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Paul Feig wanted to explore the superstitions of other countries in Ghostbusters sequel

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Sep 10, 2018, 3:20 PM EDT

No le temo a ningún fantasma. אני לא מפחד לא רוח רפאים. 私は幽霊を恐れることはありません. 我不怕没鬼. Ég er ekki hræddur við neinn draug. أنا لست خائفا من أي شبح. tôi không sợ ma. 

Why did we just write "I ain't afraid of no ghost" in a number of different languages? It's because Paul Feig, the director who rebooted the Ghostbusters franchise two years ago with an all-female cast, wanted to go international with the sequel we'll never get to see.

Speaking to Josh Horowitz on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast, Feig said:

“I definitely wanted us to go to another country. Because when we were doing the press tour, the international press tour, every country the reporters would come with these drawings or artist renderings of that country’s ghosts. And every country has these really wild ghost stories and ghost characters that they scare kids with or keep people in line with. I really loved the idea of the Ghostbusters going to like Asia. Yeah, so there’s a lot of fun stuff that we could have done."

Starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth, the 2016 reboot got pretty positive reviews, but only amassed a little over $229 million at the international box office. Feig blames the criticism/"controversy" and subsequent politicization over the female cast for the movie's poor performance, Not even cameos from original cast members — Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson (Harold Ramis had sadly died before the project was made) — could save the situation. 

As a result, Sony did not greenlight a sequel, even though a post-credits scene perfectly set one up by mentioning Zuul, the antagonist from the 1984 original. This would have fit perfectly into the globe-trotting sequel, as both Zuul and his master, Gozer, are Mesopotamia/Sumerian entities.

Fighting against the spirits and ghouls of other countries/cultures sounds like such an awesome and creative idea that could've given the reboot its own voice by taking the story out of New York City for the first time. The Busters vs Krampus? Busters vs Baba Yaga? Busters vs Yōkai? It's a shame that, like the villains of these movies, the sequel is dead as a doornail. And while Feig is just as bummed as we are, he's incredibly proud of the movie and wouldn't change a thing about it. 

"I think it's really sad," Feig said of the franchise fizzling after one film. "I'm really happy that IDW keeps the comics going ... The greatest moment of my career, I have to say, after just getting hammered and hammered for all that time, was when Ghostbusters won the Nickelodeon Kids Choice for Favorite Movie, over Rogue One and one of the Captain America movies. After three years of white dudes telling me, 'Thanks for ruining my childhood,' [I got to go], 'Oh, we actually helped out with some kids' childhoods.'"