Negotiate well and you're set for life. This is the issue facing Sony, reportedly in the middle of a minor dispute with director Ivan Reitman over who might sit in the director's chair on Ghostbusters 3.
When the director signed his contract for Ghostbusters 2, he got quite a bit of power, including a powerful yay-or-nay on the director of Ghostbusters 3. Flash forward 20 years, and that control might mean that Reitman will be the killing blow to plans for a 3D sequel, as Sony wants to move ahead with someone else, and Reitman can veto their choices.
Similar to the Spider-Man franchise, the studio wants to revitalize the Ghostbusters brand with fresh blood, although unlike the web-slinging hero, their plans included the original team, which was comprised of comedian Bill Murray, screenwriters Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and popular character actor Ernie Hudson. Fresh blood, however, apparently extends to the helmer, and it doesn't help matters that the 63-year-old Reitman hasn't had a hit in years (his last film was the $22-million-grossing My Super Ex-Girlfriend in 2006).
The studio was hoping a competing gig on the upcoming comedy Friends With Benefits would be enough to tie up his free time, but Reitman has apparently insisted he can do both projects. (A logical thought would be hiring Reitman's son Jason, but the director has said in several interviews that he has no interest in making a Ghostbusters film.)
In any case, Sony will have to make a decision soon. They have no other major projects lined up for 2011 (although they could probably push Men in Black 3 -- a series often compared to Ghostbusters -- into production). The studio expects a current draft of the screenplay, by "Office" producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, in May. The previous two Ghostbusters films grossed $341.7 million domestically in 1984 and 1989, which equates to approximately $692.3 million when adjusted for inflation.