Eighteen years after the original, "Blues Brothers 2000" is finally in
theaters, starring Dan Aykroyd. After the death of his old "Saturday Night
Live" buddy John Belushi, who played Jake Blues, it seemed like it could never
happen, but Aykroyd wouldn't let it go. Once he recruited his late partner's
kid brother, Jim Belushi, and former "Roseanne" star John Goodman into the
band, he knew a sequel could and should happen.
"I always wanted to carry the act forward with three Blues Brothers - and now
we have four," says Aykroyd, referring to the kiddie Blues Brother, J. Evan
Bonifant. Jim Belushi had to be replaced by Joe Morton due to a scheduling
conflict, but he and Goodman did perform with Aykroyd in several House of
Blues appearances as the movie was being conceived.
"It was a goal realized, an ambition achieved, and a dream come true," says
Aykroyd of "Blues Brothers 2000." "I was most grateful to Universal for
putting up the money. I really couldn't believe we were actually shooting."
With "Blues Brothers 2000" under his belt, Aykroyd may turn his attention to
reviving "Ghostbusters." The biggest comedy hit of 1984, it was sequelized
five years later in another huge hit, "Ghostbusters II."
"Harold (Ramis) and I have a treatment that we really like," reports Aykroyd.
"It's just a matter of writing it now. We're going to try to do it this
Among the hurdles facing "Ghostbusters III" is the fact that Bill Murray and
director Ivan Reitman do not want to return.
"The concept is still strong and I think that Harold and I can pull it off, if
we have the time," responds Aykroyd. "The concept is that there's a positive
image of life and there's a negative image of life. Hell is not some distant
place, far away from this dimension or realm. Hell is right next door. It's
like those old tintype photos where you turn them one way and they look
positive, then you just flick them slightly and they look negative. That's
our concept. Given the right technology you could flip the switch and all of
a sudden the positive that we see in this room suddenly becomes negative.
It's kind of neat.
"We're going to set it in New York and do a Hades version of New York, very
close to life in the city as we perceive it now. You look down at the river
and there's a ferry of Wall Street commuters, except they're being shoved off
with pitchforks into the river which is now boiling blood. Flick it back and
it's just the Brooklyn Bridge and just a normal traffic jam. Carrying that
through, I think we can have a lot of fun."