Well, we had Chris Farley as one of them, Ben Stiller as one of them…. It was a while ago.

We predict that in about five years, Ramis is going to actually make this movie, and Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn, and Horatio Sanz (or Rainn Wilson from The Office or Ethan Suplee from My Name is Earl) are going to star in it. Maybe we should start a petition urging him to get started now. [For an absurd amount of information about Ghostbusters, check out this Wikipedia page.]

But let's take Ramis's theory into the five boroughs...would the idea be to leave Manhattan for Staten Island? Or would Marty Markowitz lobby to have people leave Brooklyn for Manhattan? Or moving from the hell of downtown to a heaven of Inwood? And for the record, it's not ironic when we cross the George Washington Bridge to get to New Jersey.