I am a lifelong Ghostbuster fan. Born in 1984 my formative years revolved around the original two movies and the Saturday morning cartoon series. It sparked a love in me of both the horror genre as well as a curiosity about the paranormal and the unknown. In the late 90’s I watched the short lived animated reboot, Extreme Ghostbusters and I have read volumes of the extended universe comic series that is available on Amazon and other online platforms. For years I have watched and waited for this third chapter in the film series and I’ve met with disappointment as each time the rumor of a new Ghostbusters film was shot down. I am also one of the few fans who enjoyed the 2016 remake despite being a complete rewrite of the established canon.
That said, after watching the teaser trailer last week for the upcoming sequel, directed by Jason Reitman, I found myself wondering just what sort of story we’re in for over the next year? With the death of Harold Ramis and Bill Murray being on record as having some very specific demands for a return of Peter Venkman, not to mention Rick Moranis leaving acting in 1997 after the passing of his wife, we can say without hesitation that there’s going to be some major casting changes regardless of script for number 3. So, I’m putting myself out there and I’m making some serious predictions based on my own acumen and creative writing prowess.
The teaser trailer is on a farm, presumably the one in upstate New York that Ray Stantz (Aykroyd) put up for mortgage to get the business loan in the original Ghostbusters. From the barn we see an eerie green glow broken only by familiar flashes of light. In the background, over the faint and ghostly music of the original film we hear a proton pack struggling to make a connection. The wind blows a tarp on a covered car revealing the Ecto-1 before the screen goes black and invites us to wait for the summer of 2020.
My theory is that, either after the Vigo incident in 1989 or a separate, unfilmed incident in which Spengler (Ramis) and possibly Venkman (Murray) are killed, the Ghostbusters are once more forced into retirement. Zeddemore (Hudson) has reluctantly returned to normal life and with everyone’s favorite secretary Janine (Annie Potts) check in on Ray as he lives on the farm and works in secret to try and either catch the ghost that took his friends, or tries to communicate with them from beyond the grave. The latter theory could in fact cause a cross dimensional rift that would bring about a new wave of ghosts and a super baddy that may be, but is unlikely to be, Gozer.
Meanwhile, a new group of hip, young twenty-somethings find themselves thrown into a sort of paranormal shit storm and come across either Zeddemore, Janine, or Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) who introduces them to Ray and, with some reluctance from the retired buster, become apprentice Ghostbusters.
The expected lightweight battles with middling ghosts transpire until, at last, they confront the big bad and the now late in life remaining Ghostbusters are forced to step back and allow the new recruits the chance to take up the mantle. Honestly, it’s going to be an Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls or Star Wars 7 & 8 sort of passing the torch script that gives our remaining busters the chance to retire gracefully with one final franchise installment before giving it the full reboot treatment in the same universe.
Aykroyd and Hudson have already made it known via Twitter that they’re on board with the remake which leaves several principle cast members left to sign. There will no doubt be a touching tribute to the late Harold Ramis. Now, here are my predictions for the rest:
Our favorite smart aleck secretary and Ghostbuster wrangler will no doubt return but, like her other roles, will be more or less supporting and tributary. Unless she happens to be the one who connects our new busters with the old, I don’t anticipate seeing much of her.
As she has been a major focus of the story in both the original and first sequel, Dana will likely feature somewhere in the story but I think it’s too early to say for certain that Sigourney Weaver will return. If she does return, it means that she will once again be a focus of paranormal activity, at least on the periphery. If not, her ghost or her tragic passing will be the drive for one of the new Ghostbusters.
Since Rick Moranis retired from acting to be a father after the untimely passing of his wife, I don’t see the CPA turned attorney turned Ghostbuster making an appearance. There again, stranger things have happened and maybe Moranis will come back to reprise his role as the unlikely hero. It seems doubtful, though.
(Grown Up) Baby Oscar
Dana Barrett’s son, the one time heir apparent to the spirit of Vigo, has grown into an adult and, after the tragic passing of his pseudo father and male role model Peter Venkman has decided to take up the mantle and be the vociferous leader of the new Ghostbusters. There was actually a script floated around once in which this idea was pretty prominent. Whether or not they go this route, I think it’s definitely worth considering.
Unidentified Female Ghostbuster Leader
She’ll be a skeptic who wants to believe. The opposite of the damsel in distress she’ll either be a relative of one of the Ghostbusters, living or dead, or a collegiate acquaintance and long time admirer of theirs. Maybe even the love-child of Janine and Louis or Janine and Egon though that may be a stretch. Either way, she’ll be the new heart of the team and the driven one who wants to bust some heads...in a spiritual sense.
Come on, you know the ugly little spud will be back. He’s probably been living with Ray in upstate New York if that green glow at the barn is any indicator.
Bill Murray has said in interviews in the past that, short of making his character some kind of ghost, he won’t be back. Now, my feeling is that, as the film goes into production, as the fans begin clamoring to see all the surviving busters on screen one last time, Murray will change his mind and return. That and a dump truck full of money and I’m thinking he’ll be back.
Don’t expect a rematch for this new installment. While I think we’d all love to see a return of the terror dogs and the big Goze himself, it seems unlikely that they’ll actually throw down with their most powerful nemesis in this late in life sequel.
The Extended Universe
Extreme Ghostbusters is a good idea if you’re wanting to track the storyline we’ll see next year. A new team assembled by the old, though without that need to be 90’s “edgy” is probably the only connection we’ll see to the cartoons. As for the extended universe of the comics, there was a lot to unpack there but, again, I think it’s unlikely we’ll see them dip into that bit of Ghostbusters lore for any characters or plots. More than likely what we are going to see is the formulaic soft reboot that we got with the last Indiana Jones movie in which Indie takes up Shia LeBouf’s character (can’t even remember his name) as a sort of apprentice and heir to the adventuring throne. There will be some meta humor, of course, because we haven’t seen a movie made in the last ten years that didn’t have at least some self effacing, 4th wall breaking humor pushed into it. Likely, it’ll be a couple of digs at the 2016 remake of the film.
So, there it is. I may be totally wrong. I may be spot on. Only time will tell. We’ll be updating you whenever new Ghostbuster news appears. As for now, these are my, albeit vague, predictions for Ghostbusters 3. Tell us what you think in the comments.