As the original Ghostbusters franchise proved, stamping out paranormal troublemakers isn't a one-time kind of deal. That's why the team of Spengler, Venkman, Zeddemore, and Stantz set up shop: to deal with ongoing ghost complaints and (though it took some time) to provide material for sequels, cartoons, video games and tons of tie-in merchandise. The concept of Ghostbusters is wide open to comfortably allow for a reboot; and with comedic heavy hitters Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig sporting the jumpsuits, it's seems like a no-brainer to convert the new feature into a franchise. Will the new Ghostbusters movie get a sequel?
Columbia Pictures hasn't announced official plans to put another Ghostbusters into development, and director Paul Feig revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that his contract did not include a sequel clause. But I think it's only a matter of time until there's good news. First of all, there's a precedent for interest. The 1984 film only ended up with one official sequel: the 1989 release Ghostbusters II, but talk of a potential Ghostbusters III flared up in 2008 after original cast member Harold Ramis (Spengler) confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that a script was in development. That film stalled. When Ramis died in 2014, the idea of a sequel continuing the story of the first two Ghostbusters movies seemed to die with him. Paul Feig picked the ball back up that year; The Hollywood Reporter first reported his involvement in a new origin story and his intention to cast women in those leading roles.
Emma Stone was approached during the casting process. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, she seemed to confirm that the talks looked beyond the first movie; in fact, that's the major reason she gave for not taking the part. "It just didn’t feel like the right time for me. A franchise is a big commitment—it’s a whole thing," Stone said. "I think maybe I need a minute before I dive back into that water.”
Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones evidently didn't need that minute. The Ghostbusters actresses told The Hollywood Reporter that they're in the business of protecting New York City for the long haul. "I would do 102 more of these," McCarthy said. "I will literally show up for Paul Feig and these women no matter what. I'll show up for plays in a backyard." (Note: my backyard is available!) Jones jumped in to second that opinion: "Well, s***. As many as they do, I'm there." Kristen Wiig didn't get specific about sequels, but she did proclaim the women's cemented friendship in a New York Times interview. "You can’t go through an experience like that and not be in each other’s lives forever," Wiig said.
No spoilers here, but Ghostbusters does include a post-credits scene that leaves the sequel door swinging open in the breeze. There's no question that the story can be continued, but will the movie's box office support a follow-up? Deadline is projecting that Ghostbusters will take the number one slot this weekend, pulling between $35 and $41 million. If that momentum holds, then Ghostbusters can be comfortably considered a hit. And I wouldn't be surprised if its stars are picking their proton packs back up very soon.
Image: Columbia Pictures