September 29, 2016

Thinking Out Loud: Who Could/Should Direct Ghostbusters III?

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For this weekend’s edition of Thinking Out Loud, I only really have one topic in mind, and it’s on the direction of the Ghostbusters franchise. With the recent passing of Harold Ramis and the even more recent announcement that Ivan Reitman won’t be directing the in development sequel/reboot, I’ve been thinking about who might be best suited for the job. Bill Murray already is almost assuredly not going to be involved and Dan Aykroyd mostly is helping shape the script and will be a supporting player at best, so this is an opportunity to take the concept in a potentially new direction…

If I were in charge of offering the job to whatever filmmakers I desired, these would be the six (or technically eight, but you’ll see what I mean in a moment) that I’d be wining and dining. The half dozen different choices represent some unique takes on the material, but I think they’d all be successful candidates:

-Judd Apatow – For a few years now I’ve secretly hoped that at the very least Apatow would help produce a Ghostbusters movie. His stable of friends/actors seem perfectly suited to become wisecracking paranormal exterminators. You could have any combination of Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, James Franco (maybe), Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr in the roles, and that’s a solid recipe for comedy in my eyes. Apatow probably isn’t too interested in this gig, but I really wish he would be.

-Joe Cornish – I may not have loved Attack the Block, but in some ways Cornish’s film is almost a calling card for this type of studio project. He could make a rather unique mark. I’d think that he’d be a less likely pick because of his relative lack of experience, but if Godzilla turns out to be a big success, I could see Cornish following in the footsteps of Gareth Edwards and getting a big franchise to play with.

-Duncan Jones – A darker choice to be sure, but anyone who follows Jones on Twitter knows that he has a sense of humor as well. He’s certainly elevate the franchise and make it a real legitimate “film” as opposed to a comedy tent pole, but isn’t everything supposed to be darker and grittier anyway? He’s another less than likely candidate, but I’d hope that his name is at least floated about.

-Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – Pretty much everything these guys touch lately turns to gold, so it’s no shock that they’re the ones that I hear are being targeted by the studio, and rightly so. They’ve got the Jump Street franchise and now the LEGO franchise, so they might not be looking to take on a third one, but I have a suspicion that if they want the job, it’s theirs. They’d be excellent choices too, no doubt about that.

-Jason Reitman – This would be a long shot, but maybe the younger Reitman would be interested in picking up where his father left off? He’s been trying some very different things of late, and his skill with comedy is underrated. A successful Ghostbusters outing would pretty much give him carte blanche to do whatever he wants after that, so perhaps this could even be the route to take in order to finally win that elusive Oscar…

-Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – This is sort of the more recent evolution of my Apatow idea. Rogen and his co-writer and now co-director Goldberg have the right comic sensibility and have shown that they can handle visual effects, so they’d actually be my top choice right now for the gig. They’d combine some of the Apatow mindset (along with likely a similar cast, which is a huge plus in my eyes) with a bit of the action-comedy confidence that Lord and Miller bring to the table, so not only are they a compromise pick of sorts, they’re also uniquely suited for the part too. Throw in Rogen for one of the lead roles (he could pretty much play himself and it would fit in well) and this could be the best chance of a memorable new Ghostbusters outing.

Stay tuned for more Thinking Out Loud next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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