Sony, in their sheer desperation to have any viable IPs that can berth long-running franchises, put a lot on Ghostbusters’ shoulders. Before Paul Feig’s reboot was even in theaters, there was word on an animated movie and a spinoff featuring Chris Pratt and Channing Tatum.
Unfortunately, Feig’s Ghostbusters failed to reboot the franchise at the level the studio wanted. Producer Ivan Reitman spoke to io9 about the film coming up short at the box office:
“We certainly would’ve loved to have a larger hit,” Reitman, who produced the new movie, told io9. “But considering the last film was almost 30 years ago, it really did extremely well. I think the film cost too much, frankly, and that’s the real issue. I personally had other points of view in terms of where the film should go and it was kind of a continuous conversation with Paul [Feig] about that. But Paul was the filmmaker on this one and he’s a very talented director. I wanted to give him enough room to do the film he thought it should be.
I agree that the film probably should have had a lower price tag, especially since its strongest asset isn’t in the special effects, but the comic interplay between its four leads.
However, Reitman hasn’t given up on more Ghostbusters stuff. While promoting the new Ghostbusters VR experience, Ghostbusters VR: Now Hiring, he provided an update on where they’re at with new feature films:
“We jumped into an animated film [after the last movie] and we are developing live-action films,” Reitman said. “I want to bring all these stories together as a universe that makes sense within itself. Part of my job right now is to do that.”
He hopes the animated film will be in theaters in either 2019 or 2020 but can’t say for sure. “It depends on on how fast we can get it all together,” he said. “It’s hard to make an animated film.” Rather unsurprisingly, Reitman remained tight-lipped about the live-action films.
I don’t really care if there’s an interconnect universe that makes sense. That’s important if you’re trying to build up a massive mythology, but this is about funny scientists who hunt ghosts. It’s a comedy, and the priority should be making sure you have a good story to tell and characters you care about. Making sure that your animated film connects to your live-action film doesn’t really matter for Ghostbusters.
That being said, if the animated film or the live-action film features only male leads, the silence from the Ghostbros is going to be deafening.