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July 15th will see the release of a new Ghostbusters film, but it’s not the Ghostbusters film you were expecting. You see, this will be a completely new Ghostbusters film with no connection to the previous two films that we all know and love.
Right off the bat I will be going to see the new Ghostbusters film, and I will be reviewing it too. More on that later.
The original, I guess we have to call it Ghostbusters 1984 now, is one of the greatest comedies ever made. It’s a timeless classic which always features on those 100 greatest movies lists, and rightfully so. A lot of people grew up with Ghostbusters dating from their childhoods, and is something that’s close to people’s hearts.
From what I’ve seen of the trailers for Ghostbusters ‘16 it doesn’t look that good. Maybe the film is better than the trailer. Maybe it’s good, it’s a possibility, or maybe it’s worse than the trailer. We just don’t know until we actually go and see it.
The most interesting thing about Ghostbuster ’16 is the introduction of an all-female cast. A lot of people are hating this film that one reason alone. People are even boycotting it for that very reason. Why call it ‘Ghostbusters’ and not something like ‘Ghostbusters The New Generation’ or something like that? People are calling this ‘The Female Ghostbusters’. That’s the phase I’ve heard a lot. So does that mean we need to call the 1984 version ‘The Male Ghostbusters’? I think a lot of us wanted to see the original cast back together for one last time, then introduce a new younger cast to win us over and move on from there, like what they did in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The path to Ghostbusters 3 had so many obstacles in its way. The rumours to it reached fever pitch but it died without a care in the end. To really tell the story about Ghostbusters 3, I need to take you back in time to 1989 when Ghostbuster 2 was released.
With the success of the first film and the animated series that followed, Columbia Pictures pressed the producers for a sequel. However, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman always intended for Ghostbusters to be a one off and had no plans to do a sequel. When a film hits the heights and success that Ghostbusters did, you can’t just have the one film. Imagine if James Cameron only intended to do one Terminator film? We wouldn’t have had Terminator 2, which is one of the greatest films ever made.
Eventually they agreed to do a follow up. Lots of people were unhappy with that one and claim that it’s the reason a third film was never made. I remember watching it at a sleepover at a friend’s house one time and I enjoyed it. Watching it again as an adult and it’s way better then what some people make it out to be. Obviously it’s not as good as the first one, as that set the bar high, but it’s still a great film nonetheless. Just because it’s not as good as the first film does that make it a bad film? Of course not. That’s divvy talk! The only criticism I’d give it is that they play it safe. Other than that, Ghostbusters 2 is a damn good movie!
I would have been happy with a third Ghostbusters film. I guess the majority of us would. They didn’t have to beat the franchise into the ground by releasing a new one very other year. They didn’t have to make the mistake of rushing another one out straight away like how Back to the Future 3 was released a year after BTTF2. After a while, it would have made a great nostalgic comeback. Even Bill Murray, who was unhappy with Ghostbusters 2, once said that the wounds of Ghostbusters 2 have healed.
By the late 90s/ 2000s, it was the right time to bring Ghostbusters back to the big screen. It was also around this time where a script for ‘Ghostbusters: Hellbent’ was flouting around online. This was said to be the script that Dan Aykroyd wrote for the third movie. The story goes that the Ghostbusters (with the introduction of a younger cast and minus Bill Murray) would travel to an alternative Hell version of Manhattan (or Man-hell-tan as it was called) and they would also cross paths the Devil. From what I recall, it wasn’t amazing, but the dialogue was very suitable for the characters and I could hear their voices in my head as I was reading the script.
By the mid-2000s, it was becoming clear that Bill Murray didn’t want anything to do with the film as he ducked every Ghostbuster related question and distanced himself from the project. Harold Ramis mentioned in an interview that Ben Stiller would be the perfect replacement should Bill Murray completely drop out. I remember the rumours that Seth Rogan was going to be in it. Even he didn’t think it was a good idea. Ghostbusters is not a pot smoking comedy.
Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd announced that a new script was in development but the film would be animated. That way, they could bring Bill Murray back on board as he was more willing to do a voice over. It’s worth pointing out that the Ghostbusters video game was also in development around that time, maybe Aykroyd was referring to that? Bill Murray made a surprise appearance at Fantastic-Fest and answered questions from the audience. Someone asked him about appearing in Ghostbuster 3. Murray gave the most optimistic words he’s ever spoken about appearing in another Ghostbusters film. He said that it could work, the characters were fun, and doing the video game was like turning the clock back. He didn’t actually say yes, but it was far from a no.
Dan Aykroyd, on too many occasions to count, kept on saying that the film was ready to be filmed. He was always the voice of positivity, but every time he gave a start date, his prediction would always be wrong. It got to the point where it was hard to believe him.
In June 2009, The Ghostbuster video game was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and It was a huge success. I loved that game, it was like getting a thank you letter from Dan Aykroyd for being fans of the films. It was like watching the third movie. It generated a lot of false hope that the real movie was on its way. Looking back, I guess that was the third movie, but it was done in the form of a video game. Just watch those cut scenes and you’re watching Ghostbusters 3. I just wish I knew it at the time.
More rumours resurfaced regarding Bill Murray’s involvement where he would appear in the film as a ghost! That’s an idea I always like. It could have worked. Murray was more open to doing a voice over, so the opportunity was there. I can imagine Peter Venkman, as a ghost, making sarcastic comments and dicking about with the other members of the Ghostbusters. It had comedy gold written all over it. They could have Slimer attach himself to Venkman, much to his annoyance.
January 2010, Ivan Reitman announced that he would be back to direct. That was the most positive news us fans have heard in a long time. Things were starting to become more real. Everything was moving in the right direction.
But it was short lived.
March 2010, Bill Murray said that it was all just crazy talk and none of it was true. Fast forward to October, Dan Aykroyd said that the script was excellent and that they’ve wrote Bill a role of a lifetime. Bill Murray claims he never read the script. It was starting to become clear that he wasn’t interested at all. Why couldn’t they just drop the project or recast him? Of course I don’t want to see anyone else playing the role of Peter Venkman or no Venkman at all, but it could have been done, had they got everyone else, including Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis, it could have been possible.
Things went back and forth between Aykroyd and Murray. Aykroyd announced that the film would go ahead with Murray, but later, contradicted himself by saying the script needed more work. A rumour started spreading that Bill Murray shredded a copy of the script and told Aykroyd and Ramis that no one wants to see fat old men chasing after ghosts. Dan Aykroyd has always denied the allegations.
Things were starting to get comical at this point. They should have just made a movie about trying to make the movie with Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis chasing after Bill Murray and trying to catch him in a bag and dragging him to the movie set. I always felt that Bill Murray had found some humour in teasing the fans about Ghostbusters 3. His cameo in Zombie Lane was like a parody of Ghostbusters with him at the centre of it all. I remember his appearance at the 2010 Scream Awards when he appeared in full Ghostbusters costume for no reason.
As the years went on, the same old stories were making the rounds on the internet; The script was done, the script needed more work, Murray was going to be in it, Murray backs away, and finally, Ivan Reitman pulls out. Who could blame him? All news about Ghostbuster 3 was starting to become tiring. It was getting to the point where people were asking if it would ever happen.
That question was finally answered in February 2014 when Harold Ramis passed away, and with his passing, so did any plans for a third Ghostbusters film. It’s impossible to do Ghostbusters 3 without him. He was the brains behind the team both as Ramis and Egon.
Not long after Harold’s death, something finally happened. This is when the reboot began gathering momentum. The biggest surprise is that Bill Murray is in it. He supposedly has a cameo appearance, but not as Peter Venkman! That’s so dumb!
There’s so many films franchises that have made it to the third film. How can a sequel to one of the highest grossing comedies, one of the most beloved franchises in history, not get a sequel? This is a classic example of a movie studio not knowing what to do with something as popular as Ghostbusters. They let it build and build and build until they decided to go in a completely different direction.
Why am I going to see the Ghostbusters reboot? Because I want it to be good. I want to be proven wrong like I was when I saw Star Wars Episode VII. Ghostbusters was a huge part of my life as a child. Nostalgia can really tug at your heart strings. Remakes of such classics always fall flat on their faces (The Total Recall was fucking terrible. Almost fell asleep during it), maybe Ghostbusters can break the trend, who knows? It’s not the best reason, I know, but that’s the reason I’m going with.
The all female cast doesn’t bother me as it does with some people. While I can’t say that I’m familiar with Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon, I do know all about Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. McCarthy is okay, but Wiig is fucking hysterical. Watch her in Anchorman 2, Paul or MacGurber, her comic timing is point on. With them two plus Chris Hemsworth and Charles Dance, I do have confidence in the acting. It’s just the story that worries me the most.
Some people are already announcing that they won’t be going to see it. James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd) got a ton of stick for saying this and was accused of being sexist. Now that’s just silly. James Rolfe is an awesome guy, and someone who inspires me to do blogging, but to call him a sexist because he’s not going to see the new Ghostbusters? C’mon, son!
I will be going to see it, and I will review it. I’ll call it the way I see it. I’ll share with you my honest opinion. If I like it, I like it. If I don’t, I don’t. I thought Batman v Superman was amazing, some people didn’t. That’s fine. We all have different option on things.
So, what about you guys? Will you be going to see Ghostbusters? If not, then why? Please feel free to share your comments in the comment section below and I’ll be back again with my next blog.