Jason Reitman takes over from his father Ivan Reitman in a film that will delight fans of the saga and is loaded with nostalgic winks and references.
This Friday, December 3, Ghostbusters: Beyond, the long-awaited sequel to the saga that broke the box office in 1984 and -to a lesser extent- in 1989 with its second part. On this occasion it is the son of the director of the originals, Jason Reitman, who takes over from his father at the helm of the direction. The person in charge of Juno or Up in the Air brings out his funniest and nostalgic side to deliver to the public a film that is full of references to the film starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis, and that works as a true ‘fan service ‘ quality. On the occasion of its release exclusively in cinemas, we bring you a special with the keys to enjoy this new installment and the history of the franchise.
Back to the original movie
To fully enjoy Ghostbusters: Beyond it is more or less necessary -although not compulsory- to have seen the 1984 Ghostbusters. In one of the most remembered decades for entertainment cinema, comedians Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi -who had just succeeded with Rogues at full speed- commented an idea for a movie and they handed a draft script to director Ivan Reitman – it was a movie starring the two of them and the up-and-coming Eddie Murphy About a team that wiped out spirits in space. The filmmaker was not quite convinced by the idea and he brought in Harold Ramis with whom he had worked on The Nutty Squad to create a new script one-on-one with Aykroyd. It was then that they convinced Columbia Pictures to produce the film, as long as it could be released in June 1984.
After Belushi’s death in 1982 the project suffered a serious setback, but the irreverent Bill Murray (whom Reitman had directed a couple of times) was soon thought of. He accepted, but due to his character it was not known if he would finally be in the film or not. The one who did fall from the project was Eddie Murphy, as he had a very high cache and a busy schedule, so the comic weight of the film would fall basically on Murray. This was how the script was modified and the character of Winston was included, a role with less weight than the main trio that actor Ernie Hudson would assume. After overcoming several production problems – due to the fact that the title was already held by the Filmation company and the acquisition of Columbia Pictures by a well-known multinational soft drink company – production was finally able to start.
The film tells the story of three scientists who trade their jobs at the university for a promising business as spirit hunters. With a backpack of protons designed by themselves on their back and a trap where they can trap «ectoplasmic» entities., begin to make a name for themselves in New York City. Everything gets complicated when a woman named Dana Barrett (played by actress Sigourney Weaver) appears in her office to say that something strange is happening in her apartment: the objects seem to move by themselves and a voice from beyond the grave emerges that shouts ‘Zuul’. What the protagonists do not know is that they are about to face an ancient evil force that Mesopotamians and Sumerians worshiped.
The Ghostbusters is available in the streaming platform Netflix.
A somewhat more decaffeinated sequel than the original
Due to the worldwide success of The Ghostbusters, the marketing machine was unleashed: a toy line and a popular animated series with completely new self-concluding stories were launched. The latter is quite curious, since the Filmation company – with whom Columbia has already litigated for the ownership of the name Ghostbusters– had launched an animated series a few years ago, inspired in turn by the live action series broadcast in 1975 The ghost busters; starring two clumsy heroes and a huge gorilla they had as a pet.
As fans clamored for a sequel, and the juicy loot Columbia Pictures hoped to make of it, the production company tried hard to convince director Ivan Reitman and the original cast to jump into it. The entire team of the first installment was not convinced, since they considered The Ghostbusters like a round movie and no need to make Ghostbusters II. The company even threatened to hire other actors and another director, but they did not want the work to fall into other hands. Apparently, the most difficult to convince this time was Bill Murray who was reluctant to participate from the first moment and that he had – supposedly – had several quarrels with his partner on the big screen Harold Ramis. In the end, he accepted on the condition that the character of Winston (played by Ernie Hudson) had the same prominence as his peers. As a curiosity, the casting was joined by Max von Sydow, who would lend his voice to the role’s villain: Vigo the Carpathian (played by the German boxer Wilhelm von Homburg).
The film narrated how the team had separated after saving New York from the threat of Gozer and, while Ray and Winston are dedicated to entertaining children’s birthdays, Peter and Egon are totally disconnected from their common project. But, the first two They discover that an ectoplasmic substance circulates through the sewers that reacts to all the bad slime distilled by the neighbors of the great city. Everything will get complicated when a painting of an ancient Moldovan tyrant named Vigo the Carpathian enters the scene, who seems to be enchanted and makes the hair stand on end to Dana Barret (who is reinterpreted by Sigourney Weaver), who now works in the museum . When they are tried for entering the sewer, the team will show that there is great danger and they will have to go back into action – once again – to resolve the situation.
Ghostbusters II received somewhat lukewarm reviews and did not have the success of the first installment (since 1989 was the year at the box office of Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), despite being a very funny film and more terrifying than its predecessor. Thus, the saga seemed doomed to disappear, at least in its version on the big screen.
Jason Reitman, the director who continues the family legacy: «Ghostbusters’ has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember»
Dan Aykroyd, years in search of a third installment
Despite the fact that after the second installment of 1989 it did not seem that a second installment was going to be made, there was a member of the original team who was looking for it to go ahead: Dan Aykroyd. After the moderate success of Los Caraconos in 1993, the popular comic actor’s career began to decline, so he returned to the idea of rescuing the idea of getting to work with Ghostbusters 3. In fact, Aykroyd himself made a cameo appearance in the 1995 film Casper in which he appeared very briefly as Dr. Raymond Stantz.
The main impediment was, once again, the refusal of Bill Murray. The popular comedian had a curious demand for the project to have the green light and that was that his character (Peter Venkman) died in the film. Due to the familiar character that the saga had taken (especially thanks to the animated series and the tone of Ghostbusters II), this idea seemed impossible. In addition, in 2014 Aykroyd’s idea suffered the hardest of blows: and it is that actor and director Harold Ramis (who had played Egon Spengler in the first two feature films) died at the age of 69, victim of a vasculitis that had been dragging on for a long time.
Before Ramis’s death, Aykroyd had managed to get Ivan Reitman back on the ship in 2011 and decided to direct a feature film based on a script by writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Good Guys). This movie would feature a Dr. Peter Venkman who leaves the group due to exhaustion, but then a horde of demons escapes through a gate of hell. and invades New York. Murray finally decided to participate in the project, as long as the script was rewritten since «it was not a good story» and he did not want to be involved in a project that was not at the same time. height of the original as Ghostbusters II. In addition, there was the Rick Moranis stumbling block: the protagonist of Cariño I Shrunk the Children had gained weight thanks to the sequel, but had left acting in front of the cameras in 1997 after the film Cariño, we have shrunk ourselves (which was launched directly for the domestic market). After many comings and goings: departure of Ivan Reitman, negotiation with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, rumors about a new cast with Jonnah Hill and Emma Stone … In 2014 we learned about the new plans for the project that would finally come forward.
Paul Feig’s ‘Reboot’ and new female cast
After scrapping the project written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, with rewriting by Etan Cohen, Sony Pictures began negotiations with director Paul Feig (My Best Friend’s Wedding) to embark a whole new idea: a reinvention of the franchise starring women. Feig hired screenwriter Katie Dippold (with whom he had worked on Special Bodies) to help him write a new script, and then four of the filmmaker’s favorite comedians were hired: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie. Jones to star in it. They were joined by actor Chris Hemsworth, who was taking over from the actress from Annie Potts as the team’s secretary.
Although the ‘reboot’ had the approval of some members of the team (as was the case with Bill Murray), others like Ernie Hudson described it as «a bad idea» (although the actor has a small cameo in the film). What’s more, social networks and some fans of the saga charged against the project before seeing the result just for the fact of switching to the original team for a group of women. The controversy was served.
The film garnered rave reviews before its release, with some describing it as «a hilarious action comedy» (The Verge) or «a film that shines with vitality, thanks in large part to the leads» (Time). Despite this, it did not reach good figures at the US box office. where it raised 128 million dollars, compared to a budget of 144. The results put an end to plans for a possible new saga and Feig even went so far as to affirm that he would not shoot any more ‘reboots’ of film classics. Without a doubt, it is a film that divided opinions: a part of the public considers it silly and unnecessary, while some critics consider it one of the best comedies of recent years. It is available for viewing on Netflix.
Jason Reitman takes, by surprise, command of a new installment
In 2019 the surprise jumped: the director Jason Reitman (son of the director of the first two films) was going to be in charge of a new installment of the saga, set in the «universe» of the The Ghostbusters of 1984 and ignoring the ‘reboot’ of Paul Feig (which angered one of the protagonists of this: Leslie Jones). After the first -and brief- ‘teaser’ came to light, rumors soon began about the return of the original cast. But eventually we found out that the film would be set more than three decades after the first exploits of Peter, Ray, Eagon and Winston, and that it would star new characters who have some kind of relationship with those already mentioned.
The film, which stars young Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard (seconded by Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd), tells the story of a family of three who are forced to move to an old farm because they are evicted from their home for non-payment. This place was left in inheritance by his recently deceased grandfather, who had no relationship with the family for years and who showed a sullen and mysterious character with the rest of the inhabitants of the town. The little one of the house, little by little, will discover objects and secrets that will make her begin to know the past of her relative.
Ghostbusters: Beyond is an enjoyment from beginning to end for fans of the saga, starting with the soundtrack by composer Rob Simonsen (which pays tribute to the original score by Elmer Bernstein), followed by CGI effects that fully respect the work of Richard Edlund (owner Boss Film and former Industrial Light & Magic employee) and with a ton of nods to other hits from the 80s like Cujo or Diabolical Doll.
You can read our review of this new Ghostbusters: Beyond clicking on the following link.
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