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Bill Murray Says He Got Tricked into Starring in ‘Ghostbusters II’: I Joined ‘Under False Pretenses’

"I was very, very reluctant to do it," Murray says about the "Ghostbusters" sequel.

"Ghostbusters II"

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in “Ghostbusters II”

Columbia/courtesy Everett

Bill Murray said he got tricked into starring in 1989’s “Ghostbusters II” after the studio pitched him and his fellow cast members an idea that never materialized. The comedian recently discussed his history with the “Ghostbusters” franchise during a panel at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (via Collider) and noted he was “very, very reluctant” and “in absolutely no hurry” to make a sequel to the blockbuster 1984 original.

“I thought that the only reason anyone would want another one was just to make money,” Murray said. “And I was probably the most reluctant. Someone outfoxed me anyway. I don’t know if Ivan set it up, but they got us all back together in a room, and really, we hadn’t been together in a room since the movie came out and it was just really, really fun to be together. We were really funny together. Those are some really wonderful, really funny guys and girls. Sigourney [Weaver] and Annie Potts are some really spectacular women and funny as hell. They got us all together and they pitched a story idea that was really great. I thought, ‘Holy cow, we could make that work.””

Murray agreed to star in “Ghostbusters II” based on the pitch, but that pitch never materialized into what would become the sequel’s screenplay. As the comedian explained, “It ended up not being the story they wrote. They got us in the sequel under false pretenses. Harold had this great idea, but by the time we got to shooting it, I showed up on set and went, ‘What the hell is this? What is this thing?’ But we were already shooting it, so we had to figure out how to make it work.”

Despite joining “Ghostbusters II” under false pretenses, Murray said the experience remained memorable for reuniting with his co-stars. But Murray believes the sequel pales in comparison to the original, as he said, “I probably like the first one better than the second one, just because the first cut is the deepest.”

Murray also teased his upcoming appearance in the new “Ghostbusters” movie, the Jason Reitman-directed “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (currently set for release on November 11 from Sony). The actor said Reitman’s script “really brings [the franchise] back to life” and has a spirit that matches the original movie.

“We were just in it for a little while, but it was physically painful,” Murray said about returning to the franchise. “Wearing those packs is extremely uncomfortable. We had batteries the size of batteries. They now have batteries the size of earrings. It’s still a really heavy thing to wear, all the time. The special effects in this one are a lot of wind and dirt in your face, and there was a lot of going down and getting back up. I was like, ‘What is this? What am I doing? These are like Bulgarian deadlifts, or a Russian kettlebell, getting up and down with this thing on my back.’ It was very uncomfortable.”

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