〉 Sony is developing an animated Ghostbusters film to complement the two live-action reboots already in the works
There’s something strange in the neighborhood… specifically in Culver City, where Sony is developing yet another iteration of its Ghostbusters franchise with an animated feature. The GHOSTBUSTERS ANIMATED FILM is being produced by Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman through their Montecito Picture Company, with Ali Bell and Kristine Belson overseeing for Sony Pictures Animation.
The animated action-comedy will follow a similar logline to that of the 1984 original, in which a group of scientists team up to fight off ghosts, using gadgets and gizmos to capture the menacing ghouls who have invaded Manhattan.
Sony made waves earlier this year when it was revealed that Paul Feig’s reboot of the franchise would feature Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones donning the iconic beige jumpsuits. The studio then doubled-down on the property, by announcing that a “counterpart” film would return to an all-male cast, and furthermore, would be the first project in a new subsidiary of Sony labeled Ghost Corps, to be headed up by Reitman and Dan Aykroyd.
Now, with an animated feature in the works, it seems as though Sony is attempting to rejuvenate the franchise’s fanbase, which currently suffers from a lack of youth. The Ghostbusters reboot is largely seen as a nostalgia grab, aimed at sentimental adults who are eager to revisit the beloved characters of their childhood–evidenced by the social media frenzy generated when the studio’s revealed Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray would all make make cameos in Feig’s film. An animated feature targeted at a younger demographic, however, could pave the way for a new generation of Ghostbusters fans–fans who, as they grow up, can continue to feed the meter on inevitable live-action sequels.
It’s not the least bit surprising that Sony head Tom Rothman, still recovering from a devastating hacking scandal and a summer of headline-making flops (see: Pixels and Aloha), wants to wring out every last drop of love for the slime-covered scientists. With the announcement of Ghost Corps and the Russo brothers’ all-male version, Rothman himself said, “It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a lot of wonderful movies.”
Ghost Corps builds upon a trend that’s been spreading in Hollywood, with studios pumping more resources into their biggest tentpoles and launching them on multiple platforms and in various formats–essentially creating entire mini-studios around single properties.
Paramount notably founded a ‘Transformers writers’ room’ last spring, headed up by Akiva Goldsman, Michael Bay, and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura. Shortly thereafter, the studio announced that it would be extending the billion-dollar franchise through a sequel, spin-offs and–yes–an animated feature to be penned by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari.
Disney, too, is dead-set on making the most out of their acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, with sequels and spin-offs planned far, far into the future. And it seems as though every week brings yet another Marvel comic book adaptation to the multiplex or Netflix.
Speaking of Marvel, Sony’s other big-name property, The Amazing Spider-Man, didn’t pan out the way the studio may have hoped, with Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker put to rest after just two films. Nevertheless, the studio is in pre-production with yet another reboot, this time starring young Tom Holland as the web-slinging superhero, and just last February, announced a cooperative deal with Marvel that will allow the character to appear in the The Avengers: Civil War. Speculation has been swirling that Sony will do with Spider-Man what they’re doing with Ghostbusters–launching sequels, spin-offs, and–yes–an animated feature, which is already underway with Phil Lord and Chris Miller at the helm. But for the time being, when it comes to a branded franchise that can spawn multiple films across various platforms for years to come, who is Sony gonna call? Well, you get the idea.
Producers are currently trying to scare up the perfect screenwriter to pen the script.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer