Two days ago, we learned that a new Ghostbusters movie would be on its way in 2020, and that the man delivering the new movie will be Jason Reitman, director of Juno, Up in the Air, and last year’s Tully and The Front Runner. He also happens to be the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman.
The news came via an exclusive report from Entertainment Weekly, which didn’t tell us much else about the new film, except that it’s expected to take place in the universe of the two original Ghostbusters films — a separate timeline, if you will, from the events of the 2016 reboot directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. That was followed by a short teaser the very next day that prominently featured the iconic Ghostbusters vehicle, the Ecto-1, gathering dust under a tarp in a barn, and the internet understandably geeked out.
But do we need a follow-up of any sort to the original Ghostbusters movies, or should we let them rest in peace? We think this is another topic worth debating, so we’ve gathered two competing viewpoints from RT staffers for you to mull over. Read on for each argument, and then vote in the poll below!
First of all, let’s just address the elephant in the room and say that the recent Paul Feig Ghostbusters wasn’t remotely as bad as the internet would have you believe. That said, it was never going to live up to the original film — or, to a degree, even its admittedly less successful sequel — if only because of its iconic cast and legacy. It inevitably invited comparisons to those 1980s classics and suffered for it, and if nothing else, it reminded us how much we loved those earlier films. The cast hasn’t been announced yet, but this is our (perhaps last) chance to get a proper third movie, albeit without the late Harold Ramis, and we’ll happily take it to spend more time with Peter, Ray, Winston, Dana Barrett, and Louis Tully. Hell, we’d love to see Annie Potts’ Janine again, too. On top of all that, the film is being directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan, and not only is he a self-proclaimed lifelong fan of the movies, he himself said that he avoided taking on the project until he had a good enough idea for a story worth telling. When his father read it, he said it was “so emotional and funny” that it made him cry. Taking all of that into account, a new sequel to the original series sounds like a fantastic idea, and the new teaser has effectively put me in the front seat of the hype train.
Look, I love the original Ghostbusters as much as the next fan, and possibly even more; I watched The Real Ghostbusters cartoon religiously, owned action figures, and when I was nine, I lobbied my parents hard (but unsuccessfully) for a proton pack so I could dress up as one for Halloween. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the 2016 Paul Feig reboot, so it would make sense to assume I’d be all for a new film set in the universe of the original film. Would I love to see Bill Murray snark it up as Peter Venkman again? Who wouldn’t? Do I think it would be fun to see the return of Sigourney Weaver’s Dana — and her now grown-up son Oscar? Absolutely. There are, however, a lot of reasons why I don’t think a new sequel is a good idea, and here are just a few.
First, as much as I love the originals, I’d rather Hollywood spend their time and money on some new material. We’ve already got plenty of other remakes, reboots, reimaginings, and sequels without beating another (un)dead horse. Second, Harold Ramis (R.I.P.) is no longer with us, and it just wouldn’t feel right to do a Ghostbusters film without good old Egon, not to mention the fact that we don’t even know if the original cast is returning. Third, yes, Jason Reitman is blood-related to original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, but in no way does that automatically qualify him as a good candidate to direct a sequel. He had a pretty excellent track record for a while, but three of his last four films have ranged from less than stellar to downright inexplicable (Labor Day, anyone?), and he’s never helmed a big, effects-driven blockbuster before. At this juncture, there are just too many unknowns and too many risks involved to make this a good idea.