How the ‘Ghostbusters’ Universe Is About to Get Even Bigger

Ghostbusters

Source: Columbia Pictures

Sony’s Ghostbusters cinematic universe is about to expand once again. Ahead of the premiere of its upcoming female-driven live-action reboot, the studio has reportedly begun developing an animated film also centered on the paranormal-fighting parapsychology professors.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, internal discussions for an animated Ghostbusters feature have already begun between Sony Pictures and Sony Animation. The project is still in the early stages of development, so no specific details have been released, but the studio is reportedly already working on putting together a team. While no writer is officially attached at this point, Sony is apparently planning on hearing pitches from various scribes over the coming weeks.

The developing project may still be in the process of nailing down a writer, but it already has at least one notable name attached. Ivan Reitman, co-creator of Ghostbusters and one of the longtime overseers of the franchise, is reportedly set to serve as a producer on the animated flick.

For Sony, the project would be the latest part of it’s recently established Ghost Corps, the team (including Reitman and original Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd) in charge of leading the expansion of the franchise and establishing a Ghostbusters universe consisting of reboots, sequels, stand-alones, and more. The studio, which is one of the few major filmmaking companies left without its own cinematic universe, has made it clear that growing the Ghostbuster series is a top priority right now, starting with the soon-to-be-released remake from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig.

Feig’s take, which stars the all-female ghost-busting team of Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig, wrapped filming in mid-September. Details of the movie are being kept mostly under wraps, although we do know that the original stars of Ghostbusters, including Akyroyd and Bill Murray, are set to make a cameo.

The female-led flick is just the beginning of Sony’s plans to drastically expand the Ghostbusters series. Aside from Feig’s film, the studio also reportedly began development on a third, related movie that would potentially star Channing Tatum and be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s unclear exactly where that project currently stands, although Tatum recently implied that progress has stalled, telling Howard Stern that development had “gotten messy.”

The just-announced animated film will mark the third developing project from the new Ghostbusters universe, but would stand separately from both Feig’s female-led film and the potential Tatum starrer. This won’t be the first time that Ghostbusters has gone animated though. The franchise was previously translated into animated form via a popular television series from DiC Enterprises, which ran from 1986 to 1991.

The project will also signify the second time this past year that Sony has turned high-profile film property into an animated feature. The studio also has an Amazing Spider-Man animated movie underway, with The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller attached to write and direct.

More details on the Ghostbusters animated film are likely pending, so viewers will have to stay tuned. In the meantime, Feig’s Ghostbusters remake is scheduled to hit theaters on July 25, 2016.

More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet: