Comedy sequels remain one of the toughest nuts to crack in Hollywood because of their deceptive difficulty. A joke makes you laugh the most the first time you hear it, and a comedy sequel, or the bad ones at least, is like that but spread over 90 more minutes. Yes, there is the occasional Shrek 2 or Christmas Vacation, but more often than not we get a glut of Scary Movie sequels and The Hangover: Part 2. Will Sigourney Weaver being Sigourney Weaver be enough to save the new Ghostbusters sequel? Probably not! but man isn’t she great.
In an interview with entertainment juggernaut Parade, Weaver confirmed in an interview she is returning as Dana Barrett to the already confirmed Ghostbusters 3. Dan Akroyd, already writing the script and producing, and Bill Murray came along for the confirmation ride too as both were seemingly confirmed to appear in the film in Weaver’s interview. While young-bloods like Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace will bring in the younger crowd, Ghostbusters definitely still needs the old star power, and everyone knows how notoriously hard it is to get a hold of the Extreme Ghostbusters.
I see getting Weaver back as a slyly smart move. Not to be a speculative celebrity gossip, but Dan Akroyd is a total ass and I’m still unsure if Bill Murray ever wants to go out in public again. Maybe getting a sane member of the original movie back can calm down their old man bones.
As the Ghostbuster saga continues, the most apt comparison for this movie I can think of is actually The Force Awakens. Both franchises had a decade plus dormancy period, each disappointing with sequels that couldn’t live up to the original, and the new reboots seem to be a passing of the torch to the new guard of Skywal-err, Ghostbusters.
Unfortunately, where Star Wars had an engaging world and a borg of internet fans to keep it going, Ghostbusters lacks the same kind of momentum. It’s more a nostalgia bomb than anything, and one very clearly situated in the 80s at that. This is the pitfall of comedy sequels: either wait to develop a good sequel and lose your cultural relevance, or make Weekend at Bernie’s II. So yes, the updated sequel will probably be fun and enjoyable, but also a couple decades too late to be a true successor to the original.
Still untitled, the fourth Ghostbusters film releases July 10, 2020.