Ghostbusters Prequel Series

Back when Ghostbusters: Answer the Call was first announced, it was revealed that the original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman and co-writer, co-producer and star Dan Aykroyd were teaming up to start a production company called Ghost Corps. that would focus on developing projects with different takes on the paranormal investigator franchise. And while we’ve heard of a handful of possible projects in the years since then, none of them have gotten off the ground.

However, that might change if the new Ghostbusters sequel coming in 2020 turns out to be a success. Jason Reitman is inheriting the director’s chair from his father for the movie that will take place a few decades after the events of the first two movies in the original franchise. But after that, Dan Aykroyd hopes to get a Ghostbusters prequel off the ground that will go back to the teenage years of Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz.

While on a promotional tour for his Crystal Head Vodka, Dan Aykroyd talked to the 660 City News in Canada (via io9) about a Ghostbusters prequel that he’s written which would go back to the early years of the original Ghostbusters played by Aykroyd himself and his comedy cohorts Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. Here’s how Aykroyd described the project:

“I’ve written “Ghostbusters High,” where they meet in New Jersey in 1969 and we’re looking to do that as probably a glorified feature or pilot within the next maybe five years…. And it would lead to a television project and I thought of him immediately for that.”

Apparently the project is something Aykroyd wants Jason Reitman to tackle after he’s done with this Ghostbusters sequel. In fact, the director already has it in his possession:

“It’s on [Reitman’s] desk but that’s years away from the current project. But it’s a neat idea for a prequel. Imagine casting the three characters as teenagers!”

That idea seems to hit on the same kind of Stranger Things vibe that it seems like the new Ghostbusters sequel is going for by having some teenage characters take the lead. But a Ghostbusters prequel series sounds much more challenging since the kids need to match the personalities displayed in the original Ghostbusters movie.

On the surface, the idea of a Ghostbusters prequel sounds like a bit of a stretch to me, especially if it goes back to their teenage years. However, a project focusing on the Ghostbusters in their early 20s maybe during the grad school years, is easier to imagine. After all, when we meet the Ghostbusters in the first movie, they already have an obsession with the paranormal. Ray Stantz is even excited about the prospect of finally being able to catch a ghost. That means there’s a history there of them doing a lot of research and experiments leading up to this. A series exploring those exploits, perhaps uncovering a lot of fake ghost reports like the original Scooby-Doo series, has the potential for a lot of fun. But a teenage set series feels like it would be forced.

Anyway, like Aykroyd says, that’s a few years away from happening. And since none of the other Ghostbusters projects in development over the years have gone into production, we won’t hold our breath. But even so, Aykroyd says there are some other ideas they want to try out before diving into the prequel series, “We have at least one or two other concepts for the Ghostbusters and then we’ll look at doing the prequel, which will be a perfect button on all we’ve done up to that point.”

Does that mean Ghost Corps. has plans to create a unified series of Ghostbusters films in the same universe? It likely all depends on how the new Ghostbusters sequel is received by fans when it hits theaters on July 10, 2020.

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