NOTE: A special Midnight Ramblings! A long-favorite part of correspondence with Neelix is my casting choices for movies that will never get made. This ramblings is completely dedicated to that!
So, I’ve been watching Ghostbusters obsessively on DVD. This leads me to wonder about that movie we all longed for that would never get made, Ghostbusters 3. It’s sort of been accepted that the premise of a third Ghostbusters film would be one or two members of the original team training a next generation of Ghostbusters to do battle with the spooks on the streets of New York. So, I’ve been wondering, who would be the best choices for this next generation of Ghostbusters? Back in about 1995 or so, Dan Aykroyd said that he’d like to see Chris Farley and Will Smith be Ghostbusters. Well, Farley is no longer with us and Smith is too big a star. Who we gonna call?
Firstly, it’s been accepted that Bill Murray would not be back. We need someone with that same kind of sarcastic wit that Murray brought to the role of Peter Venkman. As I look across the entertainment landscape, I find only one comedian with the same vein of sarcasm: David Spade. Like Murray, he’s a former Saturday Night Live member, and he’s currently getting rave reviews for his role on the sitcom Just Shoot Me. Just watch one episode of his show, and you’ll see that he’s got the stuff to be the next Bill Murray. And besides, can’t you just see him whining, “He slimed me?”
The character of Egon was described by some as “a post-modern Mr. Spock,” so we’ll need someone who can bring that deadpan seriousness to the business of Ghostbusting. The actor I have in mind already has lots of experience dealing with the paranormal in a straight-faced way. Yes, I’m talking about former X-Files star David Duchovney. With his few comedic episodes of X-Files, he’s shown us that he can do comedy. In fact, right now he’s doing a sci-fi comedy called Evolution, which is being directed by Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. Reitman has already gone on record as saying, “David has tremendous, untapped comic potential.” I think he’s our next Egon.
On a side note, let me talk about Evolution. When Men In Black first came out, it was described as “Ghostbusters meets X-Files.” Well, I’ve been reading up on Evolution, and to me it’s starting to sound like “Men In Black from the director of Ghostbusters and starring the guy from X-Files.” But still, ya gotta love the movie poster: a three-eyed happy face with the simple tag line “Have a nice end of the world.” Summer 2001.
Back to our Ghostbusters. We need a third member on our team. In the original, Venkman was described as the mouth, Egon the brains, and Ray the heart. We need our heart. I don’t know why, but it’s really important to me that this role be filled by a woman. Maybe because on the Ghostbusters cartoon Janine suited up a few times and wielded a proton pack. So, who do we get? I’m looking at Saturday Night Live star Molly Shannon. She has portrayed a wide variety of characters on her SNL days, and I’m sure that she can bring the same kind of passion for the paranormal to the part that Dan Aykroyd brought to Ray Stantz. She’s perfect.
But now, who should be our returning Ghostbusters? That’s easy: Ray and Egon. As previously mentioned, they were described as being the heart and brains of the original team. Nothing can live without the heart and brain. And besides, a third film has always been Dan Aykroyd’s pet project. It would be a crime not to have him back!
And I think I’ve also got a plot figured out. It could start with the original team’s last mission. When it ends with one HUGE near-death experience, the team decides that they’re getting too old for this shit. Peter and Winston decide to flat out retire, while Ray and Egon decide to keep the business going. This is their passion, after all. So, they revise the concept of the Ghostbusters. They’ll stay at the firehouse and run the labs, but they’ll need some new “field agents” to go out on calls and be their eyes and ears in the field. They put out the call, and get our new team. Of course, we’ll have our comedic segments throughout the training of our new Ghostbusters, ending in their first call. We find that Ray and Egon stay back in the firehouse, and they keep in touch with the new crew through those nifty headset-deals. The traditional Ghostbusters formula kicks in, as our new ‘busters begin piecing together that this new spirit uprising is part of some Gozer/Vigo mega-spook getting ready to end the world. And then, at the film’s climax, when our heroes are being overpowered, Ray and Egon decide to suit up and go help their new team. (By doing this, I’m trying to recreate the coolness of that Batman Beyond episode where Bruce Wayne is forced to don the mask one last time to bail out the new Batman.) The spook is destroyed, the day is saved, New York embraces these new Ghostbusters, and Ray and Egon decide that maybe they’re not too old for this after all. I tell you, I have a hit here.
But still, I guess we’ll have to do something with that logo. My concept for a Ghostbusters 3 logo would be to do what they did with the Starfleet logo for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Just update and streamline it a little, so it’ll look fresh and new, but people will look at it and still go, “Hey! Ghostbusters!” And we’ll need some hot young techno/pop act to cover the theme song. My God, I should work in the movies.
Oh, and I would like to continue one of the in-jokes started on the cartoon Ghostbusters Extreme. As you may recall, the one book that the Ghostbusters always called upon to identify ghosts was Tobin’s Spirit Guide. Well, in Ghostbusters Extreme, the one book they used was Egon’s work in progress, Spengler’s Spirit Guide. We’ll see who picks up on it.
Of course, though, this is just my fan-boy musings. File this with the live action G.I. Joe, starring Mel Gibson as Hawk, Jet Li as Snake Eyes, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Scarlet. Put it next to my Masters of the Universe remake with Kevin Sorbo as Prince Adam/He-Man. Read it with Jem starring Jenna Elfman as Jerrica Benton/Jem, Courtney Love as Pizzaz, and Ricky Martin as Rio. A boy can dream, can’t he?