Sony Hack Attack: Studio Considered Legal Action Against ‘Ghostbusters’ Star Bill Murray

Sony legal department advised “aggressive litigation” against Murray

Sony Pictures Entertainment may have been considering legal action against Bill Murray in order to force his involvement in the “Ghostbusters” franchise.

The Daily Beast published an email, leaked as a result of the devastating cyber attack SPE is currently suffering, that shows David Steinberg, the head of the studio’s legal department, discussing “‘aggressive litigation” against Murray with general counsel Leah Weil.

“In order to more fully evaluate our position if Bill Murray again declines to engage on ‘Ghostbusters’, AG requested that we identify ‘aggressive’ litigation counsel with whom we can consult to evaluate our alternatives and strategize,” Steinberg wrote. “Personally, while I’m fine with aggressive, I think we are in much worse shape if this goes public so seems to me we should look for someone who isn’t seeking the spotlight.”

Sony has not yet responded to TheWrap‘s request for comment on the latest in a long line of revelations that have been made public since a hacker group called “Guardians of Peace” obtain sensitive employee information, and released thousands of emails between high-ranking executives.

Also among the latest updates, SPE tried to distance itself from “The Interview” by ordering the studio’s name removed from all marketing materials, while producer Avi Arad claims to be  “the proud father of the mario animated film [sic],” for SPE.

The new “Ghostbusters” will no longer be a sequel, but a reboot directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”), with an all female cast.

It’s not clear if the studio is still aggressively pursuing Murray to be involved in some capacity, but a more recent email between producer Ivan Reitman and co-chair Amy Pascal shows they will be finding “a clever way to connect the movie to the original franchise,” and they believe Hollywood’s top female talent is lining up to star.

“Agree that everyone is way too nervous about how this issue and how we. present it but it’s isn’t a sequel to the 80s movies and it is gonna be totally original with completely different characters and our job is to find a clever way to connect the movie to the original franchise so that we can use all the assets and everything that is great about the original franchise [sic],” the email dated Oct. 8, 2014 read. “Paul’s movie is gonna be the first one and from what I’m hearing jennifer lawrence and Emma stone and Melissa McCarthy and Amy schumer and liszzy [Lizzy] Kaplan just to name a few have already said thy wanted to be in….”