Back in March I wrote a detailed explanation as to why a third Ghostbusters film was as far-fetched as a reasoned evening with Dan Aykroyd. Not long after that did headlines like this start leaking into my news feed:
Now I'm not one to be wrong or admit any fault of my own. But kicking aside the parade of times a Ghostbusters 3 was "super going to happen" in the last decade, one can't shake off the lingering question these headlines create. What if -- and this is a big if -- but what if someone actually makes a Ghostbusters 3?
When exploring this, I was inexplicably touched with the memory of another film from my birth year, The Terminator. As if some intangible force had darkened my heart (or maybe it was because I was watching T2: Judgment Day at the time), I couldn't help but wonder if a new Ghostbusters film was the end to mankind as we know it. I know it sounds like the ravings of a maniac -- but so did Sarah Connor's harbinger words in T2. The only difference is that I'm physically incapable of stabbing you in the neck with a syringe, so you might as well hear me out ...
4Its Entire Conception Is Birthed From Hubris
As late as 2009, there have been people denying the possibility of real-world, flesh-hungry automatons from the mechanized depths of man's follies. These days we have uber-brained inventors such as Elon Musk getting all post-nuke Oppenheimer about the subject because of how feasible devil A.I. has become. Like most technological breakthroughs, this was first birthed in fictional work like the golden robot statues of Hephaestus or that dickwad in Flight of the Navigator. In other words, the whole idea seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Gaze into the unfeeling eyes of our impending doom.
Inversely this type of prophecy is happening for the third Ghostbusters, which began as rumors that there would be an all-female film, followed by Bill Murray giving his ideal cast, followed by that "ideal cast" saying that they are totally DTF for the imaginary Murray project, and confirmation that this film is happening.
Now, I'm all for more ladies being in films or wherever. They have legs, and they can go places. I've written about it on this site before. Whatever. But to dip into classical philosophy, the idea of an all-anything Ghostbusters 3 falls under being so preoccupied with whether or not they could do it that they didn't stop to think whether or not they should do it. Hollywood wants to make a new Ghostbusters -- they want it so bad ... all over their face and in their hair -- but there's no narrative reason to keep telling that story. Heck, there was no reason to make Ghostbusters 2, which basically has the same plot points as the first.
Don't get me wrong -- I love Ghostbusters 2 like I love my limbs, but people getting wasted and extra-murdering ghosts is a single movie comedic concept unless there's an organic way to continue the story. Remember story? That used to be a factor in how these things got made, especially with long-after-the-original sequels where the impulse to bring back fan-favorites can cloud better judgement. Like creating an artificial brain, Hollywood is doing this only because they haven't already yet, and they know it will make money, and Hollywood lacks the moral decency to stop themselves. And if they succeed, it will open up a whole world of hurt ...
3This Is Just the Start of Something Bigger (And Terrible)
Anyone who says that sequels or prequels or remakes ruin the original films is filled with fucking fool salad. If you truly love a movie, no additional film will retroactively rape your childhood of that love. Terminator Salvation doesn't suddenly make Terminator 2: Judgment Day unenjoyable. You know, just like how a nuclear winter doesn't ruin your memory of actual winter.
"Honey, sit down. I have some bad news about Santa."
Like a computer hive mind capable of launching the world's nuclear arsenal, a cascade of terrible sequels comes down to hitting that first switch. And as Dan Aykroyd recently jabbered, making a Ghostbusters 3 would absolutely be the beginning to an entire cinematic universe of Ghostbusters stories ranging from TV shows to additional spin-offs. Instead of realizing that people laser-fighting obese phantoms was a one-off story concept, he wants folk to be talking about his creation well into 2050. He wants the story of these four guys stretched thin, branded, turned into multiple TV shows, and given prequels following the Ghostbusters as teenagers and children. Dan Aykroyd is a nutty loaf of banana muffin, the kind of lunatic that you'd see eating a Bible on the subway, and he's also the executive producer of the newest film.
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"Tonight, I will only answer questions about geology."
So that's what is at stake here. Because whether or not it turns out to be good, Ghostbusters 3 will succeed as a moneymaker. After all, that's why these endless sequels and remakes exist: because the studios know we will see them based off name recognition. From there, a studio-successful Ghostbusters 3 would open up floodgates more emotionally brutal than watching a puppy get killed by a falling Dumb and Dumber To billboard. It certainly wouldn't ruin the original films, but like the T-1000 taking the form of Sarah Connor, it could totally use the original films to hurt us. And along the way, it might take out our heroes as well.