Actor Dan Aykroyd recently sat with MTV Multiplayer (and some other people) to answer questions about the new “Ghostbusters” game.
Earlier this week, actor Dan Aykroyd spent a half-hour with a group of reporters, us included, who took turns asking him about all things “Ghostbusters.” Here are a few choice quotes on various topics — from how much was spent on the game, his thoughts on Sigourney Weaver’s refusal to be in the game, how the game is influencing the third “Ghostbusters” movie and more.
On how much was spent on the game before Atari took it over:
“The original [people] who developed it … spent a good amount of money, between 12 and 15 million dollars [on the game]. And now Atari has taken it over. And now Atari, we have massive distribution, it’s a great partnership. It’s a world that I know very little about and it’s exciting working with them. ”
On how much he was involved in the game-making process:
“[Harold Ramis and I] contributed where we could but we didn’t get in the way of the action.”
“I helped to shape the script a bit but, really, the gamers and the engineers are really in control of these creative projects. You can have an original script by Steven Spielberg but ultimately he’s going to turn it over to a gamer and a programmer to make a great game out of it. I was always taught at Second City to respect the writer, and we respect the programmers and engineers in this trade as creative people… Don’t get in their way is what I’m saying.
“[Harold Ramis and I] contributed where we could but we didn’t get in the way of the action. And mainly we refined — sometimes there were terms that they used from the first and second movies that we had to re-adjust, but not much; they really had the vernacular down. These guys who built this game are real passionate fans. And that love comes through, you feel it. Well, you’ve seen the quality of the thing and how much fun it is.”
On his involvement in the transition between from Vivendi to Atari as well as his thoughts when Activision did not pick up the game:
“I was concerned. I was concerned about what would happen to those brilliant people at Vivendi. And then eventually Activision — I was concerned over the transition from a business point of view, I just didn’t want [them] to lose their jobs, number one, and have the game suspended and have it held up longer than it’s been held up. See, to me this is the third movie. And that’s why I was so excited and passionate about getting it done.
“Atari came in and saved the day.”
“So Atari came in and saved the day. I mean, you guys know this world better than I do, but I think they’ve got a nice property and an asset which will properly distribute. This is very, very good for them. They’re a French company, and they’ll make up for what Vivendi lost.” [laughs]
On how the game influenced the third “Ghostbusters” movie:
“I’d want to see the third movie made. I think [the video game] is the third movie and if everything is creative and right, and this game helps get the third movie made… We have a good concept there; [we have] the young writers from ’The Office.’ I’ve worked with Harold [Ramis] on [upcoming film] ’Year One,’ which is coming out. The Book of Genesis adapted into a comedy? Who but Harold Ramis could pull that off! So these two writers — [Lee] Eisenberg and [Gene] Stupnitsky — they sound like a vaudeville team or a law firm — are brilliant young guys. And they come up with a good story.
“[The screenwriters] were inspired by the game… there are things from the game that are going to be in the movie.”
“But you know they were inspired by the game — I said, ’Go see the game!’ And they watched the game and already in their story outline there are things from the game that are going to be in the movie. So it’s going very nicely. But you know, in show business, you can’t ever place your hopes that things are going to happen and so many dreams get perforated. I just had to kiss it goodbye for a long time but we got ’Blues Brothers 2’ made and that was a miracle. [laughs] It was a success by that measure alone.”
On Sigourney Weaver’s involvement in the game (she first told MTV she declined to be involved but later was reportedly interested once she saw the game):
“I respect Sigourney’s view towards protecting the quality of the first movie and the good things that were in the second movie. And also, she’s kind of watching out for her and our legacy a little bit, which is understandable. But I think had she benefited from meeting the gamers, the programmers early on and seeing what they were doing, she would’ve wanted to become involved.
“When we do the ’Ghostbusters 3’ movie, hopefully, Sigourney will be in it.”
“But the Alyssa Milano character leads us to a new generation and a new story. And when we do the ’Ghostbusters 3’ movie, hopefully, Sigourney will be in it. I know we’ll make that happen. But there will be a whole new generation that has to be trained, and that whole new generation will be led by an individual who you’ll all love when you meet him but I’m not going to tell you anything yet.”
On whether he thinks games are a better home for stories like “Ghostbusters”:
“I have two incredible — what I think are great — science-fiction stories myself right now that I think I’m just going to skip the movies altogether. And I’m going to find maybe some gamers and maybe go with [Atari] again. And I’ll just give them the scripts and say, ’Pretend this movie got made.’ Which today, games make movies.”
On whether he thinks there will be future “Ghostbusters” games and if he thinks the games will act as movie sequels:
“Well, I think [the third] movie is going to be written, but we don’t know until it’s written. It’s unsure. But this game is real. To me, it is the third movie because it’s the only thing that exists that depicts the characters again in a new adventure, in a new light. … I think that the third movie might be a sequel to this. I think now you have them acting hand in hand. It’s interactive, if you will. So the third movie, whether it’s a reality or not, I’m sure a concept for a game will come out of that, and then that game may feed the story for a fourth one.”
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