You have to hand it to Dan Aykroyd. He loves himself some Ghostbusters. Sure he created the concept and co-wrote the classic comedy, as well as its sequel and has never really stopped trying to get more Ghostbusters films made. For years he labored at getting a Part 3 in front of cameras before the studio decided to go in a different direction with director Paul Feig’s Answer The Call.
But that didn’t stop Akyroyd, who as part of the Feig film was a producer and had established the Ghost Corps production shingle at Sony with the original film’s director Ivan Reitman to develop more Ghostbusters projects. Previously we have heard chatter about a possible Ghostbusters film with the likes of Channing Tatum in the lead as well as a new animated version of the team being developed for the big screen. And while Ivan Reitman’s son Jason is prepping to shoot a Ghostbusters film this summer, which will act as a more direct sequel to the first two films but introduce a new, younger team, Aykroyd has revealed another Ghostbusters project in the works. This project will be a prequel to the original film, set in 1969 when our three scientists-turned-paranormal exterminators first met in high school.
Speaking to the Canadian Press in conjunction with an appearance to promote his private label vodka, Aykroyd said –
I’ve written Ghostbusters High, where they meet in New Jersey in 1969 and we’re looking to do that as probably a glorified feature or pilot within the next maybe five years… And it would lead to a television project and I thought of him immediately for that.
It’s on [Reitman’s] desk but that’s years away from the current project. But it’s a neat idea for a prequel. Imagine casting the three characters as teenagers!
An interesting idea, but one that would have to be executed particularly well to work. At the start of the original Ghostbusters movie Bill Murray’s Peter Vehkman is pretty much not convinced in the existence of ghost or the paranormal at all, while Aykroyd’s Ray Stantz and Harold Ramis’s Egon Spangler are working to prove their existence. Any prequel adventure would have to leave these characters at roughly this point, so that could severely limit what kind of interaction they could have with ghosts in the prequel.
But don’t expect to see much movement on this prequel for some time. Aykroyd states that after the new Reitman film there may be “at least one or two other concepts for the Ghostbusters” that might get made first before they get to Ghostbusters High.
As for a sequel to Feig’s Answer The Call, Aykroyd is less optimistic, given the film’s ultimate box office and production cost overruns. He does place the blame for that squarely on himself.
I kind of got mad, but I realized I should have blamed myself as a producer, the costs were out of control, I should have been watching as a producer a little more, but you don’t dispute with your director.
You hire a director, you trust a director, you trust their vision. But the job that (stars) Kate (McKinnon), and Kristen (Wiig), and Leslie (Jones) and Melissa (McCarthy) did and indeed Paul did on that movie was superior, or superb. We would have done another one but, again, the cost overruns prevented the studio from looking at it and doing another ladies’ movie….