Back in 2016, Sony hoped to expand the Ghostbusters franchise into an entire cinematic universe, but as we all know that didn’t quite pan out as planned. With the arrival of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, they may get a second chance rebuild the franchise as Jason Reitman believes that the movie sets up the potential for more movies and spin-offs in future. While there are many reasons, now we seem to be getting the Ghostbusters sequel that has been so desperately wanted for decades, to leave it alone, there is no denying that if it is done right any fan of the franchise would want to see Ghostbusters become as prominent in the world as it was in the 1980s.
Jason Reitman has made no secret that taking over the director’s role on the franchise from his father has been as much about pleasing his dad as anyone, and while the movie negates around the 2016 reboot and restores the continuity of the 1984 original and 1989 sequel, Reitman would love to see other directors take up the role in future to bring more stories to the Ghostbusters canon. While speaking at New York Comic Con, CBR reported Reitman as saying, “I want to see Ghostbusters movies from all of my favorite directors. And we hope that this sets the table for that.”
Of course it has been a long road from 1989’s Ghostbusters II to Afterlife, with so many misfires and non-starters that fans had pretty much given up hope of ever seeing Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson reuniting to bust more specters, spooks and things that go bump in the night. Aykroyd has said in numerous interviews about the original idea for Ghostbusters III, which would have had the subtitle of Hellbent and have seen the Ghostbusting team actually ending up in hell. While that film was abandoned, the story, which like Afterlife leaned heavily on the mythology of Gozer and Ivo Shandor, eventually found a use when it became the basis of Ghostbusters: The Videogame. Five years later, any hopes of a movie revival suffered another blow with the passing of Harold Ramis.
When the 2016 movie was announced as a reboot, with no connection to the previous entries, there was always a sense of impending doom coming and it arrived in the form of the critic reviews and a large portion of the audiences that saw the movie. The film wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a Ghostbusters film. For a franchise that had been pretty much hibernating for almost 30 years at that point, the future looked as bleak as it could be…yet five years down the line, and look how far we have come.
When asked on the panel about the how Ghostbusters: Afterlife came together, Ivan Reitman said, “I was lucky enough to get a great idea from Dan Aykroyd. [He] sent me an 80 page script and we made the film in 1984, rushing all the way. And it’s amazing how you responded to it and I just want to thank you all for being here today and hanging in there for almost 40 years. About two and a half years ago, three years ago, Jason came and said, ‘ya know, I want to talk to you about a Ghostbusters idea I had.’ He told me a story that just knocked me out. I said ‘if you think you can do it then you gotta go do it.’ And that’s how it all started.”
From its preview screenings, Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been given a huge seal of approval by the majority of those who have seen it, it hasn’t done anything to tarnish the legacy of the series, and it has created a new and rejuvenated interest in the franchise as a whole. With streaming being king at the moment, there is no reason to doubt that we could see TV series, a new animated spin-off and potentially future movies coming down the line, and as long as they stick with the program and keep the heart of the franchise intact, then we could see that long overdue Ghostbusters universe finally start to bloom. Ghostbusters: Afterlife hits theaters exclusively on November 19th. This story originated at Screenrant.