In hearing about the new hope for seeing Ghostbusters 3 on screen, there have been articles that bring particular people into the mix, or ideas, that don’t necessarily jive with the spirit of the original two films.
I’d like to address one article in particular, before going into my own thoughts of what the film needs in order to succeed both in terms of success and carrying on the torch to a potential new series of films.
The article that I’d like to address is Cinematical’s Friday Five: Ways to Make a Cool ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel.
1. ‘Get the Apatow crew involved’
Sure, that’d be alright, but let’s not do this if it won’t make sense for a story worth telling. They’ve gotta capture what the original crew got right. People that were real, they weren’t too over the top, and they were able to pull off jokes that have remained timeless, that are still funny to this day. And they were believable in the roles that they were in. So long as the Apatow crew can manage that, it’ll work.
2. ‘Get a director who understands the franchise (ie: Harold Ramis or Ivan Reitman)’
This is a fantastic idea, and would be perfect for the film. They’d be able to keep things going with the right look and feel that captures the originals very well. I have hope with the Apatow name, as his Freaks and Geeks work was terrific.
3. ‘Aim for a HARD PG-13’
Look, when you involve the Apatow crew, it’s always best to let them go off, uncensored.
This is one of the worst ideas on the list, and pretty much assures that the film will not capture the creativity, synergy or spirit of the originals. Ghostbusters, for whatever reason, struck a chord with kids. So much so that the Ghostbusters, seen smoking in the first film, didn’t have a single cigarette in the second. Taking a PG series into the realm of ‘Hard PG-13’ or ‘Nearly R’ would be a nail in the coffin of what could otherwise be a great start to a renewed franchise. Letting the ‘Apatow crew’ go off uncensored isn’t going to make the movie better. The original crew never went off uncensored. Sure, let them have fun on the set, that’s great. But there’s no room for terribly vulgar scenes in a film series that kids everywhere are going to want to see. Keep it clean, and a great mix of fun and serious.
4. ‘Don’t go absolutely nuts with the CGI’
Here’s another one that I agree with. Let’s not go overboard, but keep it to the amount that’s found in the originals, if not just a little bit more. There doesn’t have to be constant CG anything. Remember, the villain in the first film was mostly unseen, save for the terror dogs, up until the end. The second film had the ghost of an evil tyrant stuck in a painting. Ghosts can feature throughout the film, but only to keep the impending threat present. The rest of the time, what makes it most interesting, is the use of whole sequences with nothing but the Ghostbusters and other people interacting among day-to-day settings.
5. ‘Limit the involvement of the original cast’
I can see this approach working, and I can see it the other way. Having the film start out like the other two would be a good way to introduce the fact that there is a new resurgence of ghosts appearing, followed by scenes that set up the new crew. Let’s put it in the fire house, with Ray talking to one of the new guys, Egon talking to another, and Peter and Winston talking to the other two. Something simple that shows that, perhaps, they actually hired some new people in the interim between Ghostbusters 2 and 3, and that not all of them are actually ‘new’ to the idea of busting ghosts.
I would like to see the movie retain some of the formula of the original two films, but perhaps start with some kind of threat, and perhaps we see some of the original Ghostbusters finishing up the catch of a ghost, and returning to the firehouse.
Ecto-1 is an icon, instantly recognizable. Let’s not ruin it by making it into something else, but be sure it appears in the film, and if a new version has to be made, do it with something similar at least.
The proton packs and the trap should be relatively similar, if not a bit lighter than the originals. Technology has progressed so much that perhaps Egon eventually figured out a way to make them lighter. The sounds and the proton beams should be familiar, though.
The PKE Meter should also make an appearance.
One of the charms of the original Ghostbusters is the non-love story. It had a love-story that wasn’t. If there is to be some form of a love story in this new film, try to emulate that without copying it directly.
A montage of ghostbusting is really good as well, and that could be the introduction of the new team to the world.
All in all, I’m looking forward to this movie with trepidation and am hoping that the writers can pull it off, hopefully making the third one a film worth waiting for.