Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

Catch up on the top film stories you missed this week:

Harold Ramis GhostbustersThird Installment Of ‘Ghostbusters’ A Go For Early 2015; Death Of Pal Harold Ramis Prompts Ivan Reitman To Turn Over Directing Reins
By Mike Fleming Jr.EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is eyeing an early 2015 production start in New York on its next installment of Ghostbusters. There is a major change, though. In the wake of the death of his close friend and original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman has decided he won’t direct the film, after all.

2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament Tip-Off – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’; #8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’
By Mike Fleming Jr.EXCLUSIVE: Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, but which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ?

Horror Hit ‘The Grudge’ Going Reboot Route
By Mike Fleming Jr.EXCLUSIVE: The Grudge, the Takashi Shimazu-directed 2004 film that helped establish the viability of low-cost genre films, is getting a reboot.

Divergent posterBOX OFFICE: ‘Divergent’ No. 1 On Track For $56M+ Weekend; ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Very Soft; Faith-Based ‘God’s Not Dead’ Surprises In Top Five And ‘Budapest Hotel’ Another Strong Per Screen
By Anita BuschEXCLUSIVE: More for Divergent. $19.75M and higher for the Lionsgate film — $56M+. (56.7M when all is said and done?) Nicely positioned for international. They will likely have at least another good weekend before Captain America swoops in to do battle.

Jason Blum, Scooter Braun Prods & Jon M. Chu Team With Hasbro On ‘Jem And The Holograms’: Video
By The Deadline Team – Hasbro, Blumhouse Prods, Scooter Braun Prods and Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) are partnering to bring Hasbro’s 1980s cult classic cartoon series Jem And The Holograms to the big screen. Read More »

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Third Installment Of ‘Ghostbusters’ A Go For Early 2015; Death Of Pal Harold Ramis Prompts Ivan Reitman To Turn Over Directing Reins

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is eyeing an early 2015 production start Ghostbusters New Movie in New York on its next installment of Ghostbusters. There is a major change, though. In the wake of the death of his close friend and original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman has decided he won’t direct the film, after all. Instead, Reitman will help Amy Pascal find a new director to take over what everyone hopes will reboot what the studio considers to be one of its most important franchises.

In all the years Sony has tried to get this film up and running, Reitman has been the most stable part of the equation, long locked to direct his third installment. This included the long campaign to get Bill Murray to reprise his signature role, when it became impossible to even get him to read a script that Sony, Reitman and their other architect Dan Aykroyd were happy with. It has been clear for a while that Murray wasn’t going to be part of this, and momentum has been building. Then Ramis, a catalyst for some of the biggest film comedies of the 1970s and ’80s, passed away. That has changed everything.

Reitman spoke exclusively with Deadline on his decision, and I’m going to give him ample room to explain why he changed his mind after so many years of being the primary person pushing this forward.

orig“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters,” Reitman told me. “I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters.”

Reitman confirmed the Murray chase, one that encompassed not one but two scripts. Read More »

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LISTEN: Harold Ramis On Harold Ramis

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 11:48am PST
Mike Fleming

Harold Ramis deadThe late Harold Ramis left an indelible mark on the comedy world upon his passing Monday, leaving behind a body of work that included some of the best-loved comedy films of all time – Animal House, Caddyshack, … Read More »

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R.I.P. Harold Ramis — ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Groundhog Day’ Comedy Veteran Was 69; President Obama, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Ivan Reitman, Billy Crystal & More Remember Him

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 7:38am PST

Harold Ramis Dead4TH UPDATE, 7:38 AM: Fellow Chicago native President Obama released a statement today in tribute to Ramis:

Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America’s greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago’s Second City. When we watched his movies – from “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” to “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” – we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.

3RD UPDATE, MONDAY, 3:25 PM: Reactions to the passing of influential comedy helmer and actor Harold Ramis continue to roll in.

Chevy Chase on Ramis, who directed him in the classic comedies Caddyshack and Vacation: “I’m shocked and heartbroken to hear of Harold’s passing. He was truly a great friend and a great man who shunned unnecessary Hollywood-type publicity and lived with a wonderful wife, Erica. I’m deeply saddened for Erica, Violet, Julian and Daniel. Harold directed me in Caddyshack and the first Vacation. It was Harold who acted out and gave me the inspiration for the character of Clark Griswold. I was really copying Harold’s impression of Clark. He was a truly funny and highly intelligent man with great honesty and a great appreciation for the best kind of comedy. It’s just awful to lose Harold, there is just no one like him, he was so kind, so caring and so smart. God Bless him and God Bless his family.”

“Harold Ramis and I together did The National Lampoon Show off-Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him,” said Bill Murray in a statement via Reuters. Read More »

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No Sequel Yet, But ‘Bad Teacher’ Trio Reunites On New Sony Pictures Comedy

By | Wednesday October 19, 2011 @ 11:58am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has re-teamed Bad Teacher writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg with director Jake Kasdan for a new untitled comedy. The logline: After a Supercuts manager advises his best friend to break off his engagement, he unexpectedly falls … Read More »

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Sony Plans ‘Ghostbusters’ Screenings; Is This The ‘Lion King’ Effect?

Has the success of Disney’s The Lion King 3D at the box office this past weekend conjured the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Sony said today it will re-release its comedy classic Ghostbusters in a special limited engagement beginning Oct. 13 … Read More »

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Bill Murray, Phone Home! ‘Ghostbusters 3′ And FDR Await!

By | Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 7:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

There’s nobody in Hollywood quite like Bill Murray. Even though Sony Pictures and the Ghostbusters creative team built a sequel around Murray, I’m told the actor still hasn’t contacted the studio to tell them if he’s even read the script script by The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky that was delivered to him at the beginning of the year. The movie won’t happen if Bill doesn’t say yes, plain and simple. Now, Murray is being courted to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the Roger Michell-directed Hyde Park on the Hudson, the film set up at Focus Features and Film Four with script by Richard Nelson. Like Ghostbusters, this is a film that becomes an immediate go picture if Murray says yes. I’m not sure it happens if he says no, or doesn’t say anything at all.

For days, I’ve heard that Focus has been approaching cast and basically telling them that Murray will do the picture. Focus has denied that to me several times. Perhaps Focus doesn’t want to jinx things because you never really know that you have Murray until he shows up to go to work, which is the reason Ghostbusters III has languished so long–you can’t prep a $150 million picture on a wing and a prayer. Read More »

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The Challenge Of Sequelizing Ghostbusters

Mike Fleming

Every time one of the original Ghostbusters stars promotes a film, they answer the inevitable Ghostbusters III question that fuels a new round of breathless stories that turn out to be apparitions. Ivan Reitman, back as director thanks to his … Read More »

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