To a generation of fans living in Fresno and all over he world the Ghostbusters need no introduction. Debuting in their classic film Ghostbusters in 1984, the three parapsychologists and their employee ally, played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson saved New York City from an invasion of the supernatural and in so doing became icon of the 1980s. Their sequel, Ghostbusters 2, was noticeably less well received, but it kept the franchise alive for what we all thought, for years, would be a third installment. Unfortunately, despite the phenomenal success of the first film and a popular animated series, the Ghostbusters franchise ultimately never continued on with a third story…Until now.
Ghostbusters (2016) is a reboot of the beloved 80s franchise, this time with an all female cast of comedians and with a somewhat modern edge. The first trailer for this new film, directed by Paul Feig, finally hit he Internet today after years of speculation and fascination.
The trailer, which can be seen here, opens with a fitting reminder of how the original characters–Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson)–save the city of New York thirty years ago, with simple black screen and white letters and establishing shots of the city, including one of the famous Ghostbusters Fire House. We are then told that a new team will answer the call, along with an image of a graffiti Ghostbusters logo on the wall of a New York subway station.
From here we are introduced to our main characters–Abby Yates (played by Melissa McCarthy), a published author on the subject of the paranormal, Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig), a professor at Columbia University who co-authored the book with Yates, and Jillian Holtzmann (played by Kate McKinnon), a nuclear engineer and Yates’ new partner. The three women encounter a Class Four apparition and as Erin goes to make direct contact, the ghost vomits ectoplasmic residue (a.k.a. slime) on her. After years of studying the paranormal the three friends have heard of sudden sighting all over the city. Holtzmann designs sophisticated equipment and gear to trap ghosts while Erin uses her knowledge of quantum physics to join Abby’s mission to save the city from the pending ghost invasion. They are also joined by a new friend, Patty Tolan (played by Leslie Jones), an NYC subway worker who stumbles across the main supernatural threat in the film. Together, these four gifted, and hilarious women get suited up and trick out a Cadillac hearse to save the city as the Ghostbusters.
The trailer itself is fool of comedy that feels more modern than what we had int he 80s, obviously, and the timing between the four actresses works pretty well. The visual effects of the ghosts are obviously better than what was possible back then, but they still have a cartoonish quality to them that fits with the Ghostbusters feel and atmosphere. Even the proton streams feel like an updated take on the classic film. We don’t get to see much of the rest of the cast, but the trailer does give us a glimpse of Chris Hemsworth as Kevin, the team male receptionist and, I’m certain, a potential love interest for at least one of them. We also get a taste of the master plan of the villainous Rowan (played by Neil Casey), a mysterious evil and powerful demon who can possess other people, as he does Abby in the trailer until Patty quite literally beats him out of her. These possession scenes also demonstrate another signature of the franchise, the balance between slapstick comedy and actual, genuinely spooky moments.
…Oh yeah, and Slimer is coming back again too!
Overall, this may not be my generations Ghostbusters, but this new film definitely has potential to impress, and the new all-female take on the idea opens up new possibilities that I do look forward to seeing explored.
Ghostbusters is currently slated for release on July 15, 2016.