Make it So: Ghostbusters III by Jerry Whitworth
While in development hell for several decades, in this age of reboots and mining for gold in 1980s film franchises, a third Ghostbusters film is virtually begging to be made. And considering the popularity of paranormal investigation television series like Ghost Hunters (and various other similar Syfy series), Ghost Adventures, and Paranormal State (more or less resurrected in the independent film American Ghost Hunter), it is something the public is craving. Dan Aykroyd, undoubtedly the biggest advocate of a third film and who has composed several versions of a script for the movie since the 1990s, has already let slip some elements planned for the project including the original members retired to make way for a new, younger team and that research into particle physics at Columbia University leads to the new troubles arising in the paranormal. Considering the toyline, different animated series, video games, different comic book series, and various other forms of media to spin out of the film franchise, Ghostbusters III all around would be good for those involved (save possible some of the actors from the original who admittedly have little interest or excitement for a continuation). Lets examine some elements that could arise in the third film.
Turn on the Syfy channel any given night and you’re liable to see a show about investigating ghosts or demons at supposed haunted locations (that or a low budget monster movie). Add in films like first person mockumentaries in the Paranormal Activity franchise and V/H/S films and faux (or inspired by actual events) investigation films like the Insidious films, Last Exorcism films, The Conjuring, and on and on, and it becomes almost necessary for Ghostbusters to touch on newly remodeled ground they tread decades ago. With the advent of the internet and ghost tracking equipment that was once only available to a select few, amateur ghost hunters are springing up all around the world making the phenomenon almost common place. Something, if you’re to believe parapsychologists, that can be extremely dangerous considering you have people with little to no knowledge of the paranormal grappling with unseen forces that they have no ability to control. This kind of idea is ripe for Ghostbusters to exploit considering in the past films, supernatural forces were trying to worm their way into our world while today hundreds are opening the door and inviting spirits to come in. Combine that with modern advents in science like uncovering the Higgs boson (aka the “God particle”) and a third film almost writes itself in a manner.
A reoccurring theme in the two first films is to literally go big in the film’s climax. In the first film, the action reached its summit when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man ascended the skyscraper the god Gozer used to enter our world. For the sequel, the Ghostbusters are forced to animate the Statue of Liberty to combat power harvested from a river of slime that fed on the anger and hatred of New Yorkers. It’s then likely something big would have to emerge in the third film however I must admit I don’t know how you could go any bigger. Funny as it may sound, about the only way I could see the third film going even bigger is Ghostbusters in space, which is ridiculous. And yet, a giant marshmallow man monster and riding a living Statue of Liberty are fairly ludicrous themselves. So, could Ghostbusters battling spirits on a haunted International Space Station be impossible or just the right amount of crazy?
The first two films in a big way focused around Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), first as the gatekeeper for a god and second as the mother of Oscar, chosen vessel for an ancient magician. It would make sense to continue this theme featuring a twenty-something Oscar who may or may not have had the influence of franchise star Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) in his formative years. Relationship-wise, the second film also teased a possible connection between Ghostbusters secretary Janine Melnitz (who has evolved into a quasi-sex symbol since her emergence and has been depicted as a Ghostbuster in various media) and Ghostbusters inductee Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) leaving the door open for another viable young character to emerge in a third film. While certainly it’s unlikely canon established in material like the different animated series, comic books, and video games will be employed in the third film, one character who seems to have caught on with fans of the franchise is Kylie Griffin. Introduced in Extreme Ghostbusters as a paranormal and occult researcher with a distinctive goth/punk-inspired character design, Kylie would join that series’ youthful team of replacement Ghostbusters. Since then, Kylie would also emerge as the manager of Ray Stantz’ (Dan Aykroyd) occult bookstore in the IDW comic book series before joining that series’ replacement team of Ghostbusters. Combining a Venkman-influenced Oscar, Stantz-mentored Kylie, and a possible child of Janine and Louis and you have the bedrock of a new group of Ghostbusters.
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