The universe is rapidly expanding…the Ghostbusters universe, that is. It has been roughly a month and a half since the announcement of the four female leads for Paul Feig’s franchise reboot. And just yesterday it was reported that another Ghostbusters film, with male leads, is in the works. Channing Tatum was mentioned to be joining the project as a producer, but naturally the studio would love to have him as a principle cast member.
Not even 24 hours later, there is more news on the widening scope of Sony’s Ghostbusters franchise. Devin Faraci, at Badass Digest, has reported that yesterday’s news is just the tip of this particular iceberg. His sources at Sony have divulged, that as many as four films are in the works.
Feig’s Ghostbusters, which releases on July 22nd of 2016, is of course the first of these films. The next one will (hopefully) be directed by the Russo brothers, and could potentially feature Tatum in a lead role. However, today it’s being rumored that Tatum may be bringing his friend Chris Pratt on board as another potential lead. Faraci suggests that it’s not a situation where the studio simply wants to attach hot property like Pratt to their film. Rather, it’s a situation where Tatum wants to work with his good friend.
Sources told Faraci, that the franchise’s next film may feature male leads, but will not necessarily be completely “guy-centric”. The movie will also occur within the same cinematic universe as Feig’s, thus discounting any notions of yet another reboot. Whether the stories will take place concurrently or consecutively in the cinematic timeline is not yet known. What is known, is that it will allow for character crossovers to occur, much like with the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In all likelihood, that’s where the third film in this new Ghostbusters franchise will lead – a mash-up of the characters from Feig’s and the Russo brothers’ movies.
A prequel is also going to be made, which is supposed to predate the events of either of the first two films of the new series. This isn’t to say that it or the rest of the movies will connect back to the original Ghostbusters from 1984 in any way.
In yesterdays Deadline article, Ivan Reitman indicated that the character rights, as they pertain to the original cast, are the main reason why no link to the original is foreseen.
“The deals were so strong on that second movie that the franchise became frozen in place 25 years. Nothing got done, we all had the power to block whatever we didn’t like, but we finally got together and found a way”
One of the interesting points about the direction this series is taking, is that not all of the films will be about finding and catching ghosts per se. The “Ghostbusters” moniker will be a “catch-all” term for a cinematic world, based around effects driven action comedies that have a supernatural backdrop.
Now that more information has emerged about the studio’s intentions, with regard to the future of the Ghostbusters franchise, I am very eager to see how everything will start fitting together. Sony and Ghostcorps appear to be reaching beyond just creating a movie series that may produce two or three films, by creating a universe that can instead offer a multitude of entertaining characters and interconnecting story-lines.