A new Ghostbusters sequel is being developed by Jason Reitman, who will co-write and direct the film. The project is scheduled to be a follow up to 1989’s Ghostbusters II, and set in that univirse. It is not a sequel to the all-female 2016 reboot, which is unrelated to the original Ghostbusters, beyond a few clever cameos by the original cast, including a bronze bust of Harold Ramis, who died two years before that film released. Reitman’s co-writer will be his frequent collaborator Gil Kenan, with whom Reitman worked most recently on the Poltergeist remake.
Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman, famously directed the original Ghostbusters from a script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, along with Ghostbusters II. There have been no announcements on casting for any new Ghostbusters, or any word if the original team (less Harold Ramis, of course, barring another clever nod) of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, or Ernie Hudson will return. Reitman indicated that he wanted the production of the film, which Sony Pictures has scheduled for summer of 2020, to “unwrap like a present”.
I’ve always thought of myself as the first Ghostbusters fan, when I was a 6-year-old visiting the set. I wanted to make a movie for all the other fans. This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot. What happened in the ‘80s happened in the ‘80s, and this is set in the present day.
Ivan Reitman, for his part, is touched that his son would want to carry on the “family business” in this way:
It will be a passing of the torch both inside and out. It was a decision he had to come to himself. He worked really hard to be independent and developed a wonderful career on his own. So I was quite surprised when he came to me with Gil and said, ‘I know I’ve been saying for 10 years I’m the last person who should make a Ghostbusters movie, but…I have this idea.’ Literally, I was crying by the end of it, it was so emotional and funny.
Sony has been trying for decades to get the original Ghostbusters back on the silver screen. In the 1990’s, Aykroyd wrote a script for a third film, but the principal actors expressed no interest in returning to the franchise. In 2010, Ivan Reitman pitched a third Ghostbusters film, but that fell apart.
In the time since Entertainment Weekly first announced the sequel, Reitman released a teaser trailer for the upcoming third film, which depicts an ECTO-1 (the original Ghostbusters’ sweet, sweet ride) being revealed from under a tarp in a gloomy barn during a thunderstorm. Elmer Bernstein’s seminal score plays over the trailer. You can view the teaser trailer here.