Ghostbusters 2 was released in 1989 and pretty much since then we’ve been waiting on another instalment which was definitely going to happen. Except when it wasn’t. But it was going to have all the major cast. Except when it wasn’t. So it was going to focus on an all new cast. Except when it wasn’t. So eventually they just made a computer game and called it a day, except they didn’t. Thus we now have a movie that is technically still in pre preproduction with a script from Dan Akroyd, or at least involving Dan Akroyd (possibly in the same way that Gene Rodenberry was involved with the latter Star Trek movies) who everyone is hoping can resurrect this better than he did ‘The Blues Brothers’.
So now that we have one cast member deceased and one still assumed to be out, except by Dan himself and the studios looking at getting a new cast in to breathe new life into a potential gold mine of a franchise. The current idea is to give it an all female cast, why I’m not sure. Maybe Sony realised they had reached their sausage-fest limit or something. Of course this isn’t helped by the idea that they are already lining up a spin off or universe sharing cousin starring Chris Pratt and Channing Tatum. So if they were trying to come across as feminist and with the times they instead just like they are segregating their casts. I guess the idea is that the two will take the two angles of ghost busting with reports already suggesting that the female team being government funded and thus the guys will be the slightly more bumbling independents and the two will have to work together in a few movies to stop Thanos or something.
The problem with rebooting Ghostbusters after only two movies, both of which are a couple of decades old as this point with only IDW carrying them forward, is that you ask why they bother to call it Ghostbusters at all? The market is free for a new ghost catching franchise without anyone, if it’s well written, calling it a Ghostbusters rip-off. My theory is that by marking it as reboot they are hoping to try and get that same edge of your seat tension you had when you first saw Ghostbusters. Remember when that librarian turned round at the start of the first movie, that’s what they want to do again and they worry that by having the series be a sequel to the others that we won’t jump so high. The problem is that by calling it Ghostbusters you still have that same name recognition that same replay running through our heads as we enter the cinema. If you called it something else you might get away with it simply because we won’t know how much you are playing this for laughs.
If it were up to me this is how I would do it.
So here we go. First we borrow an idea Dan had ages ago about Ghostbusters going global, something the fandom has picked up and run with like Louis Tully being chased by a demonic poodle. In fact why not keep the government angle and have the company bought out so that it could happen. In the time since Ghostbusters 2 the franchise has taken off with different groups taking cities. Our movie will follow a new group taking some small little town, something like New Jersey. In the time since their founding they have caused countless damage, run up a rather large bill and managed to catch maybe one or two rather lethargic ghosts. Think Slimer but based around the sin of Sloth instead of Gluttony.
This is where Dan Akroyd gets a part, not as the hero of the day but as the Villain of the piece, allowing him to not only catch everyone off guard but play the angry, grumpy role he does actually quite well. In fact he will be basically playing the Walter Peck role as he threatens to shut them down unless they sort themselves out. Of course wouldn’t you know it but at this time some big bad decides to breach into our reality and take over the world. Now our group can’t go asking for help because that will be admitting defeat and just asking for Ghostbusters HQ to go through with their plan and sack them off and give their area over to one of the other groups. They also can’t mess it up because then the world would be over and that really messes up the job market. Think Terry Pratchett’s Guards Guards by way of, well Ghostbusters.
This also means that if Ernie does want to star he can be the role of Morale support for the group, you know the slightly expected just after two third pick up for the incompetent slackers who will of course go on to save the day.
As for the all-female aspect, that’s kind of neither here nor there though I do worry that they are focusing a bit too much on that and maybe not enough on the script.
Whatever way they eventually decide to take it, or not, I hope they don’t reboot. If you don’t want the history go start a new series with black-jack and hookers, in fact forget the ghosts and the black-jack.