Do you remember a time, a simpler time, when Ghostbusters was just a movie about some innovative guys who decked out a former firehouse to house New York City’s unruly spirits, a scientist who was simultaneously attempting to woo a woman and also figure out how to get an ancient Sumerian god to stop possessing her and her refrigerator, and a beloved childhood figure stomping through the streets of New York City to wreak havoc and commit some casual murder? Dan Aykroyd sure does.
But the difference between the rest of us and Aykroyd is that while Ghostbusters II was a beautiful triumph of a sequel that deals with the very real and sensible repercussions of what happens when heroes have to face the consequences of their city-destroying attempts to help the public (and when painting-dwelling spirits want to steal a baby), and the love for the franchise has never truly died – it’s just stuck in a proton pack somewhere – the great majority have realized there’s a point at which you leave perfection to perfection.
Aykroyd, one of the biggest proponents of a third Ghostbusters movie, that one that never seems to actually be happening, spoke in London at an event promoting his vodka brand, where the conversation turned to Ghostbusters. The third movie is just the tip of the iceberg; Aykroyd, who wrote the first two films alongside the late, great Harold Ramis and will be penning the third as well, wants to see an entire Ghostbusters universe a la the Marvel machine.
“It’s beyond just another sequel, a prequel, another TV show. I’m thinking what does the whole brand mean to Sony?” he explained via The Hollywood Reporter. “What does Pixar and Star Wars mean to Disney? What does Marvel mean to Fox?”
It’s not just a continuation of the story. He explained: “The whole mythology from the beginning of their lives, the end of their lives. Ghostbusters at nine years old, Ghostbusters in high school.” And then the team’s future and continuation of the franchise (and now potential universe) with new films and story lines. Like Bill Murray, Aykroyd is also in favor of the concept of all all-female Ghostbusters team. “We need to write it,” he said, adding that lady Ghostbusters could show up in potentially the third or fourth film. There’s a fourth!
It’s easy to see why he wants the magic of Ghostbusters to continue; the films are classics that resonate to this day, and seeing them in theaters after their re-release over Labor Day weekend cemented that fact; a packed out theater laughing hysterically at four grown dudes getting slimed by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man while Rick Moranis just tries his best to function means that any subsequent Ghostbusters films are likely to not have any problem getting an audience. But there’s the uncomfortable reality that there’s no necessity to keep it going, especially with so much resistance from those involved in the original productions. Director Ivan Reitman stepped down from the helm – though is still staying on as producer – and Murray has long stated that he wouldn’t like to be involved. Ramis’ death also means that there is one key player definitely not returning.
But if the Ghostbusters universe is going to develop, then two things need to happen to make this absolutely viable. The Real Ghostbusters, the cartoon that ran from 1986 to 1991 and the “Real Ghostbusters” comics need to return in full force. And Hi-C absolutely needs to start making Ecto-Cooler again. If today’s generation is going to know the Ghostbusters, and know them well, then they need to do so while drinking some citrus-flavored mystery drink with Slimer on the box.