A New Ghostbusters
When director Paul Feig and Sony had announced (GBI Blog Post, October 8, 2014) “Ghostbusters” was being remade I had mixed emotions about it. After all I had been waiting for the eventually stalled “Ghostbusters III” circa 1995. As the years went on, the films anniversaries “grew up,” and the passing of Harold Ramis (GBI Blog Post, February 24, 2014) I had come to some kind of movie peace about not having that next continuation of Ghostbusters.
Always Felt Like Ghostbusters Was Around
Do you remember GHOSTBUSTERS 20th anniversary? Not much to celebrate away from the film(s). Some merchandise to collect and a new comic series that didn’t work out. I always thought that experience is why Sony didn’t work with a comic book licensee for years.
Ghostbusters Finding Its Way
Ghostbusters 25th anniversary brought ghostheads Ghostbusters: The Video Game, (with likeness rights and their voices) figures in various scales that looked like the actors, (mostly) and blu-rays. Since then the various kinds of figures, (from multiple companies) along with other collectibles/merchandise have grown in ways fans couldn’t have predicted. Having something new in a movie franchise can do that sort of thing.
“You’re Ruining Our Childhoods”
Although announcing a new Ghostbusters film during its 30th anniversary year should have been something to celebrate, ghostheads took it to their hearts and beyond. I took it at least a little personally too. Because Ghostbusters meant “that much” to fans, it was easy for some fans to feel the companies who own the property, people who have been behind it all from the start were going to ruin Ghostbusters. For some fans it was the end of the Ghostbusters franchise forever! Filming hadn’t even started yet.
I partially blame social media. The known sites make it easy and fast to communicate along with conversations taken out of context. That’s also where “copy and paste journalism” (as I call them) sites come in. Instead of just reporting about something positive with an upcoming movie, said sites report negative feelings from (on-line) fans.
With about 4 months from Ghostbusters: Answer The Call first movie anniversary, do you remember positive reporting from those kinds of sites?
What I Liked About Ghostbusters (2016) Getting Made
Even if this wasn’t Ghostbusters from my childhood, I was happy that kids (and other generational demographics) could enjoy and hopefully get into Ghostbusters in a similar way as I did in 1984. Those same kids or older, (they may be adults now) who may have never seen either Ghostbusters film probably were going to watch either or both films, possibly for the first time. Everyone deserves to have and hopefully hold onto their memories and experiences from Ghostbusters.
Sony had set up a specific Ghostbusters production company (Ecto-Containment Blog Post, December 3, 2015) on there backlot, called Ghost Corps. It isn’t there to just add a Ghostbusters decor and a place to park ECTO-1. Along with putting Ghostbusters (2016) into production, its where future Ghostbusters projects can come from. i.e.: animated movie (Ecto-Containment Blog Post: March 10, 2016) and a future new animated series.
Ghostbusters projects from Ghost Corps don’t just have to be written and put on screen. A new movie was going to bring new Ghostbusters merchandise. I knew part of it would be from Ghostbusters. I don’t love the wording, known as “Classic.” It includes physical media such as The Real Ghostbusters DVDs, figures, various collectibles, along with food (GBI Blog Post, February 21, 2016) and beverages. (Ecto-Containment Blog Post, June 17, 2016)
As a ghosthead who has been part of Ghostbusters franchises (groups) since 1997 and oversees Ghostbusters International, even I couldn’t have foreseen women and men making new uniforms and props leading up to Ghostbusters (2016) premiere.
It no secret that Paul Feig likes to work with women in the TV/Film business aka entertainment industry who he finds funny. Around the time of the announcement it didn’t seem to make sense why all 4 “new Ghostbusters” would only be women. Why not two (or whatever ratio) of either gender? That wasn’t really “the problem.” While the film was being made I thought about in a similar way how the original (in production) male actors became the Ghostbusters. They had worked together on SNL/SCTV and other movies, sometimes with Ivan Reitman, and they were friends off-screen as well.
The issue was how do you push a live action Ghostbusters movie forward from what came before? No matter what the production or actors did, they were never going to please every ghosthead or everyone. From being on-line it seemed like Ghostbusters was being rebooted! Or is it a remake? Their were also going to be cameos from the original cast. Some whom had been Ghostbusters. How was that going to work? As a life long fan, kinda confusing and I guess then over thinking where would this new Ghostbusters movie fit in with the others? If that mattered, should it matter?
Naturally their was going to be some overlap with GHOSTBUSTERS about how these four women became Ghostbusters, had similar uniforms, (including an iconic logo) ghostbustin’ equipment, (including car) and a place to work out of. To set them up in NYC like we’ve known since 1984, why not Boston? That’s where a lot of it was filmed. Or the new Ghostbusters could have been in any other metropolis in the US or Canada. Even without the idea of franchising story wise it seemed easy.
The Franchise Rights Alone
When the first trailers were shown on TV and on-line in March 2016, the original marketing (which is generally out of the hands of the production, see either Star Trek III trailer for similar examples) didn’t quite help sell what became Ghostbusters: Answer The Call.
Taken by at least some fans literally “the Ghostbusters” saved NYC (really the entire eastern seaboard, semantics) thirty years earlier. What happened since, where are those Ghostbusters? Is Ghostbusters II days of future past? Nitpicky, as much as we love Winston, he wasn’t a scientist in either film.
That was followed up with another iconic Ghostbusters symbol/location, the Ghostbusters Firehouse, which is really Hook & Ladder #8.
These new Ghostbusters, they also happen to work out of the same firehouse? Either by some realization people in movie marketing should pay closer attention or something else for some fans to raise their voices over, the first international trailers changed scientists to friends.
I looked at the phrasing and Firehouse as movie industry marketing. Scientists or friends + a Firehouse is context for familiarity in a Ghostbusters movie. I didn’t add fictional hope that the cameos were going to be them passing a Neutrona Wand.
To pay respect to at least Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters: Answer The Call had references/easter eggs throughout the movie. Some were easy to miss, others were definitely there. Prior to seeing Ghostbusters: Answer The Call I wasn’t sure how I felt about the threat resembling something from Ghostbusters, [Even with it being part of the marketing and collectibles for Ghostbusters: Answer The Call I won’t spoil some specific plot points here.] that when you see it, you immediately know “Ghostbusters.”
Their may have been too many references and nods with respect to Ghostbusters. Of course that is ones personal preference. At times depending on the scene maybe it was a better way to deliver dialogue for example.
Ghostbusters: Check Your Voicemail
A final scene, either for fun or some sort of set up could lead to a sequel. The future of this Ghostbusters hasn’t been decided. However, Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Ghostbusters will be meeting up with the original Ghostbusters in a comic series titled Ghostbusters 101 in 2017.
Ecto-Containment Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Review
Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment (YouTube)