Over the course of the last month or so, the web has been flooded with news and rumors about Ghostbusters 3, the next installment in an iconic franchise. There is also a GB3 game coming out soon, so perhaps the studio is releasing information about the film to increase sales of the game (which would, in turn, increase buzz about GB3). Whatever the reason behind the recent flood of GB3 info, there is a lot of information to sort out. So, in my attempt to generate some buzz for the project, I’ll gather it all for you and give you a complete GB3 update. I may not know much about the plot of the film, as is the case for everyone not involved with the writing process, but with the original cast returning for one last hurrah (possibly including some of the original second tier characters?) I couldn’t be more excited about this. They may be introducing a new team of busters to set up a whole new trilogy, but none of that matters so long as Ackroyd and Raimis are working on this project!
Raimis and Ackroyd both have stated that they intend to start shooting some time later this year, so that means they should have at least a working version of a script. Here’s what we know: The film will have the original team of Peter Venkman, Ray, Egon, and Winston, and they will be mentoring a group of recruits both male andfemale. Now, early reports were that the guys would be mentoring a small group (3-4) of busters who would take over the reigns and (potentially) star in future sequels. That may or may not be true, if it ever was, but in recent interviews with both Dan Ackroyd and Harold Raimis, it is implied that there will be a larger group than just 3-4 busters. You get the impression that they are dealing with an entire class of cadets, and they’d learn their trade Police Academy style. Ackroyd said that there would be lots of “cadets” learning to use the new equipment. Raimis expanded on that for us, but just a little bit:
“There will be a whole new generation that has to be trained, and that whole new generation will be led by an individual who you’ll all love when you meet him but I’m not going to tell you anything yet.”
Interesting. I fully expected to see just a small group of recruits, but when I really think about it, I think a Ghostbusters Academy is a great idea. It will allow for a wide array of different characters, each with very different personalities – “colorful” personalities, if you know what I mean (and I think you do!). This would also allow for the third film to provide the studio with valuable feedback on the featured characters, and the most popular ones could end up being the new team. There is a ton of flexibility here. I loved the Police Academy films, and while I don’t think there is any chance GB3 will feature that style of comedy, I do think it provides a great place for writers to start. I’m not sure what I think about a new team; it would be hard to accept anyone outside of the original cast strapping on their proton packs and goin’ ghost bustin’. It is necessary to have the franchise move forward, but do we really need another GB movie outside of the original team’s last hurrah in GB3? Probably not, but if there is money to be made, the studio will do whatever it takes to get it. But that’s another argument for another day.
As far as casting goes, we know the original team is back, but nothing outside of that has been confirmed. There has been rampant speculation about who would be cast as members of the new team. In fact, we have a great conversation about casting the new busters over in our Forums. There has been a lot of names thrown out there as potential busters, like Ben Stiller and Seth Rogen for starters. A lot of people in the blogging community were convinced for a while that Judd Apatow and his gang of comedians would be involved in some capacity, but again, nothing was confirmed. It was reported a while back that Apatow Productions was working on the film (hence the Seth Rogen speculation), which was later seemingly confirmed by a listing in Production Weekly. But the president of Columbia Pictures, Doug Belgrad, told the LA Times that this isn’t true:
“We have some great new writers working on a new script, but Judd isn’t involved. Judging from the frenzy on the Internet, there still seems to be plenty of interest in the idea of doing another film, so we’re certainly taking that as a good sign.”
That is not to say that Apatow’s gang won’t star in GB3, just that Apatow Productions has nothing to do with the project right now. All that could conceivably change quickly. So we don’t have any actors signed for the film outside of the original cast. If you have any thoughts, I encourage you to check out the above linked discussion at our Forums and have your voice be heard! On to speculation… Dan Ackroyd recently expressed his hopes for the return of some of the actors/actresses that played the second tier characters, like Dana Barrett, played by Sigourney Weaver! According to the MTV Movies Blog, Weaver is still on the fence about it. So we don’t know now how this will play out, but it is important to note Ackroyd’s statement because it shows that there is the possibility for some of the other secondary characters to return. In my opinion, some of the more memorable characters (not performances, not actors/actresses, just characters) were the second tier ones. Now I’m hoping for a return of Annie Potts, as the secretary with an attitude Jeanine Melnitz. What a great character, very memorable, and very funny. Of course, with a return of Potts, there would have to be a return of Louis Tully, played by Rick Moranis. He was a mid level star around that time, and definitely one of my favorite comedic performers of that era. But Moranis has all but left the spotlight recently, adding his voice to some animated children’s projects, and releasing an album entitled The Agoraphobic Cowboy, featuring country songs with comedy lyrics. He retired from show business a while back after his wife died, so he could raise his kids, which I respect. He turned down an invitation to join the original cast to do voice work for the GB video game, but there is hope! Raimis stated in an interview a mere week or two ago that Moranis had agreed to join the cast in the GB3 film. Now, there is nothing official on record, but Raimis statement provides hope for everyone who loves scared, nervous, and bumbling guys.
Finally, what would a GB film be without kick-ass, ghost bustin’ weapons?!? The proton packs were wicked cool back in the 80’s, but with the technology available now, I expect to see even more tools/weapons that look even more cool than the proton packs did. Here is Harold Raimi’s thoughts on the subject matter: “They’ll be lots of cadets, boys and girls, who’ll be learning how to use the psychotron, the accelerators and all the new stuff, the neuron splitter, which is going to be the interplaner, interceptor and all these great tools that they’re going to have, to flip from dimension to dimension.” Excuse me, but did you say flip from dimension to dimension?!? That sounds wicked cool. I can’t wait to see that one in action. I think it will provide for some unique story telling over the course the next several GB films, and trust me, there will be more films. The psychotron, interplaner and interceptor all sound great, and I can’t wait to see them in action. This movie will probably feature some flashy F/X, and while all that stuff sounds cool in theory, it could be poor in execution. And I certainly don’t want the visuals to take the place of story telling and acting in the list of priorities. It might be beautiful, but without a good story to tell, one that stays focused and doesn’t stray too far from what it is trying to do, the movie will be nothing more than a beautiful pile of shit.
I am looking forward to Ghostbusters 3, but there are still some serious questions that need to be answered. I have faith in Raimis and Ackroyd, and their ability to veto a poor script, so that certainly helps keep me optimistic about the film. Hopefully over the next couple of months, this one will finish casting and start filming. The original cast deserves a good send off. You can bet that if any news about this project breaks, I’ll keep you posted.