This evening, some strange news broke about the Ghostbusters franchise: another new Ghostbusters movie was in the works, in addition to Paul Feig’s female-centric reboot, and this time with an emphasis on dudes. The movie would potentially be directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier helmers Joe and Anthony Russo, with Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce writing the script and Channing Tatum producing and possibly starring. The news struck me as an odd and slightly offensive move by the studio, one that felt like “apologizing” for the female-centric movie by offering up an action-filled male-driven one shortly thereafter. Well it appears that the initial report over at Deadline may have been somewhat misleading.
Devin over at Badass Digest did some digging and has some Ghostbusters information of his own. The sources he spoke to were “baffled” by Deadline’s description of this second film as “guy-centric”, and they revealed that the plan for this second Ghostbusters movie is for Tatum to team-up with real-life friend Chris Pratt in front of the camera. Moreover, Sony is apparently planning to produce four Ghostbusters movies in all.
The idea for all of this is to create a shared universe (ie. a Ghostbusters Marvel Universe) of supernatural FX comedies, with the hope that after these first two Ghostbusters movies, the characters in Feig’s film (played by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones) and the characters in the Tatum/Pratt film will co-mingle in an Avengers-style team-up movie. As for the fourth film, Badass Digest reports that the plan is to then do a prequel. No further details or a time period are known, but the prequel won’t revolve around characters from the original Ghostbusters since the rights tied to those characters are too complex to untangle.
It’s important to note that a new Ghostbusters movie hasn’t even started production yet, so all of this is preliminary. Remember, Sony also had big, elaborate plans for the Spider-Man universe too and those fell apart, and so far this is only in development—neither Tatum nor Pratt is officially attached to star. I’m a bit relieved to hear that the studio isn’t immediately undercutting its all-female Ghostbusters film with an all-male one, though it still would’ve been nice to give Feig’s film some breathing room before ramping up all these plans.
The Russo Brothers have certainly proven themselves to be adept directors of big movies with Marvel, and they’ve been given the keys to Captain America: Civil War. The question now is whether they’ll stay with Marvel and helm Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Part II (assuming they’re offered the gig), or if they’ll opt to go and make this Ghostbusters movie instead. Given the timeline, it would seem impossible for them to do both. And then there’s Pratt, who leads a Marvel franchise, the new Jurassic World franchise, the LEGO Movie franchise, and maybe even the Indiana Jones franchise. Admittedly Ghostbusters is different since it’s a project developed between two friends (Pratt and Tatum), but the guy is involved with a lot of big movie series at the moment. I love Pratt, but he does risk a bit of overexposure.
So again, all of this is fluid and nothing has been confirmed by the studio, but for those that found today’s earlier Ghostbusters report unsettling, hopefully these clarifications make things a little more palatable.