The all-female Ghostbusters reboot from three summers back may have underperformed, but the property seems to be more in-demand than ever. There’s already a second reboot en route next summer, this one part of the old one’s timeline but with new characters. And if that’s not enough, Dan Aykroyd — aka Dr. Ray Stantz, expert on paranormal activity, as well as metallurgy — has gone ahead and written a prequel, in case anyone wants even more Ghostbusters.
Aykroyd recently broke the news to Canadian media, as caught by io9, explaining it would be set in the 1960s and look at the teen years of parapsychologists Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, and Ray, played on-screen by Bill Murray, the late Harold Ramis, and Aykroyd himself. He’s even taken it to Ivan Reitman, director of the original 1984 Ghostbusters. Here’s how the actor, filmmaker, and blues enthusiast described it:
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!
Where’s Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, you may ask? Why, Peter, Egon, and Ray didn’t meet him till halfway through the original, though Hudson has long been blunt about how his part was originally supposed to be much larger until it was whittled down at the last minute. (He was also removed from certain posters and even publicity stills.)
But that’s not all: Aykroyd also spoke rapturously, if vaguely, of the other Ghostbusters content in the works, including “one or two other concepts for the Ghostbusters,” with the already-written prequel “a perfect button on all we’ve done up to that point.”
Aykroyd also spoke semi-critically of the Paul Feig-helmed reboot, saying the real problem was that the budget got out of control, which was his fault as a producer. He sang the cast’s praises, and even said, “We would have done another one but, again, the cost overruns prevented the studio from looking at it and doing another ladies’ movie….”
Thus, the forthcoming, non-all-ladies Ghostbusters, which Aykroyd said is being done “in a sensible way,” with costs “under control.” (Indeed, the budget is about half that of Feig’s stab, maybe less.)
“It’s so different from even the first and second (film),” Aykroyd said. “This just takes it to a new generation and a new direction that is so warm, heartfelt and indeed, quite scary when you confront some of the issues that are being discussed.” That film, helmed by Reitman’s son Jason, is set to drop on July 10, 2020.