Plans to re-introduce and expand the Ghostbusters universe hit a little bit of a snag when the 2016 reboot performed below expectations at the box office. The 2016 Ghostbusters ultimately brought in $229 million worldwide against a production budget of $144 million, leading to a lot of questions about the future of Ghostbusters franchise in general.
In some people's eyes, the reboot's failure signaled the non-viability of the Ghostbusters property overall, but creator and caretaker Ivan Reitman clearly begs to differ. Far from giving up on Ghostbusters, Reitman and his team are hatching plenty of plans across multiple platforms to make sure the franchise remains relevant.
Reitman spoke to io9 about the future of Ghostbusters and all the different projects that are being lined up, including more live-action films. Animation and VR are also avenues that are being used to keep Ghostbusters alive in the public imagination. As Reitman explained:
“We jumped into an animated film [after the last movie] and we are developing live-action films. I want to bring all these stories together as a universe that makes sense within itself. Part of my job right now is to do that.”
Reitman admits that making animated films is hard, but says he hopes the animated Ghostbusters movie can be in theaters in either 2019 or 2020. Animation has long been an integral part of the Ghostbusters franchise thanks to the series The Real Ghostbusters, which ran from 1986 to 1991 (and featured cartoon versions of all the original characters), and Extreme Ghostbusters - which ran in late 1997 and starred Egon Spengler, alongside a group of new characters.
As for the Ghostbusters virtual reality experience, that is currently launching on PlayStation with Ghostbusters VR: Now Hiring, which lets players explore Ghostbusters HQ and take on Slimer. Reitman talked about the many possibilities opened up by VR:
“I think Ghostbusters is this wonderful [intellectual property] because it has so many storytelling opportunities. And it’s a particularly good one for VR.”
Reitman only briefly discussed plans for more live-action movies in the io9 interview, preferring not to give very many details about what might be in the pipeline. Reitman did express disappointment over the failure of last year's reboot to catch on with audiences the way everyone hoped, saying "We certainly would’ve loved to have a larger hit." Despite the movie's poor performance, Sony exec Rory Bruer last July declared the Ghostbusters world to be "alive and well."