Jason Reitman has clarified recent comments about his upcoming Ghostbusters sequel while praising Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot. The original Ghostbusters was a huge, cultural smash hit back in 1984, but the movie was made in a time before franchises were a given. None of the cast or crew was thinking of a sequel, and it was only after the success of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon that the studio pushed for a follow-up. Director Ivan Reitman and cast members including Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd had a contractual right to block a sequel, so they all had to agree.
Murray is famously sequel shy but agreed to Ghostbusters II on the basis of a concept that was later discarded. The movie itself did solid business in the summer of 1989, but being released during a crowded blockbuster season that included Batman and Lethal Weapon 2 hurt its grosses. Murray was also unhappy with the final product and swore off another entry. In later years, the studio tried to mount Ghostbusters 3 a few times, but Murray would never commit. When co-star and writer Harold Ramis passed away in 2014 Sony decided to reboot the series, hiring Paul Feig (Spy) to direct an all-female cast that included Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. The reboot attracted a huge backlash from certain sections of the fanbase and the movie underperformed at the box office upon release.
While there was talk of an animated Ghostbusters movie told from the POV of a ghost, it seemed the live-action series was put on hiatus. It came as a surprise to many when it was announced at the start of the year Jason Reitman was directing a new entry - and one that would follow the original movies. The director recently drew ire over an interview he did on the Bill Burr podcast, with many taking his comments about ‘...hand the movie back to the fans,’ as a dig against the reboot. Now Reitman has taken to Twitter to clarify his quote and state his love for the 2016 Ghostbusters.
Wo, that came out wrong! I have nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016. They expanded the universe and made an amazing movie!— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 21, 2019
Reitman’s Ghostbusters sequel will follow four young teenagers – two girls and two boys – who live in a small town and investigate its dark past. How it will connect to the original movies hasn’t been revealed yet, though Dan Aykroyd made comments in late 2018 suggesting the new movie would reunite the original cast. Reitman was talking about how he wanted to recapture the spirit of the original series by using the same filmmaking techniques with his sequel, but his comments made it seem he was knocking Feig’s movie at the same time.
Reitman stated his love for Ghostbusters 2016 in an earlier interview but made it clear his story would follow the continuity of the first two movies. The new Ghostbusters is set to start filming in June but the cast has yet to be confirmed. It will especially interesting to see if Bill Murray will join in, given his reluctance in the past.
- Ghostbusters 3 (2020) release date: Jul 10, 2020