The prospect of a third GHOSTBUSTERS film is one of those fanboy anomalies: on one hand we’re dying to see the guys back in action, but on the other we’d rather it was left well alone. After all, haven’t we seen enough beloved franchises sullied by belated sequels and prequels? Regardless, it looks like GHOSTBUSTERS 3 is happening, with reports surfacing this past week that Dan Aykroyd has finally got the production going. So let’s cross our fingers (not the streams) and hope the third installment succeeds where others have failed – i.e. not willfully piss over the legacy of the previous movies for the sake of box office dollars. Here are a few things THN would like to see so that doesn’t happen…
A Capable Director
It’s been 22 years since Ivan Reitman made a decent movie (and that’s if you count KINDERGARTEN COP, which you really shouldn’t). Not only that, but the director proved with 2001’s EVOLUTION that he couldn’t replicate the GHOSTBUSTERS magic with the exact same formula. Despite being a integral part of the original team, THN hopes Reitman will step aside and let someone else direct – ideally someone with their finger of the comedic pulse. Suggest Judd Apatow, who’s proved he can do three-dimensional characters and emotionally engaging stories whilst being effing funny too.
A Solid Cast
GHOSTBUSTERS 3 will apparently see the guys passing on the torch to a younger team, which makes more sense than Aykroyd and Harold Ramis trying to squeeze back into the jumpsuits and wheezing around New York. Anna Faris has long been attached to the project, which is fine by THN – she’s got the comedy chops and it’s time a girl was added to the team. Assuming they recruit another three members, THN would love to see the unlikely but quite brilliant leading man Seth Rogen take centre stage, perhaps bringing former co-star Bill Hader along too. The last spot could be filled by a number of current comedy stars – Craig Robinson, Danny McBride or Justin Long spring to mind.
Keep It Old School
Twenty-three years since the last installment, GHOSTBUSTERS is surely due a facelift of sorts. Even though the Proton Packs have a half-life of 5000 years, Egon’s bound to have worked on some new equipment, which the new, younger team could debut on their first job. But let’s keep the design classic – it’s all part of what makes the originals so magic. The same goes for ECTO-1 – it could do with a lick of paint, but no need to scrap it entirely. Also, consider the advances in SFX since 1989. Whilst a film like GHOSTBUSTERS 3 will obviously make great use of the technology, it’s important to keep the distinctive look of the original effects – they lend the films a charm rare in modern cinema. In other words, real slime please, not the same ropey CGI seen in almost every film these days.
Memorable Ghosts & Ghoulies
Too often these days villains are lost in the shuffle as other important plot details pan out (as evidenced repeatedly in the superhero ‘origin story’), and with all this ‘passing the baton’ business, this could be a problem for GHOSTBUSTERS 3. But the first two GHOSTBUSTERS boast some greatest bad guys – even supporting ghosts that appear for a matter of seconds have distinctive personalities and characteristics (Spooky librarian? Skeletal cabbie? Reanimated fox furs? Classic). Even Viggo the Butch – often mocked by purists – gets the old ‘haunted painting’ gimmick and sinister but hilarious sidekick Janosz (‘Oh, but I woo’). That’s before we’ve even mentioned Ziggy Stardust-Kate Bush hybrid Gozer and her pet marshmallow man. Take note Mr Aykroyd – make the villains fun and unforgettable.
Do Something New!
Although it’s important to have reverence and not meddle with the past (zip it, Lucas), don’t sacrifice the integrity of the story for the sake of cheap fan moments. Too many belated sequels and premature remakes rely on going through the motions, making references to previous movies, and building themselves around cameos and old quotes (see the TOTAL RECALL trailer). As much as we’d love to see appearances from Winston, Louis, Janine, Slimer, and Dana Barrett (and Sigourney can’t get enough of cameoing these days), that’s no reason to write a weak script around them. We want a fresh story with it’s own direction – not a retread of tropes from the first two for the sake of an easy win.
Does anyone really want to see a GHOSTBUSTERS film without Bill Murray? Even Dan Aykroyd doesn’t want that, despite production proceeding without him (this does not bode well – Murray has stated he won’t sign on without a solid script). But is it all disinformation? THN suspects that Murray’s Peter Venkman will be involved somehow. After all, he was the star of the first two films (GHOSTBUSTERS made him the star he is today). At one stage Murray said he could play Venkman’s ghost in GHOSTBUSTERS 3, which gets the THN thumps-up. Perhaps he could haunt the Fire Station, offering deadpan advice to the new recruits every now and then. Either way, Bill Murray is not just an important part of the GHOSTBUSTERS formula, he is the formula.
GHOSTBUSTERS 3 will begin production 2013.