When Ghostbusters was released in the summer, the reception was mixed and somewhat controversial, a theme that continues to linger around the production like an unwanted shadow. Everyone has an opinion on the film, but money talks, and with low box office figures rolling in, it seems extremely unlikely that a sequel will follow. The film has been mired in hatred and opinion ever since it was announced a few years ago, which seems to have halted a second installment, and where the critical online fans are probably happy with this, it seems to have put the stoppers on one of the more popular franchises in cinema history.
Director Paul Feig recently spoke to Bustle and admitted that a sequel to his movie is up in the air. The future remains uncertain at the moment, and with Sony hesitant to commit to a sequel in the light of the poor box office performance, few details are being released. With home video figures to come, this could still change. However, Ivan Reitman has finally broken his silence. Director of the 1984 original and producer of the reboot, the man has been involved in the Ghostbusters franchise since the very beginning. And where Sony have been silent about the future of the franchise, Reitman has confirmed that other movies are still very much on the table.
During an interview with the Mr. Wavvy podcast (via ComicBook), Ivan Reitman was asked about the fate of the planned Ghostbusters sequel, one that was teased in an after-credits scene. Sony has said nothing, and Reitman was on similar ground; he kept his answers short. He spoke generally about plans for Ghostbusters going forward and didn’t allude to the recent reboot, but the key thing is this — there are plans for more movies.
“There’s going to be many other Ghostbusters movies, they’re just in development right now.”
The clue here is in the wording. Reitman has not confirmed a sequel to the current all-female franchise, only that other movies are in the works. There will be more Ghostbusters films. He seems to be referring to the brand in general, which could mean an entirely new Ghostbusters film with a new cast — or the old cast, although the cameos in the new version might have sailed that ship — or even a television series. Sony has made their intentions clear with the brand; they are already planning a new animated series, and have set up Ghost Corps, a subsidiary production company whose sole responsibility is to develop new Ghostbusters content. One thing is clear, which is despite the performance of the summer release, the brand is strong, and the future is very bright.
Remakes are often frowned upon or criticized in Hollywood, but the controversy that followed Ghostbusters from production until its release was an entirely different beast. The film is proof that, when a “perfect” film like Ghostbusters is manhandled and pushed through the remake machine, people will not appreciate it. Whether it was the all-female cast or the remake idea as a whole, people thought the movie was doing a disservice to the franchise. If Sony does develop new content in the future, they will need to keep this in mind. With a rumored $70 million loss coming out of the 2016 film, and a lukewarm reception overall, they would be wise to approach any future Ghostbusters project with an err of caution.
With the furor that followed the film, the future is bright, but unclear. Sure, Sony is working on more Ghostbusters content, but to ignore the reception of the film fans as they do this — the people who love the franchise itself — could be catastrophic. Paul Feig has stated that he would return to the world and its characters, despite fighting a gauntlet of criticism and outright hate during production, but does that mean his four leading ladies will? And what about Ivan Reitman? Could he be convinced to step behind the camera for one more movie? Nothing is certain, but we have to wait for the official word from Sony before any plans come to fruition.
Ghostbusters (2016) is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.
[Featured Image by Columbia Pictures]