In 2011, it was widely reported that Bill Murray had placed one of many potential scripts for “Ghostbusters 3” into a shredder, gathered the pieces into a box, and mailed it to Dan Aykroyd. In any other situation, the tale would be too fantastical to believe. Murray’s reluctance—perhaps a word too gentle to adequately convey his actual feelings—to see the franchise resurrected made the report more believable. Be it legend or urban legend, one thing was always perfectly clear: Murray wanted nothing to do with another Ghostbusters film, and everyone knew it.
The world waited with bated breath, just in case, but most respected this stance. The original “Ghostbusters” was a perfect storm of a movie. The script was penned largely by Aykroyd, who had a passion for the paranormal that came from years of watching his family participate in séances and documenting their experiences. As written, the film was too expensive to make, and Harold Ramis was brought in to assist with the rewrite. The casting itself was the result of preferred actors leaving, declining, or even tragically passing away. The script was a mere suggestion, laying out events more than lines.
Despite the hiccups in its creation, “Ghostbusters” released on June 8, 1984, and it was a monumental success. “Ghostbusters 2” released five years later, and while it is not as revered as the original, it has a loyal and even growing fan base.
What made “Ghostbusters” so genre-defining and singular is the seamless, organic combination of an over-the-top subject matter with charmingly sarcastic banter that worked with the sort of left-brain right-brain synergy that cannot be replicated by merely retracing steps. The “meh” success of the sequel halted Murray on returning to the franchise. The team delivered a good sequel to a great movie, but the risk for failure was too great to try again.
A third installment could destroy the franchise, and no one wanted that. After years of development hell, the trilogy was completed—in the form of a video game for the third entry, but complete nonetheless. Most fans felt satisfied, ready to lay the series to rest once and for all. But others weren’t quite so ready to do the same.
A Sequel Is Revived, to Popular Complaint
On October 8, 2014, “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig announced on Twitter that he was making a new Ghostbusters alongside writer Katie Dippold, and that it would star “hilarious women.”
The official trailer has more than 700,000 dislikes on YouTube, making it the most disliked movie trailer of all time.
“That’s who I’m gonna call,” Feig wrote, later naming Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon as the film’s stars.
Further, this was no sequel, although most fans would likely be curious to see how the universe in which ghosts are real and sounds in the night aren’t quite nothing would evolve over the years. That is not what Feig is doing. This is a reboot, a complete reimagining of the story, wherein the events…