Much of the dialogue and the general story structure of the game is based on gags and outlines written by Aykroyd and Ramis, which in turn was loosely based on the abandoned Ghostbusters: Hellbent premise. However, the finished game in many ways mirrors Ghostbusters: Afterlife since rather than being about hell, this game ceners on the Gozerian dimension again trying to take over our world, and features returning ghouls from the first film like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. (He gets a mini-cameo, so to speak, in the newest film).
The game also dives into Ivo Shandor’s origins. Since Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife screenplay directly contradicts this game’s revelations about Gozer and Shandor’s backstories, as well as introduces an Alyssa Milano love interest for Peter Venkman who is incongruous with the 2021 film, we presume this game is now out of canon.
Ghostbusters in Black
By 2012, a new screenplay had been commissioned, this time from the keyboard of Etan Cohen, writer of Men in Black 3 and a contributor on Tropic Thunder. The idea was to once again focus on a new team, this time comprised of Columbia University students who discover the remnants of the original gang’s research and pick up the ball themselves. Aykroyd told Larry King (via The Mary Sue) that the story would involve “particle physics” and that there would be a place for Murray in the movie if he “wants to walk in the door.”
Then in February 2014, Harold Ramis died. Although the 69-year-old actor/director’s involvement in the newest edition of Ghostbusters III was said to be minimal, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Ivan Reitman told the studio that the script had to be reworked to account for Ramis’ absence. But shortly thereafter, Reitman–who had always been attached to direct the third film–decided he would no longer helm the project and would make it in his role as producer his job to find a new director.
“When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things,” Ivan said. “With Harold no longer with us I couldn’t see it.”
Among the directors reportedly considered for the job were Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer, The Lego Movie team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Paul Feig. The latter eventually won the job… but not to direct Ghostbusters III as previously envisioned. He would instead reboot the property with an all-female cast, and this time the idea actually made it to the screen. We all know what happened next: 2016’s Ghostbusters (later known as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call) became a flashpoint for toxic fandom at its worst, whatever the relative merits of the picture, and underperformed at the box office.
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