So let me start by saying that I try to be optimistic when someone is clearly trying to right a wrong or correct a mistake. One of the reasons why I plan to go see the Sonic The Hedgehog film by Paramount is not so much that I longed to see Sonic on the silver-screen, but because they actually LISTENED to the fan outcry on Sonic's design and redesigned him. Now, for that reason alone I will go see the movie whereas before I had no interest in going to see it. The movie still could stink, but they've earned complementary-credits (cool-points) from me. We all know the CATASTROPHE that was the 2016 Ghostbusters: Answer The Call film. I'm not going to get into the agendas and so-forth and from this point on I will only refer to that movie as Answer The Call. Suffice it to say that for a myriad of reasons, the general-populous did NOT like that film. The movie did everything it could to antagonize and insult fans of the franchise rather than cater-to and placate the fan-base. It was not the Ghostbusters III that we had all longed for. Well, unfortunately we can never truly have that experience on screen because Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler) is no longer with us. The closest-thing that we have to a "Ghostbusters III" is the Ghostbusters: The Video Game which released initially in 2009 as a multi-platform game and has recently been re-mastered also as a multi-platform game. That was the last time we had Bill Murray (Peter Venkman,) Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz,) and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddmore,) together as the Ghostbusters. The backlash of Answer The Call shows that fan-interest in the franchise has not gone away. In fact, quite the opposite. Clearly there is money to be made here, and Sony knows this. So, they have decided to take another whack at it. Here is the trailer for the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Credit: Entertainment Tonight - ETOnline So, now we have a new Ghostbusters film ready to drop in 2020. What are my initial thoughts? Well, it looks interesting on many levels. The first thing that stands out is the fact that they took the franchise-standard of being in the big city of New York and moved it to a small, rural-town. That is kinda of a gutsy-move because of how tied-in the franchise has been to being in the big city, but I think it is a risk that may pay-off. I'll explain later. The next thing that stands out is the fact that the film seems to be centered on children rather than adults. Again, this also is a risky-move as kid-centered films are a tricky marketing-strategy. There is a lot that you "cannot" do in a film like this because it involves children. A lot of the humor from the original Ghostbusters-films would not be appropriate here. So this is definitely going to be THEIR film and I hope that people understand this and do not hold it against the film because it doesn't have the same "flavor" as the original. Let these kids tell their own story and make their own history. I'll just be blunt with the next thing because to me it is painfully-obvious. The "grandfather" they speak of IS Egon Spengler. There is no way it cannot be. You see them uncover a collection of spores, molds, and fungus in the old farm-house left to them by their grandfather and we know that was a hobby of Egon from what he said in the first film. We also see one of the kids pull back the uniforms and you see the "Spengler" embroidered name-tag. So this begs the question. Is Janine Melnitz the grandmother? We know that Annie Potts will be reprising her role in the film and we know that she initially had the hots for Egon even though the feelings were not mutual. Of course in Ghostbusters II, Janine had a fling with Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) who is confirmed NOT to be in this film. So that is a mystery that will carry on for now. There is one part that may indicate that Gozer may be returning. We see the huge-paw of an animal on the hood of the car. To me that clearly is a Terror-Dog. So we'll see how that turns out. We also see the kids driving the Ecto-1 and chasing a ghost that "appears" to be Slimer. Now, the color is more blue than green so maybe it isn't Slimer per-se, but the same "type" of ghost as Slimer. I guess we'll see.
In addition to Annie Potts, it has been confirmed that Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver will appear in this film in some form or fashion. Considering the terrible use of some of them in Answer The Call, I don't think we will have a repeat-performance. It seems that some people are a little thrown-off by the take of this being centered around children rather than adults with the only adult-protagonist being a character played by Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) who is the only one who knows about the Ghostbusters mythic-exploits. Obviously the kids are too young to remember what happened in 1984 so it would definitely seem out of the box to them, but, I like the idea of having at least one adult around who knows what happened before and can help educate the kids on what they are about to face. It also doesn't hurt having Rudd in the film for comedy purposes. He is a very rangy-actor that can give you tear-jerking emotion one minute, and pants-splitting laughter the next. Good choice in my opinion. In 1997 a cartoon called Extreme Ghostbusters was released. The premise was that Egon Spengler was the sole-remaining Ghostbusters over-seeing a new-crop of young-talent. This film kind of reaches back and borrows from it with a twist. I think that if Harold Ramis was still alive, they might have just fully gone with that idea. One thing that has been a constant with Ghostbusters-fans over the years is that people have wanted Egon to return as ghost in the series. I'm not sure how that would go over with Ramis' family, but if it is done in an honorable-way I'm down for it. With the Deepfake-technology and advances of CGI overall I'm sure that they could give us a convincing Egon Spengler ghost in this movie. I think this movie has potential. I like them scaling it down to a small-town. I think people are starting to tire of big, crazy, loud, CGI-fests. They need a break. When you look at a film such as Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (which I enjoyed,) that movie was almost all CGI and the human element was not very strong. While that clearly isn't the point for a Godzilla-film nor has it been for 60+ years, Western-audiences don't understand that so it doesn't get that lead-way and the movie did not do well at the box-office. Then you look at a movie like Joker, which had minimal (if any) CGI, fewer action scenes, and more practical-effects, but a very-heavy and compelling human-element, the movie shattered box-office records. Simplicity is not overrated, but understated. I like the possibility of back-story and origins of the Ghostbusters. Clearly we will find out more of who Egon was, but we may find out more about the rest as well. July 2020, I'll have my ticket.