I love Ghostbusters. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. as a franchise, Ghostbusters is overall beloved by a large number of people. The first movie, released in 1984, is a bona fide classic. The second movie, while less popular, was all in all interesting. And when 2016 rolled around, a new Ghostbusters film was released. To mixed results.
What actually went wrong with Ghostbusters 2016? Well, mostly it was down to concept. Reboots themselves are very common, and can often fall flat. There are exceptions to this rule, such as Spiderman Homecoming, Dredd, and Ocean’s 11. All three of those examples worked because of one thing: they returned to the core of what the franchise/property is about. Ghostbusters 2016 did not do that. I don’t care about having all women, I don’t particularly care if the original cast appears, but by not having Ghostbusters be Ghostbusters, it sucked. This is why I intend to reconstruct this movie and give my thoughts as to how I feel it could have worked.
Ghostbusters 2016 Characters
The main debate here is whether I would remove the cast and replace them. This is something that people would want to happen, as they find these characters annoying or bad. I will be keeping the actresses, but not the characters themselves, at least their personalities. The character of Rowan North is going to be scrapped, though. I think his motivation is stupid, and not very compelling.
As for the original cast? yes, I would have them appear in the film. Of course, I would! Why waste the talent of Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson. Of course, we will miss the late Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis. However, I would also bring back Annie Potts as Janine, and maybe a cameo from Sigourney Weaver.
The thing is, with about 30 years in between the original movie and this one, there is a lot of gaps to fill. The film would open with a television, showing part of a documentary about the original Ghostbusters. We find out that, After the defeat of Vigo in Ghostbusters 2, the Ghostbusters business went back into the red, financially. The result of that being that Egon sold his share of the company to a conglomerate, which turned Ghostbusters into a large, multinational, corporation. The original team then leave the company they had founded.
The Ghostbusters team we follow is the one in New York City. The firehouse is still a base of operation and is in really bad condition. The four Ghostbusters (from 2016) were scooped up as graduates from university and hate the job, serving mainly as reserves to ‘the main team’. Since the Ghostbuster franchise is now worldwide, the focus has shifted towards the new main Ghostbusters headquarters in San Francisco, where a group of models are hired to be sexy male Ghostbusters and the face of the company. Abby, Erin, Jillian, and Patty are overworked, understaffed, and underfunded, and are on the cusp of quitting.
The main threat of the new film is actually not the corporation that owns the brand, or a returning Zuul, but from the Cthulu Mythos. The Japanese Government call for international aid in dealing with a powerful ghost, which is possessing people and causing damage to Edo. This is revealed to be Tsathoggua, from the Cthulu Mythos. Tsathoggua uses its god-like powers to possess all the Ghostbusters, in order to exhume a temple…in New York City.
This temple is where the Pantheons are housed. By exhuming the Pantheon, the Earth is essentially screwed, and beings such as Cthulu will reign supreme. This leads to Ray and Winston, from the old team, to be dragged out of retirement by the new reserves; who have Janine as their secretary. We then get the scenes that I think would sell this film to old fans, such as working together and the likes. Throughout the movie, we will learn about the characters a bit more, that they always wanted to be Ghostbusters, that perhaps they struggled to get good grades in school, maybe they struggled with poverty or loss. My point is that the characterisation of these new Ghostbusters will be more down to earth and relatable.
I’d end the movie with a huge battle with all the Ghostbusters taking on the big bad. The possessed ghostbusters would be unpossessed and join the fight too. I’d even make a cool scene where Ray and Winston, joined by Peter, don their jumpsuits one last time and take on the ghost. The new team would then get new staff, upgraded tech, refurbishments, and with Janine as the new President of Ghostbusters Inc., there’s hope in the future for these characters, the business, and the fans.
The problem with Ghostbusters 2016, for me, was making it a standalone reboot. I am not saying that is bad, but in this case, it was the wrong call. Having a reboot that resets a universe’s continuity, and creates new characters when we; as fans, know about the original was what led to the failure of this movie. A soft reboot, a compromise of sorts, is much better in my opinion. It would solve a lot of the issues, and pay tribute to the franchise, while also building upon it. That’s what a good reboot should do.