Monday, 4 August 2014

Hollywood Babble On & On #1167: The Ghostbusted Conundrum

Sony/Columbia really wants Ghostbusters 3

The company has recently dropped more bombs than Curtis LeMay, many of them extremely expensive bombs, and even their "sure things" like the Spider-Man franchise now cost so much to make and market they can't break even unless they break records, and they're not breaking records.

So when presented with the possibility of reviving the box-office record breaking franchise that cost a fraction of a modern James L. Brooks rom-com and comes with literally truckloads of merchandising opportunities, they're going to go for it, hell or high water.

And there's a lot of hell and high water between the dream of a third Ghostbusters movie and actually getting it made and released.

1. Harold Ramis, the man who took Dan Aykroyd's impossible science-fiction/horror/comedy epic into the plucky underdog vs the government and the supernatural movie we all love, is dead.

2. Bill Murray isn't interested, too busy being Bill Murray as a piece of performance art.

3. Ivan Reitman isn't interested in directing, too grieved by the loss of Ramis.

4. Dan Aykroyd, though keen on the project, has been distracted for the last 20 years by building a Canadian liquor empire, and it shows in a lot of the things he's done recently.

But Sony's not going to let it go, they're even talking to Bridesmaids director Paul Feige about making a reboot with an all female cast.

Now this is where I will get called a sexist, because anyone who questions any decision about gender swapping characters is called sexist, which is about 75% of the reason behind the decision:

An all-female Ghostbusters will be a disappointment.

But wait, there's more!

An all male Ghostbusters starring the Judd Apatow  mafia of Rogen, Franco, & Co. would also be a disappointment.

A reunion of the living original cast-members would also be a disappointment.

In fact I believe that any attempt to revive Ghostbusters, no matter who does it, or how, would be a disappointment.

Don't believe me?

Then ask yourself this question:

Why do you think they didn't make Ghostbusters 3 twenty-five years ago?

Because even though fans had demanded Ghostbusters 2 since the first one premiered, it made less domestically and internationally combined than the first one made domestically, and was outshone by Batman from Warner Bros. and was written off as a flop by Columbia Pictures. It was also looked down on by the critics, currently holding a 51% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

Ghostbusters 2 was a disappointment.

You see there's something I have now christened THE GHOSTBUSTED CONUNDRUM.

You get a movie, it's original, imaginative, and connects beautifully to the zeitgeist. It becomes a huge hit.

People say they want to see more!

The studio says "And you shall have more!"

Then the people get more, look at it, and say… "Oh, there's something missing I can't put my finger on… What else is playing?"

The original was not a perfect film, but it connected so well with fans, it didn't matter. However, getting that connection back for a sequel, or a reboot, is like putting toothpaste back into the tube.

Putting such a task on the back of Paul Feige and female performers like Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy is setting them up to fail. The audience will look at the trailer, not feel that chill down the back of their neck that they had with the original, go see something else. Then the studio can say: "See, female-driven movies can only go so far! They're the reason why it bombed! Not us!"

Feige and company would be better off doing something original that doesn't have so much baggage strapped to it.

The audience too should learn to let go, and let the franchise rest, so that something new can be allowed to be created.

We'll all be better off that way.


  1. Sony is a joke. I've always had the impression that the Japanese needed a stake in the Hollywood IT property market to complement their IT stealing electronics. Subsequently, Columbia pictures sold them a pup and it's been down hill ever since.

  2. Ah but the Ghostbusters did have a saturday morning cartoon show that ran for a few years. So there might be some question of why did 2 flop but the spin-off succeed?

    I think the biggest problem with 2 is that the story ended up being too much like 1, a rehash. Had they taken the story in actual new directions and allowed things to grow rather than just hit the reset button (like the relationships especially) things might have been different.

    Well that and not gone up against the juggernaut that was Batman.