Bill Murray <i>Definitely</i> Won't Return For <i>Ghostbusters 3</i>

At this point in its long, tortured development saga, the odds that a third Ghostbusters movie will resemble something fans of the franchise actually want to see are probably pretty slim. Between Bill Murray's decade-long ambivalence toward the sequel, periods of disinterest among studio executives and the other original stars, and a plot that involves passing the Proton Packs to a new generation that might or might not include Jonah Hill ... well, let's say it doesn't sound promising.

But now those odds have moved from slim to somewhere near none with confirmation from Dan Aykroyd that, after years of will-he-or-won't-he, Murray is definitely not returning for Ghostbusters 3.

"I can tell you he won't be involved," Aykroyd admitted to the U.K.'s Metro. "It's sad but we're passing it on to a new generation. Ghostbusters 3 can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn't seem to be coming and we have to move on. It's time to make the third one."

Aykroyd praised the project's "brilliant" new writer -- Sony recently hired Tropic Thunder scribe Etan Cohento take another pass at the script -- saying, We're working on it to make it just right to satisfy our fans. I'm confident we'll be in production in the next year. [...] We've tried a few concepts which weren't right but now we've got a good structure and will make it happen."

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