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With ‘Ghostbusters 3’ Jason Reitman Is Picking Up Where His Dad Left Off

No one has ever inherited a cooler car than Jason Reitman.

Yesterday, the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker announced on Instagram that he would be taking the wheel of the “Ghostbusters” franchise from his father, Ivan, who directed the first two films. The reveal came in the form of an image of Reitman, fils standing near the iconic trunk of the Ecto-1, the Busters’ main ride.

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Finally got the keys to the car. #GB20

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Naturally, the internet lost its mind, even though details were scarce.

“This is very early, and I want the film to unwrap like a present. We have a lot of wonderful surprises and new characters for the audience to meet,” Reitman told Entertainment Weekly.

Give us something, though!

Well, we know that it’s set to be released in the Summer of 2020, is meant to be a follow-up to 1986’s “Ghostbusters II,” will ignore Paul Feig’s women-led reboot from 2016 and, if The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit is to be believed, will star four teens: two girls and two boys. Reitman co-wrote the film with “Monster House” screenwriter Gil Kenan and it will be produced by Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Pictures.

What we don’t know: Whether original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd will reprise their roles. (Sadly Harold Ramis, who acted in and co-wrote the films with Aykroyd, died in 2014 and Rick Moranis is unlikely to appear, as he is semi-retired and turned down a cameo in the 2016 Feig film).

The project has been in incognito development for some time with the code name “RUST CITY” but we found out today just how far along the project might be.

This afternoon, Sony dropped a teaser trailer featuring an eerie, familiar score, flashes of green proton pack-like light and the tantalizing reveal of the rear of the familiar 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor, complete with the Busters emblem.

We want to know more, though, and can speculate based on Reitman’s past filmography. A broad, supernatural comedy like the other ones? We think not.

Unlike his dad, Reitman is an indie director of thoughtful flicks like “Juno” and “Up in the Air.” His themes are alienation, the anonymous inhumanity of corporations, the interpersonal breakdown of communication that comes from the digital age and the debatable place of personal lives in politics. He also made a movie with a sensual pie-baking scene that we still can’t believe is real.

So, what does a Jason Reitman “Ghostbusters” look like?

Expect: – An unexpected teen pregnancy for one of the teen protagonists (or one of the teen’s moms) — maybe from a spirit?

  • An adult figure unable or unwilling to submit to the pressures of adult life – probably manifesting in their hanging around an old firehouse and dressing up in a jumpsuit to zap ghoulies.

  • A life-ruining cell phone video of someone covered in ectoplasm that gets sent around a high school.

  • Slimer gets laid off.

  • A corporate shill hoping to integrate the “Ghostbusters” brand into E-Cig marketing.

  • Per tradition, an enormous moving monument or mascot of some kind, only this time we will consider its Freudian implications

  • Slimer and one of the lead characters have a tender moment kneading dough for a hot dog pie.

Ivan Reitman appeared thrilled to keep the films in the family.

“It will be a passing of the torch both inside and out,” he told EW. “It was a decision he had to come to himself. He worked really hard to be independent and developed a wonderful career on his own. So I was quite surprised when he came to me with Gil and said, ‘I know I’ve been saying for 10 years I’m the last person who should make a ‘Ghostbusters’ movie, but…I have this idea.’ Literally, I was crying by the end of it, it was so emotional and funny.”

This ain’t his daddy’s “Ghostbusters,” but Jason’s daddy sure is proud.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at [email protected].


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