Thursday 20 March 2014

Do we really want Ghostbusters 3?

Deadline has a short bit of news on the possibility of a third Ghostbusters movie, helpfully reblogged here by The Radio Times. Apparently, GB3 is go, but without Ivan Reitman. From the man himself:

"It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role… When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things."

So the film will be needing a new director. With Harold Ramis no longer with us, and Bill Murray almost certainly not taking part (this has been going back and forth for a while, but latest news is that he's a no show), there will be very little of the original creative team left. A script is said to be ready, after numerous rejigs concerning cast availability, although the loss of Ramis will surely have necessitated yet another redraft. However, if Sony are aiming to begin filming in 2015, the script must be just about ready (although it wouldn't be the first production to go before the cameras with an unfinished script).

The big question is, do we really want a Ghostbusters movie without Ramis, Reitman and Murray? I'm of two minds. The possibility of a third movie actually working as well as the originals (yes, I include GB2, which was great), is slim, even with the full squad back. Even earlier drafts are known to have recognised that the four 'busters are too old for the physical stuff, and were likely to be reduced to minor roles, while a new team of Ghostbusters took over. We don't know much about the new team, save that it is said to comprise "three young men and a young woman," in the words of Dan Aykroyd. (Yes, that does bring to mind Extreme Ghostbusters, but hell, XGB worked.)

We know that Aykroyd has been working on a script with other writers, so there's plenty of new blood involved. I really wonder if taking a whole new tack is a better plan than trying to emulate the classics. We need a new director: Guillermo del Toro is, for me, the perfect choice. He has a unique aesthetic that will set it apart from the originals, and he knows how to handle giant supernatural monsters. If we need a new writer, J. Michael Straczynski has industry clout, movie experience and was fantastic as head writer of The Real Ghostbusters. Even Erik Burnham, whose work on the IDW comic series, shows he really gets Ghostbusters, could be worth trying. There are other options open.

However, I still feel a movie might be too hard a sell. It will be unfairly compared to the original, struggling to impress even if it is a fine film in its own right. I wonder if a wholly new direction might be in order. Reboot is a dirty word, but a live action TV series could pave its own way as a Ghostbusters for the 21st century. I'd love to see the boys in grey back... but only if it's done right.

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