We're currently in a mini-era of Ghostbusters mania, with Paul Feig's female-fronted reboot hitting theaters next month and more projects in the works, and if you thought that the franchise would restrict itself to theaters and video game consoles in the near future, your imagination is being haunted by limitation. Sony Pictures Animation has announced a brand new set of Ghostbusters adventures are on the way through the animated series Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, which sounds like a big hot mess of a concept set to debut in early 2018.
While Ghostbusters: Echo Force doesn't have a lengthy synopsis this early in the game, the simple logline is still filled with groan-worthy ideas. First, the show is going to focus on a new set of characters taking on the ghostbusting mantle, and though that's completely understandable given licensing issues between TV and movies, the show will take place in the year 2050. While that choice of setting might not be purposefully meant to imply that all the original Ghostbusters are dead in this timeline, it certainly doesn't stop me from thinking about that.
So not only are we inexplicably in the future, with a promise of "some very cool new gear!" being granted to this new ghoul-trapping generation, but the show will also take viewers all over the world. Why, you might ask? Because we're going to watch this new iteration work with a bunch of different Ghostbusters teams from a variety of different countries. Hmm. Is that really what we wanted from this franchise, for it to resemble Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders as closely as possible?
I should say here that I'm fully aware being a 33-year-old grumpus griping about cartoons aimed at kids isn't the best way to make use of the fact that I'm not a ghost myself, but this all makes even my 10-year-old inner child weep. I'm just picturing all the half-cocked updates that ruled over children's programming in the 1990s, such as 1997's Extreme Ghostbusters, which most certainly did not live up to that title.
Sony Pictures Animation is working with Ivan Reitman and his production company Ghost Corps on this series, which makes me wonder just how hands-on the filmmaker was in putting this thing together. As a major fan of The Real Ghostbusters animated series, I know it's possible that I'm just holding that at such a high esteem that I won't allow optimism for a futuristic globe-trotting version of the team, and that this could certainly defy expectations. The new movie has gotten a ton of flak from the general public with its lackluster marketing scheme, so it was quite a shock when O.G. 'busters like Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd have offered unexpected praise for the film. I'm down to give anything a shot once it's in its final incarnation, but I also see nothing wrong with thinking Ghostbusters: Ecto Force sounds dumb based solely on that description.
For what it's worth, Sony Pictures Animation is also working on a TV show from the Hotel Transylvania franchise that will focus on Dracula's teenage daughter, as well as the previously announced TV show for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. There's also the feature-length animated Smurfs: The Lost Village and Emojimovie: Express Yourself. I guess I would have been more upset had a new Ghostbusters show been told through emoji, so that's something of a silver lining. Maybe.
We have quite a while to wait to see what Australian and Japanese Ghostbusters are like, but you can catch a bunch of funny women blasting and trapping spooky entities when the new Ghostbusters hits theaters on July 15, 2016.