The Ghostbusters franchise has been a beloved property since its debut in the 80s, in many ways making for the most well-known role for a younger Bill Murray, alongside Harold Ramis and SNL alum Dan Aykroyd. The first two moves in turn led to another two animated series (in addition to various videogames), but was suspiciously never heard from again… until recently. Led by director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat), a gender-swapped reboot is in the works, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones as the new crew of Ghostbusters.
It’s a project with a steady comedic hand at the helm, led by four incredibly talented leads, and makes for an intriguing twist on a beloved property. If Hollywood insists on rebooting everything from the last 30 or so years, at least they’re doing something different and interesting with this particular franchise. The big plans don’t stop with the all-female team though. Currently in the works right now is a separate Ghostbusters reboot that will feature a male lineup, headed up creatively by Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Arrested Development) as well as original director Ivan Reitman.
The plan so far is to have it exist in a shared universe with the Paul Feig reboot, making for two competing teams of Ghostbusters. It’s a reboot universe getting more interesting by the day, with screenwriter Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) allegedly asking the studio for Chris Pratt and Channing Tatum among others for his team of paranormal hunters. Very little is confirmed past Pearce’s pie-in-the-sky request for two of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors, but if even a small fraction of what’s planned comes to fruition, we could be in for rebooted franchise that actually brings something new and interesting to the table.
The overall vibe of Feig’s initial Ghostbusters will begin the massive departure from original films. Running through the details in an interview with GQ, Feig painted a picture through interviewer Sarah Ball that amounts to a tectonic shift in shape and tone.
The movie itself will avoid screwball goofs, going instead for a realistic workplace-comedy vibe—the original being at its core a proto–Silicon Valley start-up comedy, its best moments centered on a bunch of slobs ordering Szechuan at the office.
To top it off, the wacky Slimer-esque ghosts will be a thing of the past, replaced by “actually-eerie, pants-sh*tting ghosts.” It speaks to a tone more in line with the likes of Cabin in the Woods than the original Ghostbusters, making for a modern update that would fall perfectly in line with the growing horror-comedy genre. We’ve seen the success of films that know how to combine terror with laughs, a balance not always easy to strike when you have a studio exec standing over your shoulder telling you to make the movie more marketable.
With this and the idea for a shared universe of competing Ghostbusters, we have all the pieces in place for an idea so crazy it just might work. Steady creative minds are in charge, led by Feig, the Russos, and Reitman, along with writer Drew Pearce. Their collective efforts could lead to a unique franchise that makes us not completely hate Hollywood’s recent propensity for reboots. The necessary elements are all there, now it’s up to the studio to not muck it up.
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