Saturday, 21 March 2015

Ghostbusters is going to be a vast, cinematic franchise, dontchano. At least, that's Sony's plan for it, because they did such a great job trying to replicate Marvel's method with Spider-Man, didn't they? There seems to be a definite missing of the point here. First things first, we need a good movie. If they can't get the first one right, nothing else can follow. There's a twenty-seven year gap between Ghostbusters II and the next year's film. We don't know if it's going to take off, so planning endless sequels, prequels and side-quels is just a bit premature. Sony are already undermining their own good work with this move. Paul Feig's all-women Ghostbusters reboot has drawn a ridiculously vehement wave of criticism, and I really, really want to see it blow the naysayers down by being a bloody good film. Now there's talk of a second film, that seems designed to be specifically what the anti-Feig crowd want. Real men Busters, links to the original films, involvement from Dan Aykroyd... it undermines the very concept of the new direction. Indeed, it doesn't seem like there can be a reboot if these films are all supposed to take place in the same universe. More though, it's an implicit attack on the value of female-led franchises. Women can't have something for themselves. There has to be a masculine option, that looks just like every other popular Hollywood franchise.

It's depressing, and it's actually sapped my enthusiasm for Feig's version. I'd much rather see that given the chance to stand on its own two feet. I'm still in favour of a TV series; I actually think that's the best way forward for Ghostbusters, but if they're set on making movies, just focus on making one damned good movie first, then start the plans for the "GBCU." Because this has all the marks of going the same way as Spider-Man did, and I speak as someone who enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man films. Sony still shot their own franchise in the foot by focusing too much on what they wanted it to be in the future, and not enough on making good movies.

I'm actually feeling more enthusiastic about the newly announced IDW comicbook series Get Real, which should be out this summer. Because there is a market for fannish material, and a classic Ghostbusters/Real Ghostbusters crossover is a perfect idea that it's quite surprising has taken this long to materialise. I'd rather spend my fan-bucks on this than a hastily conceived film with an elderly Aykroyd and Hudson making unnecessary cameos, because at the end of the day, normal people need to like that movie, not just fannish freaks like me.

However, because I am a fan, and we fans can't help but over-analyse these things, I found myself wondering what the Ghostbusters multiverse looks like now. Seeing that the comics look to be crossing the planes of reality and all, and what I came up with was this:

Earth-1: The original cinematic version, just the two movies, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, released and set in 1984 and 1989 respectively. Whatever happens afterwards is left to your imagination.
Earth-2: The expanded version of above, with Ghostbusters II followed by Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the realistic version, which essentially acts as Ghostbusters III.
Earth-3: The two movies, followed by the stylised version of the Video Game, which has a slightly different story, and then continuing in the IDW comic series, which expands the Ghostbusters business and sees it frachise in other cities.
Earth-4: The animated universe, comprising The Real Ghostbusters, Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters. Yes, including the Slimer! skits, and maybe the Now! Comics and/or Marvel-UK comics from the 80s/90s too. In this reality, a version of the first film's events occurred, but not exactly the same. The movie Ghostbusters exists in this reality, based on the Real Ghostbusters exploits. Earth-3 and Earth-4 are crossing over in Get Real, and certain characters who originate in the animated series also appear in the comics. There's also a version of the events of Ghostbusters II, which were published as The Real Ghostbusters: Ghostbusters II comicbook by Now! Comics.
Earth-5: Ghostbusters: Legion, a comic miniseries by the now-defunct 88MPH press. In this reality, a version of the events of the first film occur, but twenty years later than on Earth-1, and are followed by Legion. There's no version of Ghostbusters II.
Earth-6: Ghostbusters II is followed by the rather average sequel novel Ghostbusters: The Return by Scholly Fisch. Winston becomes Mayor of New York.
Earth-7: Ghostbusters II is followed by TokyoPop's manga comic series Ghostbusters: Ghost Busted.
Earth-8: Seen in the RGB episode "Flip Side," a parallel continuum where the ghostly citizens of Boo York are protected from living humans by the Peoplebusters.
Earth-9: The new cinematic universe, which might reboot the franchise but will apparently have some links to the first two films, so they presumably happen in some form or another. We'll see.

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