SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for the very end of Paul Feig's Ghostbusters. If you have not yet had a chance to see the film, you may want to click away to another one of our wonderful articles!
At this point, everyone knows to stay after the credits of a Marvel film to see a stinger that will provide a tease of the future -- but the comic book movie franchise is hardly the only one to use them at this point. We've seen them in X-Men blockbusters, Pixar and Disney animation titles, and Fast & Furious flicks. Now Ghostbusters can be included on that list as well... so let's talk about it a bit, shall we?
The short sequence begins in the Ghostbusters lab, with all four members of the team in the room but doing their own thing. Patty finds herself front and center, however, as she wears a pair of headphones and listens to the recording device that was used by Abby and Holtzmann to prank Erin earlier in the movie. Rather than hearing the sound of bodily gas expulsion, however, the former MTA worker hears something far more disturbing. Getting the attention of her friends/colleagues, she asks a simple question with great implications: "What's Zuul?"
Unless you're completely oblivious to the way that franchises are built in Hollywood these days, it's probably extremely transparent what this scene is suggesting. Should Ghostbusters perform well enough at the box office, and Sony Pictures gives it the green light, Ghostbusters 2 could feature a new updated version of the villain that put the original team to task in Ivan Reitman's 1984 film.
After screening the movie earlier this month, I had the pleasure of sitting down with co-writer Katie Dippold at the Los Angeles press day for Ghostbusters, and one of the many, many subjects we touched on was the post-credits sequence and how the idea came about. The filmmaker explained that she actually had fought for Zuul to be featured in Paul Feig's movie in a much more significant way, but ultimately negotiated for the sequel tease. Said Dippold,
I love Zuul, so there was a while I was pushing hard for it. And then when I didn't get that, I pitched that tag, like maybe in a sequel?
As alluded to earlier, Ghostbusters 2 isn't necessarily a sure thing at this point, as the reboot did get made with a hefty reported budget of $144 million, and will have to make that money back at the box office. That being said, the gears are already turning in Katie Dippold's head, as she has a vision of the exact kind of apocalyptic and terrifying threat that she wants her Ghostbusters team to face down in a follow-up:
If this movie works and there is a call for there to be a sequel, then I would love for there to be a dark god. If the first one is them dealing with a human scientist that's doing this, the second one would be escalated to something more, you know?
It's a Hollywood rule that the blockbuster sequel has to be bigger than the first, and Katie Dippold's plans for a possible Ghostbusters 2 definitely seems in line with that. Given that the various direct callbacks, references and cameos represented some of the movie's weaker material, hopefully the project would find some kind of creative way to bring back Zuul that isn't just a rehash of the same villain of which fans of the original and remake are already aware.
For those of you who have seen Ghostbusters, would you like to see a sequel? Do you like the idea of the team having to face off against a dark god? Do you think it's a good idea for the next movie to re-use Zuul? Hit the comments section with your thoughts on the potential project!