While Paul Feig was busy creating his Ghostbusters reboot, rumors swirled about another potential film in the series that would have included a set of male leads. Ghostbusters producer Ivan Reitman has now come out to explain what happened to that idea. As it turns out, there's a very simple reason that a male Ghostbusters film never materialized. It wasn't much of an idea to begin with, and what work was actually done on it, wasn't very good.
Last year, while the internet was going indiscriminately crazy over the production of an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters, news began to surface that the new production company from Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd, Ghost Corps, was also working a new movie that would be a male team, led by Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt. However, to hear Reitman tell it now, that idea was never really a viable concept. The producer tells Canada's The Globe and Mail that he was never part of the project, and that he had perfect confidence in the film that was already in production.
I was never involved in that, it was never real. There was a writer hired by the studio who did 30 pages, and it wasn't very good. The biggest misconception was that we were creating a parallel film in case the girls version didn't work out. But the only movie we were making was Paul's movie. It never faltered.
So apparently reports that this movie ever really existed were premature. When the Chris Pratt/Channing Tatum Ghostbusters was announced, it was presented specifically as coming from the new Ghost Corps production company. Apparently that wasn't ever really the case, which may explain why the project was announced as being dead almost as quickly as it was put out there. Ivan Reitman is certainly distancing himself from the entire concept, or the idea that there was ever a lack of confidence in Paul Feig's film. It's true that there was an impression at the time that the Pratt/Tatum team was viewed by many as Sony trying to save face due to some of the backlash that the female Ghostbusters reboot was receiving.
At the same time, even if Ivan Reitman wasn't involved, if somebody wrote 30 pages of a treatment, somebody must have asked for that person to write it. Drew Pearce, the writer of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, said that he had done work for the project, so we have to assume it's his writing that Reitman is referring to here.
One thing that is true is that more Ghostbusters projects are coming. There are plans for an animated film down the line, and executives at Sony seem confident that there will be more live action movies as well, though it's not clear yet if they will be direct sequels to the current movie.