“I love rumors,” Jason Reitman joked to a crowd of people gathered at a Ghostbusters fan event in Los Angeles on June 8. The fans were there to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original Ghostbusters film, and Jason Reitman was flanked by both his father, Ivan, and Paul Feig, who helmed a female-fronted Ghostbusters in 2016.
But largely, the crowd wanted to know details about the new Ghostbusters movie that Reitman is planning to release in 2020, and on this day, the writer-director was ready to share a few key details. Not all of them, mind you. He was still trying hard to protect as many plot details as he could, because he hasn’t even started filming the movie yet. But Reitman revealed some of his process, starting with the fact that the image of a little girl with a proton pack ended up being his inspiration for the new story.
Reitman told the crowd at the Ghostbusters fan event:
We wanted to make a love letter to the original movie. And this is a story that I -- again, I did not expect to be making a new Ghostbusters movie. I thought I was going to be this Indie dude who made Sundance movies. And then this character came to me. She was a 12 year old girl. I didn’t know who she was or why she popped into my head, but I saw her with a proton pack in her hand. And I wrote this story. This story began to form over many years actually. It started with a girl and all of a sudden it was a family. And eventually I knew this movie that I needed to make, that I needed to write.
The 12-year-old girl who started the seed of an idea in the creative mind of Jason Reitman will be played by Mckenna Grace, the young actress who recently played young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, and also acted alongside Chris Evans in Gifted. The larger family that he speaks of will be played by Stranger Things and IT star Finn Wolfhard, and Carrie Coon as the kids’ mom.
Their hiring has been reported on by the trades, and Reitman talked at length at the fan event about why he hired them for his new picture. Mckenna Grace, in particular, sounds like she is an enormous Ghostbusters fan, and Reitman told a touching story about her emotional reaction when he was able to tell Grace that she landed the role.
Reitman would not confirm at the event that the four original actors will return – he wanted to retain some secrets – though he did confirm that each one of them has read his screenplay, and seemed to be hinting that the four actors would be back.
Jason Reitman also acknowledged the work that Paul Feig did with his female Ghostbusters. While the director took a lot of heat from so-called fans for his 2016 comedy, Reitman made it clear how helpful that movie was toward establishing the new world in which he wants to create and write Ghostbusters stories. Reitman said to Feig:
[I want to] express gratitude to you for kicking down the door on what a Ghostbuster and who a Ghostbuster can be. … You were the first person through the door, and you were the person who allowed me, and [will] allow other people, to then make Ghostbusters movies about people of every race, every gender, for people around the world. There are all kinds of Ghostbusters movies that I want to see. Thank you for making that possible.
Back to the movie that he is trying to make. Jason Reitman opened up a little bit more on the family that will be central to his movie. He said that this is not building off of the existing two movies. But there are threads that will connect all of the films. He stated:
It’s a new movie. It’s really about a new set of characters. It takes place in a new place, a new location. And what I said to you, Paul, and meant, is that what I'm excited for is the possibility of all kinds of Ghostbusters movies. I'm hoping that you guys will join me on this one because these characters are amazing, I can't wait to introduce you to them. … They are a family. … This is what I'll say. You don't know their connection [to the original characters]. And they don't know their connection yet, either.
The idea of a “new location” really intrigues me for Reitman’s Ghostbusters movie. Then original two movies, as well as Paul Feig’s attempt, really leaned hard on New York City as its setting, but the supernatural exist everywhere. We are about to see another classic Sony property leap away from Manhattan when Men In Black International opens. Will this updated Ghostbusters follow a similar track?
It’s pretty amazing that, 35 years after the debut of the original movie, we are still talking about new Ghostbusters stories that are making their way to theaters. It speaks to the passion of the fanbase, but also to the loyalties of the group that played the team in the first place. Dan Aykroyd has never given up on getting new Ghostbusters movies into theaters. And Hudson, Murray and Weaver all showed up in Feig’s reboot, so the connections remain strong.
Now we wait to see what will come of Jason Reitman’s attempt to carry the baton passed from his father, Ivan, to a new generation of fans. We have a teaser trailer to chew on:
But after that, we only have a release date on Sony’s movie schedule to circle. The as-yet-untitled Ghostbusters movie will open in theaters on July 10, 2020. Are you ready to believe in the possibility of an exciting new Ghostbusters movie again?