I've spent an unhealthy amount of time, energy and fan-fueled fervor attempting to will another Ghostbusters movie into existence, so you can imagine my awe when I heard the news that there's not only one sequel currently in development, but two!
Sequel Number One
As was announced earlier this year, Paul Feig - the mastermind behind 2011's terrifically fun Bridesmaids - will take charge to direct a female-led Ghostbusters reboot, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Filming on that project is due to start mid-2015, with a projected release date of July 22, 2016. So far, so good.
However, longtime Ghostbusters-sequel enthusiast, Dan Ackroyd, is (again) pushing for his own feature film, which he hopes will be kick-started by renewed interest in the franchise.
Sequel Number Two
Speaking on the Sirius XM show Unmasked, Aykroyd said he was all for Feig's separate reboot, but remains determined to produce a more 'conventional' follow up to the cult series:
Oh I’ve written… well, we have…I’ve written, well, there’s three drafts of the old concept that exists. And we’re going to be able to salvage some of it and use it. Yeah, we’re gonna be able to use it some day. Let’s get this one made and that will reinvigorate the franchise and then we’ll go on to maybe doing a more conventional third sequel as we were planning and another idea I have for it.
Aykroyd, who co-wrote and starred in the first two films, stressed that Feig's version is set in a universe where "the first two movies don’t exist" and "is a whole parallel reality." Does that mean Slimer won't be making an appearance then?
While I'm wary of two simultaneous projects interfering with one another, I very much support the idea of using alternate timelines. It allows each version to thrive independently, free from being hamstrung to existing lore and established expectations. Plus, more Ghostbusters can only be a good thing!
Sequel Number Three?!
I know, I know - this is getting kinda ridiculous now, but we can't forget about the leaked Sony emails revealing this hunky Hollywood duo's plan to get involved in all this ghost-busting action.
Keen to strap on a proton pack of his own, Tatum asked Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal for permission to start working on their own franchise spin-off, likening his vision to Batman Begins:
Let us show the world The DarkSide and let us fight it with all the glory and epicness of a HUGE BATMAN BEGINS MOVIE. I know we can make this a huge franchise. Fun adventure craziness. COME OONNNN!!!
It's unclear whether this is the same project Aykroyd is working on, or if it's even in development. But think about it: Tatum + Pratt + Ghostbusters + Batman = mind blown!
The Hall of Ghostbusting Fame
Alright, enough of all this sequel talk. Let's take a moment to remember exactly what made Ghostbusters so damn special back in 1984. For one, it was its all-star cast, each individual a comic genius in their own right. But 30 years is a long time and the crew have changed a lot since opening their spirit-trapping start-up.
When there's something strange in your neighborhood, these are the guys you're gonna call...
Bill Murray / Dr. Peter Venkman
Age then: 34
Age now: 64
Dan Aykroyd / Dr. Raymond "Ray" Stantz
Age then: 32
Age now: 62
Ernie Hudson / Winston Zeddemore
Age then: 39
Age now: 69
Sigourney Weaver / Dana Barrett
Age then: 35
Age now: 65
Rick Moranis / Louis Tully
Age then: 31
Age now: 61
Of course, there's one very important member of the crew who will tragically remain absent from any future films. Comedy legend Harold Ramis sadly passed away last year, but let us remember him for all the laughs he so generously gave us.
R.I.P. Harold Ramis
So there you have it. Not one, but two (and possibly three!) Ghostbusters movies are in the works, and as a die-hard fan I could not be more excited about the return of the Ecto-1. Please, please, just make sure at least one of them is good!