Now that the proverbial dust has settled on the needless drama that surrounded the release of 2016's all-female lead reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, co-creator, co-writer, and co-star of the original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd has redirected his energies into once again trying to bring the long-awaited sequel to the original two movies, AKA Ghostbusters 3 to the big screen.
Back in February 2014, following the death of co-creator, co-writer and co-star Harold Ramis, movement on Ghostbusters 3, of which had been in development for nearly 20 years by that time, started to gather momentum. This started after Ivan Reitman, director of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II stepped down from the role of director to executive producer. With a script developed, written by Aykroyd, Ramis, and contributors Etan Cohen, Gene Stupnitsky, and Lee Eisenberg, and with most of the original cast (Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, and role pending even Rick Moranis) willing to return, all the movie needed was a director. Ruben Fleischer (Venom) was approached as was directing duo, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, before the head of Sony Pictures at that time Amy Pascal approached Paul Feig. Initially, Feig declined the offer before offering the choice of an all female-led reboot. Somehow, despite that Feig had no script and no cast, Pascal greenlit and fast-tracked his reboot instead of the aforementioned sequel - this was prior to the Sony hacking scandal of 2014, which subsequently saw Pascal fired for mismanagement and claims of racism and sexism.
Narratively Ghostbusters 3 started off as a spiritual successor to the first two movies with the premise being that the classic team would travel to a hellish alternate dimension of New York. As the years passed, and due to Bill Murray's consistent refusal to reprise his role of Peter Venkman the script evolved, with the new premise centering around the classic team passing the proton packs to a new generation of Ghostbusters, believed to be led by Dana Barrett's son Oscar.
Although publicly Aykroyd has to pay pipe-service to the 2016 reboot, praising the actresses and their performances, the raw truth is that the 2016 reboot should have never have been made. SJW platformers, including Feig, his co-writer Katie Dippold, and reboot star Melissa McCarthy proclaim that the alleged campaign of negativity against the reboot was misogynistic in nature when in reality the movie served no-one, ignored and attacked the fanbase, destroyed the mythology and used misandry to support faux-feminism and female empowerment. Fans never wanted a reboot, and never one that attacked men and ignored all of the elements that made the original movie so great. All fans ever wanted was a true sequel that continued the narrative of the first two movies. Fans knew the likelihood of getting such a sequel was low, considering the franchise last saw prevalence in the early nineties with the cartoon/comic-book spin-off The Real Ghostbusters, but the last thing they expected was for their beloved franchise, which before the reboot had an almost 50/50 gender split in its fanbase, to become the victim of the needlessly one-sided social-political platforming movement that is spreading like a virus throughout the entertainment industry today.
Have Sony Pictures learned from their mistake? Will the studio even admit they made a mistake and give the loyal fanbase what they have waited so many years for? Aykroyd seems to think so, but in all honesty and as a lifelong fan my expectations are low. Many fans do view the 2009 video game Ghostbusters: The Video Game as the spiritual sequel to the first two movies, and in all likelihood, it looks like this will remain the case unless by some small chance Sony and Aykroyd can pull off the impossible and somehow turn the negative public recognition of the reboot around to promote and deliver Ghostbusters 3?