With the recent announcements in the vicinity of “Ghostbusters”, I thought it prudent to flush out what would make an incredible “Ghostbusters” experience. Paul Feig recently made some interesting comments on the new direction. He said it would be an all-female cast, yay; also a reboot, um; with new fancy technology, piss. The movie is still in early development though and these things might change. So instead of cringe and moan about the state of it, I thought it would be better to Pipedreams this bitch.
Now, the original incarnation for this idea came from Agent Justin and G.U.A.R.D. associate Victor Camba but I wanted to share it because it is incredible. Instead of relaunching the franchise, we should build on the history we already know and love. Set the movie in the present, thirty years after the first movie. The original cast can show up—though they would be cameos at most, and it wouldn’t be weird. If we keep all the old instead of tossing it we get an already established tone and aesthetic instead of having to build a fresh feel from scratch. And really what bonehead thinks the Ghostbuster universe is better without the four original Ghostbusters? All right, enough griping, let’s start this movie.
This opening is straight from the brain of Justin and Victor, get ready to be amazed. The film opens with the familiar theme that we’re all used to in all of its eighties synth glory. We immediately flash to New York, the familiar sound of the Proton Pack and the blaring orange light flash over the screen as four Ghostbusters subdue an entire room of specters. They kick ass, completely on form, but when they turn around it’s not the same four Ghostbusters we’re familiar with. Instead it’s Seth Rogan, Dave Franco, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson. As they catch the last of the ghosts, the scene cuts to The Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles where there is a dozen ghosts harassing the tourists. That’s when Michael Cera, Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Ari Graynor step onto the scene and start kicking some ghost ass. Yeah, that’s right, the Ghostbusters are a franchise. The next cut brings us to London, The Tower of London to be precise. In it, we see four familiar jumpsuits but these are filled with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Serafinowicz, and Jessica Hynes; all of whom are making short work of these ghosts. But then there’s one last cut, a smash cut that kills the music and the camera comes to a stop in front of a dilapidated Ghostbusters building in Detroit. Here is where we see our protagonist, our all-female, totally hilarious protagonists.
The importance of the movie opening this way is to show that Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore’s work paid off and grew from that one office in that old firehouse to a business that spans the globe. It also puts in the obligatory theme song without seeming heavy handed and as a goody for the audience we get to see fun incarnations of the Ghostbusters at work. But the important thing that it does is it sets up the protagonists for the story. Because after all that ass kicking and super awesomeness, the movie cuts to this broken down Ghostbusters office in Detroit, an office with proton packs so old they were probably in the original movie, the shell of an Ecto-1 with no working engine—the whole point being to establish that these are the underdogs. From the very first scene in the original “Ghostbusters”, this was a team of failures and rejects. The key to bringing back that feel is to make sure every other Ghostbuster kicks ass except for this team. There’s nothing like being mediocre amongst the exceptional to feel worthless.
So who would I cast as these failures? Most of the list is obvious: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Thandie Newton (because she is an amazing actress and I will dream cast her in as many things as I can, and Aubrey Plaza. Now Aubrey is an idea straight from Victor and Justin who envisioned her as a daughter of Janine and Egon—because it’s perfect and you all know that you want it. I pick this particular cast because it mirrors the original and if you are doing a “remake” like this, references to the original are only going to make it that much better. Oh, as a side note? Bill Hader as the Janine/Secretary role because why not?
So that leaves a few things up in the air. The story? I have ideas but I feel like it’s more important to lay the foundation such as it is. Connecting past and present is the best way to continue the franchise. What about the former Ghostbusters? There’s plenty of space for them to appear as cameos. Winston could be at the beginning, inspecting the office and giving it a failing grade. Ray could be the president of the entire franchise, like a fire chief of sorts who only shows on scene for the big disasters. Peter? Perhaps his Ghostbusters success revived his television career and now he’s a successful news correspondent for news networks. But what about Egon? We all know the tragic passing of Harold Ramis. Though I will say this, we are dealing with a show about ghosts and I would not be opposed to a brief glimmer of a bespectacled ghost who haunts Aubrey Plaza. The point being is that keeping the past history of the movies allows you to use the cast as their former roles instead of crowbarring in recognizable actors in minor appearances. This isn’t “Star Trek”. We’re not burdened with a preponderance of backstory and canon that handicaps the writers. Instead there’s a chance here to reminisce the old things we love while making a strong bridge into the present. And that’s what we all want from a “remake”.