What happens when your modern day reboot fails? Just do a better-late-than-never sequel instead. Sony has reportedly been quietly developing a Ghostbusters sequel, and Jason Reitman, the son of original director Ivan Reitman, is set to co-write and direct it.
The film will be a direct sequel to 1989’s Ghostbusters II and will be unconnected to Paul Feig‘s 2016 all-female reboot, which quickly faced sexist vitriol from “fans” unhappy that their precious IP was being tampered with. When that film didn’t perform at the box office as well as Sony would have liked, they decided to move forward with a sequel instead.
It’s unclear right now whether any original cast members will return. Reitman has penned the screenplay with Gil Kenan (Monster House) and confirmed to EW that it will take place in the modern day: “This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot. What happened in the ‘80s happened in the ‘80s, and this is set in the present day”.
Jason has fond memories of being on the set of the original film as a six year old watching his dad work. Ivan will be on board here as a producer, and said of the project:
“It will be a passing of the torch both inside and out. It was a decision he had to come to himself. He worked really hard to be independent and developed a wonderful career on his own. So I was quite surprised when he came to me with Gil and said, ‘I know I’ve been saying for 10 years I’m the last person who should make a Ghostbusters movie, but…I have this idea.’”.
Jason has had success himself independent of the family name, having directed great comedy-dramas such as Up In The Air, Young Adult, and Juno, earning himself a Best Director Oscar nomination for the latter.
Despite the familial ties, a Ghostbusters film doesn’t really fit the kind of films Jason has made, so it will be interesting to see how someone who often excels at elucidating the minutiae of life will crack a wacky sci-fi film.
Sony has been trying to develop a third Ghostbusters movie for decades. Dan Aykroyd penned a script for a third film in the 1990s, but the main actors weren’t interested in returning.
Then in the 2010s, Ivan Reitman announced he’d be doing a sequel, but Bill Murray still didn’t want to return and the death of Harold Ramis forced all involved to reconsider. So the direct sequel was stuck in limbo, which led Sony to go ahead with the all-female reboot instead.
Jason went out of his way to praise the reboot and the work director Feig and the four lead actresses – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon – had done:
“I have so much respect for what Paul created with those brilliant actresses, and would love to see more stories from them. However, this new movie will follow the trajectory of the original film”.
The sequel is reportedly further along than most would expect considering the impressive secrecy Sony managed to develop the project under, and there’s hope that it could begin shooting this summer. The studio has reportedly pegged a Summer 2020 release date for the film already.