With all of the recent talk about Ghostbusters, it was only a matter of time before Dan Aykroyd showed up. Aykroyd has become like a real-world Candyman – only you just have to say Ghostbusters one time before he appears. Raymond Stantz himself was recently in London to promote his Crystal Head Vodka, and he revealed that he’s got some massive plans in mind for the Ghostbusters moving forward. How massive? Think "cinematic universe" massive.
Basically, Dan Aykroyd wants to go back to the drawing board and turn the franchise into its own Marvel-styled entity. After seeing the comic giant leverage their properties to film, television, and beyond, Aykroyd seems convinced this is the same path the Ghostbusters should be following. The only catch here is that Aykroyd can’t seem to get Ghostbusters 3 up and running after years of talking about it – so the idea of them branching out into a broader universe seems at least a little unlikely. The ideas are there – particularly with the pitch of an all-female Ghostbusters gaining traction – but can Aykroyd actually pull it all together? He thinks he can, as revealed in this THR article.
The actor says he and the executives involved with Ghostbusters have gone back to the drawing board to envision the franchise in a new way, one that will span more than just film and television – one that will focus on all aspects of the Ghostbusters’ lives.
"…what’s the totality of it? The whole mythology from the beginning of their lives, the end of their lives. Ghostbusters at nine years old, Ghostbusters in high school."
Frankly, I’m not sure I even want a Ghostbusters 3 at this point – with Harold Ramis passing and Bill Murray uninterested at best, it feels like a bad idea – but I’m pretty much 100% sure I don’t want to explore what the Ghostbusters were like at nine years old.
What Aykroyd doesn’t seem to get here is that Marvel can build a cinematic universe because they have a huge number of properties they can incorporate into it. Ghostbusters, on the other hand, only basically has one core idea. Even a female Ghostbusters is just basically the same premise with a gender swap. That’s not how these kinds of universes really works, even if the female Ghostbusters eventually meet the original Ghostbusters, who are mentoring the young Ghostbusters they hope to pass the torch to. This isn’t to say that Ghostbusters couldn’t be expanded (and it already has – the film spun off into a cartoon, it’s had a videogame, comic books, and so on…), but there would have to be a whole lot of world-building happening to make this feasible on the level Aykroyd appears to be imagining.
Personally, I’d rather Dan Aykroyd spend less time focusing on how to make Ghostbusters into some gigantic, all-encompassing franchise, and more effort on making a really great Ghostbusters 3. If that happens, and people love it, then start thinking about expanded mythology from there. That seems like the sensible approach to me.
What do you guys think? Can you see Ghostbusters expanding into its own cinematic universe? What stories would you want to see? Pitch us your ideas below.