Who you gonna call?

Maybe Bill Murray, maybe not.

Bloody Disgusting report that Dan Aykroyd, the man so awesome he’s had a band named in his honour (Dananananaykroyd), has said that Ghostbusters III will be going into production in early 2012, with or without Bill Murray.

His hope is of course that Murray will be joining him for the project, which is expected to see Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, and hopefully Murray re-teaming with director Ivan Reitman for the first Ghostbusters film since 1989.

A third film has been a possibility for more than a decade, and it seems that Murray’s dislike for sequels has meant that his cooperation with the project has stalled a number of times over the years. As such, Aykroyd seems to be sending out a pretty clear message now that whether Murray’s on board or not, the film is going to be going ahead as of spring 2012.

“Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray. That is our hope. We have an excellent script. What we have to remember is that ‘Ghostbusters’ is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver]. The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of ‘Ghostbusters 3’ is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.”

That final sentence seems to suggest to me that we could have a Ghostbusters IV in store for us a few years later, but it’s of course a bit too early to speculate about that with the third film yet to even begin production. Firm plot details are yet to surface, but Aykroyd has given away a bit about his character and the original cast handing down their roles to a younger generation:

“My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can’t drive the Cadillac… He’s got a bad knee and can’t carry the packs… Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that’s the promise. We’re gonna hand it to a new generation.”

And he’s already got his eye on one young actor for the film:

“I like this guy Matthew Gray Gubler from the ‘Criminal Minds’ show… But there’s going to be a casting. We’re going to see everyone that wants to do it. We’re going to need… three guys and a young woman.”

Gubler is best known for playing Dr. Spencer Reid in TV’s Criminal Minds, as well as playing one of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s friends in (500) Days of Summer. As Aykroyd says, it’s just his personal opinion, and there are still going to be auditions held for all the young actors and actresses that want a shot at taking on the franchise. With production planned for early next year, we’ll hopefully be hearing some firm casting news in the coming months, so watch this space.