Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters opened last weekend to solid reviews and modest box office success. It was the largest domestic opening for both Feig and star Melissa McCarthy, which is good news. A look back at their collaborations (Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids) shows that they’ve got serious legs at the box office. Their movies stick around in theaters for quite a while, doing good business despite not blowing records away in their first week. None of Feig’s previous films with McCarthy have received the sequel treatment, but Ghostbusters (if it performs as projected) likely will. But what should a sequel to 2016’s Ghostbusters provide? Read on to find out, but BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
The Same Core Team
For the record, I liked the new Ghostbusters. But I like the new Ghostbusters themselves WAY more than the movie. So if a sequel happens, I want ’em all back: Erin Gilbert, Abby Yates, Patty Tolan, Jillian Holtzmann, and (of course) Kevin. Threads from the previous film still dangle — what happened to Abby and Erin’s book? Will it be taken off the shelves, or will it become a best-seller? Will Charles Dance’s character ever get his comeuppance? Holtzmann’s unexpectedly emotional toast at the end of the film gives us some much-needed insight into her character. She obviously has an interesting backstory to tell, and a sequel would be a perfect place to explore that.
A New Look at New York
Every Ghostbusters film is a New York film. It’s not just about the city as a backdrop — the setting informs the tone, the characters, and the ways they interact. The climax of Feig’s Ghostbusters saw the villainous Rowan paint the city in a seventies veneer. What had been Disney-fied was grimy again. The seedier aspects of the city were brought back to haunt our protagonists. It’s a splendid idea, but it wasn’t explored or even used effectively. It was just a barely-seen backdrop for the film’s finale. A sequel would offer an opportunity to explore an alternate version of the same old town. Patty, the team’s resident history buff, would have her work cut out for her.
They’re Government Stooges
At the end of the new film, the Ghostbusters finally secure significant funding. The downside is that it’s coming from the wrong source — the mayor (an underused Andy Garcia). The team agrees to stay underground and out of the public eye as they perform their research, which brings to mind the B.P.R.D. from Hellboy. Having the team operate in secret would bring an interesting and previously unseen dynamic to the series. But the paranormal cat has been let out of the bag in New York, and the Ghostbusters can’t stay underground forever. The story of them breaking free from government funding and privatizing their research could make a great sequel.
Excellent question, Patty! Those of you who waited around for Ghostbusters‘ post-credits scene will know that Patty Tolan uncovered some evidence of Zuul. Fans of the 1984 original may remember ol’ Zuulie as the short-horned demon dog that possessed Sigourney Weaver’s character. You may also recall that this nasty creature acted as the gatekeeper for Gozer the Gozerian: a mean extradimensional being with a killer flat-top. And after seeing this post-credits scene, it would appear that Gozer could be making a return to the franchise. And that’s, um, not the best idea. After an overly reverential remake, the last thing we need is another retread of the plot of the original film. Luckily, a post-credits tease isn’t some binding agreement. The next film has no obligation to bring back Gozer or Zuul.
In one of the remake’s better cameos, Sigourney Weaver shows up as Holtzmann’s mentor, Rebecca Gorin. Bringing her back into Holtzmann’s life and the Ghostbusters’ HQ could give us a window into Holtzmann’s past. Better yet — what if Gorin, a brilliant female scientist, had motivations of her own? We all know Sigourney Weaver can play a solid villain, and a charismatic and smart female villain would be an excellent addition to the remake’s strong girl-power message.