In January, the cast of Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot/sequel/whatever was announced, and for the most part, everyone was excited about a lady ghostbusting squad. For the most part—there were some whiny diaper baby man-tears shed over women getting their period blood all over the uber-masculine (eye roll) cultural relic that is Ghostbusters. And now, in a craven move that smacks of cowardice, Sony is reassuring the whiny diaper babies that they’ll get their own, vagina-free version of New Ghostbusters, too. According to Deadline, Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd* are launching “Ghost Corps”, a production shingle at Sony dedicated to establishing a multi-platform franchise a la Marvel, and besides Feig’s lady movie, the Russo Brothers have been tapped to direct a Channing Tatum bro-version of a reboot/sequel/whatever, too.
If you told me that the Russo Brothers—Joe and Anthony, directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War—were going to direct a comedy starring Channing Tatum and written by Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), I’d be into it. But I’m not into this Ghostbusters concept because I don’t give a f*ck about Ghostbusters—they’ve already sh*t the bed once with a sequel, so there’s no accounting for legacy. And the way this announcement was made is TERRIBLE. First, the exclusive was given to the guy who bitched about the female-driven version Feig is making. The way Mike Fleming frames his information is needlessly inflammatory, deliberately making it sound like the Bro Ghostbusters is somehow counter to the female-driven project, like they’re competing. It’s made to look reactionary, like Sony is already giving up on Feig’s movie and they’re hedging their financial bets by providing a dude movie, too.
But if you look at Reitman’s quotes, all he’s really saying is that they want to build a Marvel-style cinematic universe—Jesus Christ, would everyone stop trying to do this, it does not work for every concept—with Ghostbuster movies, and that involves two teams of present-day, next-generation Ghostbusters. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the way this information was presented that makes it look like a battle of the sexes. A much better way to handle this would be to 1) Not given the exclusive to just one outlet, and 2) announce the first project as the first step in a larger franchise plan. Make it clear from the beginning that this is just the beginning. Don’t drop a second project on us and then spin it to look like a mulligan on the first one.
*These movies are doomed if he’s in charge.