They Might As Well Start Mixing and Matching Movie Franchises

By  · Published on April 2nd, 2015

One of the biggest issues I had with the recent announcement of an all-male Ghostbusters movie following the announcement of an all-female Ghostbusters movie – aside from the fact that it felt like a studio reacting to backlash from an otherwise moronic segment of online misogynists – is that there was already a great alternate Ghostbusters idea out there.

What if the team behind 22 Jump Street made a movie in which Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, within their Jump Street universe, become Ghostbusters?

No, this isn’t a real idea put forth by anyone with any real power. It was something I pulled from a ScreenRant comment section on an article about the proposed mash-up between Jump Street and Men in Black (two franchises owned by Sony). This idea makes sense to me, and not just because I want to see Phil Lord and Chris Miller direct everything that is fun.

Think about it. What is the scourge of our current cinematic landscape? The endless supply of remakes, reboots, sequels and repackaged franchises. No, that’s not the right answer. The scourge of our current cinematic landscape is the boring remakes, reboots, sequels and repackaged franchises. No one in their right mind is complaining about the fact that we’re getting a sequel to The Avengers in less than a month. And I don’t see very many people bemoaning the fact that Ryan Reynolds is about to make an awesome Deadpool movie that finally lives up to our expectations for the character. We don’t mind these retreads because they are interesting and engaging and a hell of a lot of fun.

What we do mind is the fact that we’ve had to endure so many listless, profit-driven attempts to string current franchises along and bring old franchises back to life. Why? Because no matter their quality, these films have a strong chance at making good money for a studio. And studios like making money.

This idea that franchises could be remixed, mashed-up and played with seems like a more interesting evolution in blockbuster filmmaking than simply carrying on the Transformers franchise for 4–6 more loud, charisma-free movies.

What got me thinking about all this again was an April Fool’s joke that IGN put together yesterday. It’s a trailer for a theoretical Fast and Furious movie that puts Vin Diesel’s Dom in the world of Marty McFly. It’s a brilliant little ditty called Fast to the Future:

Why shouldn’t this be a real thing? Universal is the studio behind both Back to the Future and Fast and Furious. If they really wanted to do it, I’m sure they could find a way to make something like this happen. Just as Sony could mash-up 22 Jump Street with Men in Black and/or Ghostbusters.

Wouldn’t this be more interesting than more assembly-line sequels and remakes?

It’s a ridiculous idea. And it’s not likely to ever happen. But I know that I’d have more fun if this fans-turned-filmmakers generation of writers and directors got a chance to play around a bit in these big budget sandboxes. Any sane person would look at an idea like mashing together Back to the Future and Fast and Furious and ask, “why?” To them I say, “why not?”

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)