it was back in the eighties when the at that time comedic geniuses dan akroyd, bill murray and Harold ramis along a bucketload of co-stars were the focus of one of the most iconous science fiction comedies of all times. the cast was fantastic, the special effects groundbreaking and all the gags were crisp and on point. oh and let’s not forget the soundtrack. just so much: “who you gonna call?“. do need to say more? thinking about it, I have never met ANYONE who disliked this film, which is something I can not say for ANY other film in existence. the success was immense and it fueled an almost star-war-esque merchandise machine.
it makes sense that akroyd wanted to keep that cash machine running and convinced his fellow co-stars to do a sequel. most of them were in the boat instantly, with murray needing a lot of convincing, but eventually caved in when he got presented with a draft that he liked, after rejecting a couple of earlier versions, something that should become a re-occuring theme later in time.
as it turned out though, the film that eventually became ghostbusters 2 had little in common with said script, which made murray so mad that he seems to have never came to terms with it.
to make things worse murray and ramis had kind of a small fallout, which never really healed and the fact that ghostbusters 2 wasn’t particularily well received did not help to push the frachise forward either.
to be honest, I have mixed feelings towards ghostbusters 2, meaning in particular that I almost can not remember AYTHING from the film, which is kinda odd since I viewed it a couple of times as years went by. as for the first installment it only needs one rewatch and I will be able to dub minutelong passages and most likely be able to recite those for weeks after that, but as for the second installment I know for a fact that I enjoyed it each and every time I watched it and that I remember only one single detail from it, because it bothers with since the very first time I have seen it, which is that even though in the first installment the ghostbusters saved the whole city from a gigantic marshmellow man and from the extinction of mankind by zool, which was all FUCKING TELEVISED (!!!!) and witnessed by thousands of people, the mayor does not believe them ANYTHING and thinks there are charlatans. wtf? do I remember anything else? the plot? any action scenes? nope. not a single thing. so it is save to say my judgement in regards to ghostbusters 2 would be “good, but forgettable”.
if we had gotten a better sequel, it would have been possible for the franchise to move along for quite a while, but instead it came to screaming hold, with the studio still trying to press even the last drop of possible cashflow out of it. that manifested in the animated series “the real ghostbusters”, followed by the animated series “ghostbusters extreme”, which both had gotten their own merch line, mostly aimed at kids ranging from action figure to lunchboxes. this was all done without any objection by any of the right holders, of which bill murray is one as well.
what I am trying to say with this splits into two points:
1. if there was any serious integrity in the series to begin with, it was long gone at that point, so what harm could have done any further installment of the live action film series could have done really?
2. whatever pseudo argument murray has given us over the years as to why he did everything in his power to stop further ghostbusters films from happening, is moot.
over the years the fanbase was split in regards to another sequel or even a reboot should happen, but the majority vote was towards desperately wanting another installment. akroyd desperately tried to make that happen, but eventually it always ended at murray not agreeing. at times the general idea was rejected, on other time periods script after script was rejected and who knows what else? so the idea surfaced to just leave him out of the equation, but being one of the major rights holders gave and still gives him veto rights. this has been going on and off for decades now and with ramis dying last year, the idea of getting the original 4 ghostbusters back together died with him. thank you very much, bill murray.
it might have been around that time that akroyd discarded his original idea of making the new installment about the original ghostbusters training and handing over the torch to a new generation of ghostbusters. I am not saying that it could not have worked, but I can relate to his decision. imagine him and ernie being the only original ghostbusters in it. it would be kinda silly, yes almost like some gimmicky cameo roles. also with 2 of the originals missing, it would not make much sense to use any of the other original cast. all reference points that had potential would have been gone. Janine without egon. sigourney’s character without bill. would kinda silly, wouldn’t it?
what we will be getting now as it seems, will be a reboot. Melissa mccarthy is confirmed as one of the protagonists and almost surely Kristen wig,
let’s be honest here, imagine the best-case scenario and put all of our possible prejudism aside, this could be a fantastic restart for the franchise. it really could.
let’s look at the single factors, alright?
let’s say that they run with the people they announced so far. it could work very well. you have four females that can believably portray a physical role. would I have liked to have e.g. tina fey or ellen paige or olvia munn in there? sure, but could you image them carrying an 160-200 pound backpack? surely not. also, they are all genuinely funny. you got 1 ex-SNL member, 1x recent SNL member, 1x recent SNL guest member and you got Melissa mccarthy. reading the forums in regards to this film, stupid rational bastard that I am, it is quite shocking to see the flood of hate in reagrds to this reboot and each announced cast member, yes even the fact that they chose female protagonists to begin with. it’s rather disturbing. this is 2015 and why the fuck wouldn’t there be a female cast of ghostbusters. to be quite honest I really like the idea, because if they really do a proper REBOOT, then this will feel even more like a REBOOT rather than a stupid cash-in-REMAKE.
also, I am pretty sure that all 4 of them could easily punch most of those haters out. so much for a “demasculized ghostbusters film”.
some “critics” and I am using the term EXTREMELY loosely here, demand more “sexiness”. a) yeah geniuses, because that was the great thing about ghostbusters, right? sexy chubby bill murray making cheap attempts to lay sigeorney weaver while wearing supermarket sale clothes and sexy nerdy egon with his overall, 5-dollar glasses and eraserhead haircut bending over his collection of spors, right? b) I find all 4 of the new cast members more or less sexy. the curvy ones as well as the skinny ones. they might not fit YOUR personal taste, but they are all 4 attractive women.
now, some other people say that the cast members are not funny. first of all, it does not matter if they are funny themselves, they just need to have the capability to portray something and someone funny. when Kristen wig for example did an excellent bit on SNL that she wasn’t involved in writing and it made you laugh out loud, what the hell do you care if you would consider her funny in person? I have read many people claiming that Melissa isn’t funny and they usually bring up either “bridesmaids” or “mike and molly”. look, “bridesmaids” was a shitty film, that’s all there is to it and oh, you can add “the heat” to that as well. those were abysmal movies and to pin that to a single cast member is just ridiculous. was it mccarthy’s fault that she got/taken those roles. maybe, maybe not. doesn’t matter anyways. as for mike & molly, it is a chuck lorre produced generic sitcom and they are basically all the same. either you like that kind of stuff or don’t or like in my case watched a couple of those to the end and then decided that everything leading from that point on, will just be a different version of a storyline and joke that you have already seen 4 other versions from. anyway, if you hated already e.g. whitney, big bang theory, 2 broke girls, 2 guys and a girl .. etc etc etc, how stupid are you to even consider switching on mike & molly? anyway, Melissa was on SNL a couple of times and she was great and even if not anything else, the host always writes parts of the introduction sketch himself and she was brilliant. also, if you used to watch only a single episode of Gilmore girls and that did not manifest an everlasting love for her, portraying the lovely character sooki, in your heart then you are dead inside anyways and deserve to fucking die …. wait a second, did I actually write that down? chuckle.
there is one thing that I would have wished for as an additional cast member though: rebel Wilson. she would be the perfect ghostbuster. damn, she could easily take a similar role as murray had in the social array of the ghostbusters.
2) the reboot factor
some say that “this should not be rebooted, it will never ever work out”, but they are wrong. this should be remade, that’s where I am all with you. nobody wants to see the original ruined, nobody wants to see a new team take on zool and the marshmellow man, because the original was perfect, BUT a reboot could very well work. yes, I agree that it could also be a total mess, but on the other hand every great film could have just as easily have been a bad one, if you catch my drift. just think about it for a second, what was it that made the original great? a cool basic idea, great characters, great actors, an amazing soundtrack a great script with great jokes and groundbreaking special effects. the basic concept is the same and all other factors can be reproduced. so far: 3 snl cast members – check. same as with the original. now they “only” need to reproduce the rest of the recipe. they should stick to the gameplan though and do a complete reboot. nothing from the original events should be re-enacted in the reboot. they should be mentioned and the new ghostbusters should be a franchise of the old ones, without ignoring the events of the first ones, but as I said there should be no zool, no goza, no marshmellow man, no healthcare dude trying to shut them down … etc. not even in flashbacks. put some cameos in there and let details of the original appear in a subtle manner. a marshmellow man figure in the bookshell of someone’s office, someone wearing the ghostbusters t-shirt in the newsflash of a tv in the background, a newspaper snippet in regards to the original event on some message board and so on.
what HAS to be in there is some form of the old technology, but updated. the backpack, the ecto one, the traps, the overalls and the storage fascility.
and as for reboots themselves, damn we have seen a couple of awesome reboots recently. damn, it took how many attempts until they finally got batman right? the evil dead remake was fucking fantastic. damn, even I was doubtful as hell and eventually left the cinema totally ecstatic. star trek anyone? brilliant. even though it got a lot of backlash from many fans, the last superman was also very good. well, better than almost all of it’s precedessors at least. the spiderman reboot was good as well. admittedly completely unnecessary, because too early and too close to the raimi version and not as good as the raimi version, but it was still a very good spider man. as for upcoming attractions, I can not wait until the “fletch” prequel reboot will be ready one day.
actually I think that there are NOT ENOUGH reboots. it is just a matter of what to reboot. the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy film series definitively needs another try, that’s for sure.
when it comes to failed reboots, it is always pretty obvious as to why they failed. it was either because the original film/series was not a good idea to reboot and/or because the producers had not the slightest idea what made the original great.
take Robocop for example. as a standalone, the reboot was ok. it was an ok action/sci fi flick with a good amount of the usual flaws, BUT when set into comparison, that’s where things get ugly. it is not even those tiny details that fans hated about the reboot, it is the general misunderstanding of the original film that the producers had. it even comes off as kind of a disregard for the original film. it is the sum of it’s flaws. the original had a clear and simple concept, it had relatable characters, an underlying social and political message and it was as well extremely brutal, but also brutally honest. the reboot is nothing like that. it is pg13, the message gets crammed into your face every 20 minutes, the characters are unlikeable, behave illogical and to make up for all of the they crammed it up to the brim with videogame style action sequences, holograph display bullshit and other bad cgi. they made a decent film, but they just did not understand the product they were trying to replicate.
anyway, that was the “didn’t get it” side of the bad reboot affair, now let’s head over to the “shouldn’t have been remade to begin with” chapter. nightmare on elmstreet. nightmare on FUCKING elm street. does anybody even remember that reboot or did all of you already erase that from your memories completely?
now that one was doomed from the start. now, was there no chance that it could have worked. well, never say never, but the chances were microscopically low. hell, it was a one in a million chance that the original was even as successful as it was. I don’t know what the original writers were heading out to do, but they surely had no idea that people would accept their gruesome utterly evil villain to be “somewhat likable” and that was as well the absurdity of the elm street series as it was it’s recipe for success. people just love that sarcastic child murdering son of a bitch … and 1000 thousand maniacs. I bet craven himself could not understand it’s success. now trying to replicate something that succeeded against it’s own odds just is not a good idea.
also let’s not forget that the series already produced it’s own metalevel reboot within the series itself, because that’s what the final film “freddy’s new nightmare” was all about.
Let’s also not forget that we had 7 full length freddy films plus freddy hosting a tv series, then the freddy vs Jason film and the gazillion of fan films. did I mention the comic? 😉 at one point fans are just saturated. damn, I myself swalled up all of that when it came out, even the tv series, but there just comes a point when you still like a character, but find yourself in the situation that it is time to part ways. well, stay friends, maybe have lose contact once in a while, but surely move on. 😉
3) (the lack of) bill murray
as I said, it has been murray who had been stalling ghostbusters 3 for ages now and he have been finding new tactics to stall it until one of the original cast members and writers FUCKING DIED and people still defend him doing so. look, I loved his early work and still do. I must have seen “stripes” and “caddyshack” like 4 million times at least and I respect that he does not want to do that kind of stuff anymore, but I am also always shocked when people think that they are above the work that they owe their success too. I have read people claiming “oh, good for bill that they moved on with a reboot. now people will finally stop bothering him about ghostbusters 3”. you know what? fuck you. first of all it is pretty clear that he never wanted to be part of that anyway, but for christs sake, the dude is 400 years old. how long do you need to grow up enough to honestly just tell people “I don’t want to do it. please stop bothering me”? also, as one of the rights holders, he wasn’t only stalling the production of a third installment that would involve him, but also the production of version that did not include him, so fuck you again.
many people say that bill was the main factor for the success of the original, which of course is bullshit. he did ad-lib some extremely funny material, fitted perfectly into the role and that’s how far it went. he wasn’t involved in the writing process at all, that was done by akroyd and ramis.
4) dan akroyd
people up to this very day give dan shit for ghostbusters 2, but that’s not entirely fair. it is common knowledge that it was the studio that changed it, yet akroyd gets the blame because he let them change it. now, I don’t know about the business, but there is no talking with the execs. they own your product and if you like it or not, unless you have the final cut which barely anyone gets, you have no basis for negotiations. there are bigger fish than dan that had to deal with that matter and almost none of them won that fight. one rare example is terry Gilliam with his masterpiece “brazil” and it was an incredible struggle. if you are not familiar with the case, I dare you to check it out. it is a very good read for anyone that is seriously interested in film.
many other people fear that the next ghostbusters will be “another bluesbrothers 2000”. well, blues brothers 2000 wasn’t as abysmal as people want to make it out to be. for me it was on the same level as ghostbusters 2: good, but forgettable. what do I remember from it? not much, admittedly. I remember that I liked it, that john goodman was in it and the little dude from home alone. could not have been THAT bad, couldn’t it?
actually I could go on, but I guess those were the most important points. now, with all that said, COULD this be a total disaster? of course it could, it would be stupid to say otherwise, but chances are good that it actually will be a pretty awesome reboot which hopefully will be well enough received to guarantee at least one more sequel. the franchise has so much potential and it would be a shame to let that go to waste.