Credit: Everett Collection

Bill Murray avoided doing a third Ghostbusters film for years, once commenting it would be “really hard to recreate something that was so beautiful, so wonderful” for another sequel. So why did Murray agree to cameo in the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones?

“It was only because I knew these girls were funny,” Murray told Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, comments that echo remarks he made last year about signing on to the film.

“I thought about it for a very long time,” Murray said in 2015 about agreeing to cameo. “Like, many, many months. No, that’s not right. I was seriously thinking about this for years, really … It kept eating at me, and I really respect those girls. And then I started to feel like if I didn’t do this movie, maybe somebody would write a bad review or something, thinking there was some sort of disapproval [on my part].”

Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts — all of whom appear in the new film, though playing different characters than from the original — appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live alongside the new cast. And as Murray revealed on Wednesday, that original group has seen the new feature, and given it their stamp of approval.

“When you see the film, and you’ll delight in the film, it sort of rumbles along in the beginning. You’re going, ‘Oh God, are they going to pull this thing off?'” Murray said, as the audience laughed. He continued: “I felt like a stepfather to the whole thing. There is no quit in these girls. This is a tough movie to pull off, because it’s a big concept. There’s a lot on the plate — there’s a lot of expectation. Danny, and I and Annie and Ernie, were just screaming, cheering like we were at a sporting event at the end of it.”

Previously Aykroyd praised the film as well, writing on Facebook, “As originator of the original: Saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!”

Ghostbusters is out July 15. Watch the casts together below.

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