Dan Aykroyd very recently indicated that he’s not done with the Ghostbusters franchise yet, even as The Heat screenwriter Katie Dippold and director Paul Feig push ahead with their own hard reboot of the property. It turns out Aykroyd wasn’t just talking, either; he and Ghostbusters I & II director Ivan Reitman are now the principles for Ghostcorps, a newly-established production company that will be working on expanding the Ghostbusters brand (among other things).
Feig’s 2016 reboot will be the first new installment in the Ghostbusters franchise, but already there’s another Ghostbusters project in development from Ghostcorps – this one, featuring an all-male team of ghost hunters, unlike Feig’s movie dealing with the formation of a team of poltergeist-busting women. The all-male Ghostbusters film would be the same spinoff that we reported on back during the Sony hacking crisis of 2014, in which it was revealed that Channing Tatum wants to star in the project (with Chris Pratt eyed to be his co-star).
Deadline is reporting that Tatum remains onboard to produce and potentially star in the all-male Ghostbusters movie, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo possibly both producing and directing the film. This would be an extension of the deal that the Russos recently signed with Sony – one that would also set the stage for Spider-Man to make his debut in Captain America: Civil War (assuming that’s the plan), when the Russos begin filming Cap’s next adventure closer to the middle of the year.
The Ghostbusters male-driven spinoff is slated to be scripted by another Marvel Studios alum: Drew Pearce, co-screenwriter on Iron Man 3, as well as this summer’s Mission: Impossible 5. It’s also worth mentioning that while Tatum seems pretty secure set to headline (assuming the project does get a green light), the Russo are far from givens to direct. If they do, though, it would probably have to happen next year – assuming they wind up directing Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 & 2 for Marvel, as they’re heavily rumored to be in line to do.
Reitman offered the following insight to Deadline, regarding plans to expand the Ghostbusters brand beyond the 2016 reboot:
“We want to expand the Ghostbusters universe in ways that will include different films, TV shows, merchandise, all things that are part of modern filmed entertainment. This is a branded entertainment, a scary supernatural premise mixed with comedy. Paul Feig’s film will be the first version of that, shooting in June to come out in July 2016. He’s got four of the funniest women in the world, and there will be other surprises to come. The second film has a wonderful idea that builds on that. Drew will start writing and the hope is to be ready for the Russo Brothers’ next window next summer to shoot, with the movie coming out the following year. It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a lot of wonderful movies.”
It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that Sony’s previous attempt to launch a cinematic universe (see: Amazing Spider-Man 2) didn’t work out; the plan for a Ghostbusters cinematic universe might not come together either. Feig has been heavily criticized for his decision to cast only women as the leads in his reboot by many a Ghostbusters fan, so it’s also hard to not see this all-male spinoff as an unnecessary (and cynical) attempt to appease those fans who refuse to even entertain the idea of lady Ghostbusters. This news arriving hot on the heels of International Women’s Day 2015 adds a layer of irony to the whole thing.
That being said: the Russo Brothers have proven themselves to be quite adept at both action and comedy (see their Community work for the latter), while Tatum’s role in the Jump Street movies – balancing action with comedy with an emphasis on the latter – has helped win over a number of his detractors. Which is to say, the talent involved with this all-male Ghostbusters reboot/spinoff is pretty solid thus far.
Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot opens in U.S. theaters on July 22nd, 2016. We’ll bring you more information about the male-driven spinoff when we have it.