Bookended as it was by the deaths of David Bowie and Carrie Fisher (to say nothing of everything in between), 2016 was a horror show of a year that it’s hard to imagine anyone being all that eager to revisit. But with the 2020 election already shaping up to be every bit as interminably miserable as the last one, it only makes sense that we’d choose this time to revisit that other excruciatingly divisive cultural event that came that year. I’m talking, of course, about ‘Ghostbusters’.
We don’t really have to revisit the particulars of the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’, do we? Whether or not you liked the movie, if you’re reading this you probably have some fairly strong feelings about it. And it’s exactly that polarizing nature (combined with internet discourse being, well, internet discourse) that continues to make the subject such a thorny one. But as divisive as the film was, Sony’s need for franchise tentpoles meant that we’d be getting another ‘Ghostbusters’ sooner rather than later. The only question was what form it would take. After all, even if ignoring the fan controversy, the simple fact is that the 2016 film didn’t exactly set the box office on fire (grossing $229 million on a budget of $144 million).
But now we know. Barely a week ago, we were greeted by the surprise announcement that Jason Reitman (son of producer and original franchise director Ivan Reitman) was at work on a new ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel set in the same continuity as the first two films. Rumors suggest that the new film will focus on a team of teenagers to whom the torch (and the keys to the Ecto-1, no doubt) will be passed, but there remains very little about the movie that we can say for sure at this point. In fact, the one thing that was seen as virtually a given – appearances by the surviving members of the original cast – now seems rather less certain in at least one case.
During an interview on the Johnny Dare Morning Show, Ernie Hudson revealed that – so far, at least – he isn’t on track to appear in the new film. But lest you think Hudson is on the verge of pulling a Bill Murray, think again. He makes clear that he’d be happy to appear if asked, but Sony has yet to reach out.
“I don’t know. Nobody has approached me with a contract. I think the ‘Ghostbusters’ fans have been wanting [a “passing of the torch”] dynamic to happen, so I know whatever happens is going to be in that tradition… I’m excited about that. I’d be more excited if they called me and offered me a job, but no matter what happens, the fact that they’re doing it is really cool.”
To be fair, there has been absolutely no formal announcement one way or the other regarding appearances by the original cast. It’s just something fans and pundits alike naturally assumed would happen. After all, if you can get Bill Murray down to the set of the 2016 film for a day, surely you can get Dan Aykroyd to show up for this, right? But while it would be shocking if no one from the original cast showed up, it would also be disappointing if Hudson (or anyone else, for that matter) were to be left out. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the passing of Harold Ramis already means we’ll never get the full reunion that many of us spent decades hoping for. Given that, why arbitrarily exclude anyone, let alone one of the few people with experience handling a proton pack?
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on the upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel as it becomes available!