It seems the next generation of filmmakers is eager to revive the “Ghostbusters” franchise. In addition to Paul Feige’s highly anticipated all-female reboot, Sony will let a former “Ghostbuster” helm a brand-expanding production – but it’s not the one many were hoping for.
According to Deadline, Dan Aykroyd and director Ivan Reitman will lead the “Ghostcorps,” a production team designed to expand the brand into new money-making markets. The first act from the "Ghostcorps" will see a male-led “Ghostbusters” film produced as a companion to Feige’s movie. Channing Tatum is reportedly attached as a producer on the film and is expected to play an on-screen role. This casting choice was previously rumored, along with “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt.
While the move to expand the “Ghostbusters’” brand may have some fans scratching their heads, it’s actually something Aykroyd has been hoping to cash in on for several years. In 2013, the man who made up a quarter of the powerhouse comedy team behind the original was toying with a script for a third movie. The idea was to use it as a way to retire the old cast and pass the torch to a new generation. According to an interview with ABC News, Reitman and the late Harold Ramis were working on the script with Aykroyd. Unfortunately, after a wave of comedic flops in the years following his stint in “Ghostbusters,” Aykroyd needed the comedy chops of Bill Murray to get the script greenlit.
Murray, whose popularity has only risen with a younger generation in recent years, told Yahoo U.K. that he couldn’t get through more than 20 pages of Aykroyd’s script before putting it down, saying “it didn’t touch our stuff.”
Not long after, Ramis died in February 2014, yet another nail in the coffin of “Ghostbusters 3.” Soon after, Feige’s all-female reboot was announced and many thought the demand for a modern-day “Ghostbusters” adaptation had been fulfilled.
Still, that didn’t stop Aykroyd, now 62, from his push to return to ghostbusting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, once his third film was dead in the water, he turned his attention to creating a Marvel-style universe for the “Ghostbusters.”
“It’s beyond just another sequel, a prequel, another TV show. I'm thinking, what does the whole brand mean to Sony?" he said. "What does Pixar and Star Wars mean to Disney? What does Marvel mean to Fox?" (For clarification, Marvel is not owned by Fox.)
Now it seems that Sony has decided to let Aykroyd to bypass Murray, whose name has been noticeably absent from Sony’s "Ghostcorps" plans so far. But he’ll get his consolation wish to bring the brand he co-created in the late 1980s to various formats, beginning with an action comedy reboot with the Russo brothers.
Do you think the “Ghostbusters” universe can be expanded on the scale of Marvel? Do you think it can be done without Bill Murray? Tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.