Legendary's Latest Acquisition, 'Spectral,' Is Like A Gritty 'Ghostbusters'

As the script for Ghostbusters 3 gathers dust on Bill Murray's desk, another writer is taking the idea and running in a whole other direction. Legendary Pictures, the company who is producing The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel and Pacific Rim, has just purchased a project by writer Ian Fried called Spectral. The idea of the film is described as a more realistic, gritty and action-packed Ghostbusters as a group of special ops soldiers are specially trained to battle and capture evil ghosts in Manhattan. One word comes to mind: awesome. Read more after the jump.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of this deal which reportedly sold for six figures. They describe Spectral as follows:

The premise of the project is centered on a modern-day, militaristic and gritty approach to fighting the supernatural.... [The] plot revolves around a special ops group formed to bring down evil ghosts that have taken over Manhattan. Locations and details might change over the course of the writing, however.

That last bit is interesting. It's almost as if Legendary knows Fried's idea is a little too close to Ghostbusters and that a change of scenery might help to distinguish the film more. According to the article, Fried pitched his idea by editing together a sizzle reel of other films to give an idea of what Spectral would look like. There's no mention of what those films are but, from the description, I'm personally picturing James Cameron's Aliens in the streets and hunting ghosts. A boy can dream.

Fried is one of a growing number of young screenwriters who hasn't had one of his movies made yet, but seems to have a distinct voice and really cool ideas. The Hollywood Reporter says he's written two scripts, The Ever After Murders and Gaslight, both of which are well-liked and imagine famous characters in murder mysteries. The former was on the 2010 Black List.

What do you think of Spectral?