Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What Does The Future Hold For Ghostbusters?

This past Thursday, Sony/Columbia rolled out the debut trailer for their big summer 2016 tentpole feature, Ghostbusters. A reboot of the 1984 Ivan Reitman feature, the teaser debut to mostly positive reactions from publications like Forbes and Hitfix, though patrons on YouTube expressed displeasure with a massive amount of dislikes (its like-to-dislike ratio is worse than the trailers for God's Not Dead 2, Pixels and even the Point Break remake) and numerous introspective comments calling for the death of the four lead actors. In terms of analytics, Pro Box Office noted, when looking at its impact on social media websites and view count across multiple platforms four days into the trailers existence, that "as far as trailer impacts and splashes go, they really don't get much bigger than this."

Such numbers must be a relief to the studio behind the past and future Ghostbusters films, as Sony/Columbia is looking at the franchise to boost their profile immensely. To put it bluntly, the past three years have not been kind to Sony/Columbia, with a number of major big budget duds like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Pixels and After Earth leaving the studio sinking when it comes to blockbuster fare both in terms of profits and critical/audience reception. They've actually had several smaller budget dramas (like American Hustle, Captain Phillips and Heaven Is For Real) fare far better, but going forward, the company hopes to have far more success in the field of blockbuster cinema.

This years Ghostbusters reboot is one of the biggest parts of a plan to get numerous big budget franchises going (there are also in motion plans to reboot Men In Black, Spider-Man and Masters Of The Universe). Sony/Columbia has set up a production company called Ghost Corps. dedicated to creating Ghostbusters related media, including films that will make up a Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe. Among the projects that will fill up this undertaking is the forthcoming Paul Feig reboot, a Drew Pearce penned film that maaaaaaay star Channing Tatum and an animated movie (which is rumored to focus on a ghost) that just picked up a director in the form of Fletcher Moules.

Of course, the big question lingering over all of this is will audiences even want more Ghostbusters adventures? That's going to be up for the Paul Feig feature to decide, as its quality is gonna determine whether or not people want more of this stuff. But on a conceptual level, sure, why not? I could totally see there being multiple Ghostbusters units existing in this world, each fighting over their own kind of supernatural foes. One thing to keep in mind when mapping out a cinematic universe, though, is to make each film unique from a tonal and aesthetic perspective. That's how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been able to keep on chugging for nearly eight years now!

One idea I'd float to keep these Ghostbusters movies different is to set further spin-offs in foreign countries and allowing each different cultures unique take on the concept of ghosts and/or the afterlife influence the way the ghosts are depicted. Eastern countries have a very different take on ghost in their mythological tales than, say, European territories. Embrace those idiosyncracies and you could get a bunch of really unique movies in this universe. We shall see if Sony/Columbia heeds the idea of making each of the future Ghostbusters movies different or if they'll end up getting slimed like Bill Murray and Kristen Wiig. And please oh please ditch any prospective storylines dealing with elements like the destiny/magic blood BS from those Amazing Spider-Man abominations.

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