While it was almost a foregone conclusion, Judd Apatow’s production company has officially agreed to oversee the new Ghostbusters film.
Though we’re still in two minds about whether the world actually needs another Ghostbusters film (after all, the first one’s a classic and the sequel – even with its many faults – is a lot of fun), it’s not likely that willpower alone will get anyone to stop making it.
Plus, we should probably be grateful it’s not a reboot. That would be horrible. No-one else should ever be allowed to play Peter Venkman.
So what can Apatow and co do to make sure it doesn’t embarrass itself when held up to the high watermark of the first two movies?
Glad you asked…
1. A Balanced Tone
Ghostbusters works because it blends the comedy stylings of its cast with the high concept idea and also manages to find the funny in the scary.
Any new film has to walk that tightrope – too many stupid body function gags and it’s an automatic loser.[page-break]
2. Rick Moranis
If only to shut this guy up. Funny song, though.
3. Great, Inventive Monsters
This one’s easy to demand, but not so easy to live up to – hell, even Aykroyd and Ramis had trouble topping Gozer and company.
Vigo in the sequel might have seen death as “but a doorway”, and he might have been able to swap lines with our heroes, but there was no way he measured up to this guy for sheer creativity. Also, size. Altogether now… “Mother puss bucket…”[page-break]
4. The Right Nemesis
No, we don’t mean the nasty spirits. The guys – particularly Bill Murray – thrive on having some City Hall stuffed shirt or random busybody to bounce off of when the going gets tough. We had the inestimable William Atherton in the original, while Kurt Fuller gave great smarm in Ghostbusters II.
For the new one, we’d like to see someone like Arrested Development’s Tony Hale, who is providing some excellently snide and pompous work on US TV comedy drama Chuck.
5. A Solid Leading Lady
Sigourney Weaver might drop in for a cameo, but the new team will need someone on the level of Dana Barrett, and that’s not easy given that whoever takes the role will be living up to Weaver’s spitfire.
Anne Hathaway’s got good comedy chops and if they’re going for an even younger angle, what about Ellen Page? She gives great, sarcastic line readings when required…[page-break]
6. No Obvious Casting Choices
We doubt Seth Rogen would have the time anyway, and while we enjoy the work of Jonah Hill and Jason Segel, we’d want some fresher faces in the roles of the younger Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd says are planned for the new movie.
We suggest Jay Baruchel, who has appeared in smaller roles (and worked well in Tropic Thunder?) Perhaps Judd could even rescue some of the other Freaks & Geeks/Undeclared cast members from bit part work. Samm Levine needs a proper role!
7. These Guys.
Aykroyd has said that he, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray are all likely to return in some capacity, but will Ramis and Murray want to be on the same set after their issues making Groundhog Day? Even if they do, we’d hope they’re given a proper swan song if they’re really going to retire.
Oh, and Ernie Hudson has to be involved, or it's a deal breaker.