The box office failure of the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters reboot was a real shame, because it sent the message to Hollywood that female-fronted big-budget comedies don’t work. However, the movie’s female leads aren’t to blame for its failure.
There are many reasons for the disappointing box office haul – a large budget uncharacteristic of a comedy, a script in need of punching up, review-bombing by online trolls etc. – and the studio is trying to reconcile what worked in the reboot with what didn’t work in a new sequel, Ghostbusters 2020. So, here is Everything We Know (So Far) About Ghostbusters 2020.
10 The cast is a 50/50 split of male and female
A common misconception about the new Ghostbusters movie is that they’re going back to an all-male cast after the all-female reboot bombed at the box office. This isn’t true. The cast is a mix of male and female actors (as well as a mix of children and adults).
Finn Wolfhard, who stars in Netflix’s Stranger Things and played Richie in 2017’s It, and Mckenna Grace, who played young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel and appeared in The Haunting of Hill House, will play the kids, while Ant-Man star Paul Rudd and The Leftovers star Carrie Coon will play the adults.
9 The plot is about how anyone can be a Ghostbuster
Jason Reitman’s idea for his new Ghostbusters sequel was somewhat inspired by the female-fronted 2016 reboot. That movie gave Reitman the concept – that anyone can be a Ghostbuster, and might aspire to be one – and he has said that he has “nothing but admiration” for that movie and what the cast and crew were striving to do.
The plot will concern a teenage girl, played by Mckenna Grace (who Reitman has described as the perfect choice for the role, since she’s a huge fan of the Ghostbusters franchise, just like her character is a fan of the real team), who decides that she wants to be a Ghostbuster.
8 It’ll be released next year on July 10
Unsurprisingly, a movie called Ghostbusters 2020 will be released in 2020. The movie’s release date is set for July 10 next year. This date puts it in direct competition with the as-yet-untitled fifth movie in The Purge franchise, while holdovers from the previous week will include the Ryan Reynolds-starring sci-fi action comedy Free Guy and the Despicable Me prequel Minions: The Rise of Gru.
The following week, it will face off against the new releases of Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, and Bob’s Burgers: The Movie, which is still getting released, despite the Fox/Disney merger messing up the release schedule.
7 It’s being directed by the original director’s son
The original Ghostbusters movie was directed by Ivan Reitman, who also helmed such classic comedies as Stripes, Meatballs, and Kindergarten Cop, and the new movie is being directed by his son, Jason Reitman. The younger Reitman’s previous films include Juno, Up in the Air, and most recently, the political biopic The Front Runner.
The older Reitman will act as a producer on this one, as he has done on a number of his son’s films. He’ll probably be taking a more hands-on approach to the production of this one than he usually does, since it’s the sequel to his own cinematic baby.
6 Jason Reitman is co-writing the script with Gil Kenan
While Jason Reitman often draws his movies from screenplays by Diablo Cody (ever since they made each other stars with their collaborative debut on Juno), he sometimes provides his own screenplays and he’s writing this new Ghostbusters movie himself with the help of Gil Kenan. Kenan is no stranger to telling horror-related stories through a family-friendly lens, having helmed the cult spooky animated film Monster House.
He also directed the 2015 remake of Poltergeist, which wasn’t as great as the original and relied a little too much on jump scares, but did succeed in bringing a sense of dread to a suburban setting.
5 The 2016 reboot’s cast members have mixed feelings about it
When it was first announced that Sony was developing a Ghostbusters sequel that would be set in the original universe and ignore the 2016 all-female reboot, the cast members of that reboot had mixed reactions. Leslie Jones said that disregarding the work that she and her co-stars put into the 2016 film was “so insulting.”
Melissa McCarthy, on the other hand, voiced her support for the new film: “I talked to Jason [Reitman] about it. He’s just always had this idea, and his [idea] goes back to the world where the guys did exist and I’m like, ‘I want to see that.’ I’m all for it. I say, like, ‘Tell the story.’”
4 The movie is currently shooting in Calgary
Shooting for Ghostbusters 2020 began this June in Calgary, an Alberta city in Canada, and it is expected to continue for a number of months. This seems like the movie will replace the original series’ New York setting with a Canadian one (or some American city that they’re using Calgary to double for).
The new movie’s director, Jason Reitman, was born in Montreal, Quebec, while his father is of Slovak-Canadian descent, born in Slovakia and beginning his producing career in Toronto, so it makes sense that the iconic father-son team wants to bring tourist revenue and new jobs to Canada.
3 Ghostbusters 2020 is “a love letter” to the original
Speaking about his intentions for Ghostbusters 2020, director Jason Reitman said, “We wanted to make a love letter to the original movie.” Film reboots that dwell on the past tend to not do so well, but Sony already attempted a Ghostbusters reboot that wasn’t hung up on the past and it was unsuccessful, so why not give one is a try?
It seems as though the producers are cooking up an original storyline in addition to the “love letter” aspects of the film. With any luck, the new sequel can have its cake and eat it, too; honor the franchise’s legacy and stand on its own.
2 It’s a direct continuation of the first two
Whereas the 2016 all-female reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise was a complete redo that ignored the past films – apart from a few cameo appearances by the original cast – the new one will be a direct continuation of the first two movies. In Ghostbusters 2020, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore have vanquished ghosts from New York in the past, and therefore, the world is aware of the existence of ghosts.
This will mark a difference from the 2016 reboot, in which Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy had become the laughing stock of the scientific community after publishing a book on ghosts.
1 The original actors might return
Director Jason Reitman has said that Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson have all been sent the script for Ghostbusters 2020, while Weaver confirmed that all four would appear in the film, saying: “It’s going to be crazy working with the guys again!”
It hasn’t been officially confirmed by the studio, so we can’t say for sure that they are returning, but it seems an awful lot like they are. If they do come back, they’ll be playing their original characters from the first two movies and not new ones like some of them did in the 2016 movie.