Bust out the proton packs boys, ’cause this film is a ghost of its former self.
Ghostbusters 3 is one of those projects that, at this point, might be more trouble than it’s worth. The original was a well written comedy (it was meant to make you laugh after all) that just gets better with age. The 1989 sequel, while panned by many critics and fans alike, is actually my personal favorite. From the pink slime, to possessed Carpathian paintings (not to mention Janosz); to this day it’s still like comfort food ranking right up there with City Slickers 2. But with the trials and tribulations the Ghostbusters 3 sequel has waded through over the years, the passing of actor Harold Ramis probably should ring the death knell of this flick.
However, apparently that’s not the case.
We recently learned that shooting (which was scheduled to begin in Cleveland this year before the actor’s passing) will steam ahead as planned. Turns out, the loss of Ramis won’t affect the overall plot all that much, since his involvement was little more than a cameo. Now, you might wonder just how a Ghostbusters movie can go forward without one of the main cast. The answer is simple; Ghostbusters 3 won’t focus on Ray, Venkman, Egon or Winston at all. The plan for the latest sequel is to show an aging, out of shape (and all around beat up) version of what’s left of the original team, opening the door for the new generation to pick up the ghost traps and start anew. It could make sense, since one of Peter’s original ideas after being kicked off campus in the original was to start a service where the “…franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams.” Will the new film focus on one of the many new “Ghostbusting” outlets that have popped up around the country? Naturally, downtown Manhattan can’t be the only haunted place in the world.
While in my heart, I’d love the nostalgic trip of sitting in the theater listening to Ray Parks “I ain’t ‘frade of no ghost” one more time, the movie itself is bound to be a disappointment.
We’ve heard wild speculations regarding possible plots, ranging from parallel dimensions to a complete remake of the original. The latest from Dan Ackryod himself is that the script will center on, “…new research that's being done in particle physics…I can say that the world or the dimension that we live in, our four planes of existence, length, height, width and time, become threatened by some of the research that's being done. Ghostbusters — new Ghostbusters — have to come and solve the problem." Now, I’m not saying this is a bad idea, as I actually kind of like the concept of how ghosts and energy can move between these alternate planes. The problem is that the notion of starting a new journey without the familiar faces we know and love at the helm just doesn’t do it for me. No matter who you put in their roles, they’re not going to have Egon’s quirkiness, Venkman’s killer wit or Ray’s loveable charm (sorry Winston…I can take or leave you).
A reliable rule of thumb is that good ideas flow quickly, and with pre-production taking 15+ years with Ghostbusters 3, I have to believe it’s going to end badly. While I know it’s not fair for me to judge before the screenplay has even been finalized or a single piece of film is yet to be shot, my gut tells me this probably isn’t a good idea anymore. A safe bet is that it likely won’t live up to the memories of the originals, and probably will be a smudge on the franchise (much like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was for Indy).
Although, am I the only one who would love to see Egon make a return in some kind of sudo-Slimer form, rocking an insatiable appetite for Twinkies? That would be awesome!