The unexpected announcement from Jason Reitman that he'll be creating another Ghostbusters film, produced by his father (the original film's director, Ivan Reitman), and set in the world of the original films, probably caught even the ghosts themselves off-guard. Now that everyone's had some time to digest that a new film is coming, it's time for some internet takes that could be too hot to handle, and too cold to hold.
We don't know much about this new movie, but when has that ever stopped the internet from theorizing? All we know for certain is what Reitman has said thus far, to EW: “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." He added, "This is very early, and I want the film to unwrap like a present. We have a lot of wonderful surprises and new characters for the audience to meet."
The first present came in the form of a teaser, set to Elmer Bernstein's iconic music, and features the Ecto-1 being stored in a mystery barn.
Even though the classic actors, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and Ernie Hudson (sadly not the dearly departed Harold Ramis) made cameos in Paul Feig's reboot film, Reitman also makes it clear to EW that the "talented actresses" from that movie will not appear here. This is the Ghostbusters prime universe through and through, so Chris Pine and Karl Urban will also (most likely) not be involved.
Over at io9, Germain Lussier offers some first impressions, theorizing that someone in this mystery barn is working on a proton pack. "Who that is or why they are doing that, we don’t know," he writes. "But the car, under the tarp, in a barn, may just suggest that after the events of Ghostbusters II, the Ghostbusters had actually won and there was no need for them anymore. So the Ecto-1 was put in a garage (definitely outside of Manhattan) to collect dust for a few decades and, well, now it’s needed."
He adds that all of what he writes is just guessing, but that the cinematography used in the trailer gives him a more "Evil Dead/Stranger Things vibe" than the original films. We can definitely see this going the Stranger Things route — these days it's almost weird not to have misfit kids on bikes in your movie, even if that movie is Mary Queen of Scots.
Jessica Chobot points out some details that some may have missed at Nerdist — she too notices an Evil Dead connection, calling the teaser's approach to the mystery barn "Sam Raimi-esque." She points out that a tree near the cabin is sputtered with ectoplasm (which would indicate that there "are some ghosts that definitely need busting"), and that the presence of nefarious weather is probably a harbinger of dark things coming — it always was in the original films, at least.
Chobot goes on, saying that the presence of the Ecto-1 stored here at all seems to indicate that the team never became a big Men in Black-like organization, and that after saving the world from Vigo the Carpathian in Ghostbusters II, the boys were probably forgotten and relegated to doing birthday parties again. She also points out the sound of a proton pack being worked on (and activated) in the cabin, with a little bit of energy popping out. The person doing the work could be a "Ghostbuster superfan, a crackpot, or a little bit of both." Also of note: the Ecto-1 seen here is not the fresh-license plate bearing, souped-up "Ecto 1A" from Ghostbusters II— it's the original article, which Chobot admits is probably for nostalgic purposes.
The idea posed here, that a (likely toxic) Ghostbusters fanatic is working is on the equipment (which brings out new spectral activity) is interesting — as they say themselves, it is reminiscent of Kylo Ren trying to be Darth Vader 2.0 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
This kind of merges with a theory found on Reddit, where user "Herobrine2401" posits the same idea: the original Ghostbusters are done, they've left their stuff in a barn, someone came across it all, and they started to rework it and use it. The interesting spin on this take: "What if, the person using or working on the proton pack is Oscar, Dana Barrett’s baby? Maybe Peter did leave to be with her and told Oscar about the ghostbusting business and Oscar decided to find the old equipment and eventually did and started to rebuild the business."
A grown-up Oscar (OSCAR!!!) from Ghostbusters II would be cool, and after what Vigo put him through, he might be ready to start driving the Ecto-1 up a mountain of skulls to a castle of pain.
Another Reddit user ("u/Pizza_Venkman") points out that everything here could be Ray Stanz-related. The barn could be on Ray's family property, Ray could be the one testing the equipment after "years of non-use," and that there were potential "issues that only Egon had the knowledge to fix." Ray is struggling to make things work again without Egon.
What we like (yet are sad about at the same time) about this idea is that the movie won't try to recast Egon Spengler — how could you, how could anyone? In the world of this new Ghostbusters, Egon has passed, and the remaining members have to go on without him. It would be especially hard for Ray. This has the movie involving Egon (and Ramis) without him being physically present— honor the character, and the man behind the character. Recasting (or doing some kind of "Rogue One-Grand Moff Tarkin-Peter Cushing" thing) would not be the best idea.
Plenty other Reddit users are wondering if the new film will take the 2009 video game into consideration, which was kind of built up as a new entry of sorts at the time. This seems a little unlikely, but you never know. There's generally a lot of hope on Reddit at the moment, with one user already hoping that the great words of Dr. Janosz Poha from Ghostbusters II won't have to be mentioned in reference to this film: "Everything you're doing is bad. I want you to know this."
As for me? Personally I like the crackpot fan theory, though the thought of a grown-up Oscar is also kind of fun. Since this project came out of nowhere (and is already further along than people thought), surely it's only a matter of time before we hear that Murray, Aykroyd, and Hudson will be back — nobody really sees this working without them. Sigourney Weaver would be a necessary inclusion as well (of course), Annie Potts would be great, and if Peter MacNicol (the best thing about Ghostbusters II) wanted to come back, well, that's beyond awesome. If we really want to get to the gold, however, then we know who has to be called.
I don't care how they do it, and I don't even care what Louis Tully's story would include. Get Dark Helmet out of retirement and back on our movie screens, and this entire enterprise will be worth it. It'll be two in the box, ready to go, we be fast and they be slow.
Possibly like a spirit (some people fear it, some people just won't go near it), this new Ghostbusters project will be upon us in 2020. Which theory do you go for? Crackpot fan in a barn, or grown-up Oscar? Vigo II in a Kylo Ren mask? Somehow managing to incorporate kids on bikes in the '80s? Let us know in the comments.