Dan Aykroyd says 'Ghostbusters' script almost done
TORONTO - Dan Aykroyd says he's fine-tuning a script for a "Ghostbusters" sequel that's getting closer to reality.
But the Canadian movie star says he's still waiting to hear whether his co-star Bill Murray will be involved.
"The script is in my truck, so that'll tell you how close we are," Aykroyd said Thursday during an appearance at a liquor store in north Toronto to promote his vodka line.
"(Murray) is certainly welcome to walk in the door anytime. We love him. And it's hard to contemplate doing it without him."
Aykroyd and Murray starred in the first two "Ghostbusters" movies, directed by Canadian Ivan Reitman, along with Rick Moranis, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver.
Aykroyd says he'll appear in the new film to train a whole new crew, which will include a female Ghostbuster.
He discussed the plans briefly before signing autographs for hundreds of fans who lined up at the store to buy his Crystal Head Vodka.
Ontario just recently began allowing the sale of the spirit, which was originally released in 2008 in a distinctive skull-shaped bottle.
"We had social responsibility concerns which have certainly been addressed," Karen Mortfield, a spokeswoman for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, said Thursday of the board's belated embrace of the product.
"Some of the packaging has been adjusted, (but) the product is still sold in the glass skull bottle, which is very neat."
Aykroyd said the only change is that the redesigned box now features a smaller picture of the skull-shaped bottle.
"It was about the packaging and I can understand where they would have to step back," he said.
"We see it as a positive, enlightening thing -- we call it a head; some people will always see it as just a skull and a symbol of demise rather than revival and afterlife. It is a grinning skull. We worked with them to come to a spectacular agreement that I think everybody can be happy with."
The arrival of the distinctive-looking product drew hundreds of Aykroyd fans seeking autographs and a photo with the Hollywood star.
Many of them were dressed as members of the "Ontario Ghostbusters" chapter, complete with faded jumpsuits, the Ghostbusters logo on their arms, bulky "proton packs" on their backs and "ghost traps" strapped to holsters on their hips.
Two real-life brothers showed up in dark suits and shades, dressed as the soulful Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood. They waited for Aykroyd in front of the store, standing next to a retooled cop car they had redesigned to look like the retooled black-and-white Chicago cop car from the 1980 musical comedy "The Blues Brothers."
Fans eager to meet Aykroyd, who is also behind the Niagara Region-produced Dan Aykroyd Wines, included Speaker of the Ontario legislature Steve Peters, a former Liberal MPP who turned up to get the star's autograph on two bottles of vodka and several DVDs.
Peters says he started his own letter-writing campaign to bring the vodka to Ontario after learning about the controversy over its packaging.
"This product should be available in Ontario," said Peters, adding he didn't understand why it was kept from Ontario shelves for so long.
"I don't and I never did. ... I actually came in and started to look at product in the (liquor store) and tried to have them explain to me why certain products were available and why this one wasn't available."
Aykroyd said controversy raised the profile of his vodka but was not something he sought out.
"Any way you can build awareness in this business helps, you know. I don't know if it's the kind of press we would have gone out to seek, but it was there and our office just backed off," said Aykroyd, who added that he planned to sign vodka bottles for liquor store employees in his hometown of Kingston, Ont., before Christmas.
"We never commented on it and we just kind of let the public try to just pull it through. ... It had to take its course, it did, and we're very happy with the outcome."
"It's great that I can actually get it in my home province and I'm excited that there's so many people interested in the product," he said, referring to a double-gold award it won earlier this year at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco.
Aykroyd described the spirit as displaying notes of vanilla and a sweet dry crisp tone, as well as "a kick of heat off the finish."
He said he has no immediate plans for another product line, but mused on the likely potency of a "Blues Brothers" beverage.
"That would be a pretty wicked kind of whiskey, I think. I wouldn't want to drink what they're drinking."