Can the Ghost Busters do it again?
As you've already read on TG Daily, Dan Aykroyd has confirmed that Ghost Busters 3 will be going forward - with or without Bill Murray.
Yes, it's been in the works for a long time, and the fact that the news has made waves on the 'Net shows there's clearly a lot of love for Ghost Busters in the geek community.
I can remember when Ghostbusters was the comedy smash of 1984, where the red circle with a slash through it symbol was everywhere, the song was all over MTV, and it was just a great comedy born from Aykroyd's unique vision.
Of course, as funny as Ghostbusters was, it's a shame John Belushi didn't live to play Venkman, which would have put the movie even higher up the laughter scale, but the rotund, hot dog gulping Slimer was supposed to be Belushi's ghost.
Right before Aykroyd announced his Ghost Buster plans, it also hit the press that there may also be a fourth Austin Powers movie.
Like Ghost Busters, Powers was another comedy from a unique Canadian mind, Mike Myers. With many modern theatergoers unaware of pop culture past several years ago, it was remarkable that Myers could do a send up of '60's spy flicks, and have today's audience totally get it. (It's also a testament to Myers's comedy skills that we could love a character with horrendous teeth, carpet chest-hair, and Union Jack bikini underwear).
As great as both movies were at first, there's a real danger of diminishing returns with both franchises. Ghostbusters II wasn't anything special, and the last Austin Powers was simply dreadful, although enough stuck to the wall with the second one that it didn't completely go off the rails. (I especially loved Fat Bastard, and one of Myers gifts has always been creating great characters.)
I'm also not sure about Aykroyd's plans of having Ray unable to drive the Cadillac because he's blind in one eye, and can't carry the packs. Obviously there are new Ghost Busters ready to pick up the mantle, but that almost sounded like that dreadful Graduate Part 2 pitch from The Player.
Deadline recently raised the question of whether anyone's going to care about another Austin Powers, writing that "the clock is ticking," but in this case Myers is hitting the snooze alarm. Doing another Austin Powers isn't as tired of an idea as another Wayne's World movie, but close, and you'd still like to think Myers can come up with something much better and different.
There's of course the hope that Aykroyd and Myers can pull it off by reinventing both franchises for today's audiences, although with Ghost Busters, it was lightning in a bottle that will be really tough to recapture.
And with Austin Powers, yeah, it was clever and fun, and gave us a lot of great catch-phrases ("oh, be-have"), but it will be even harder to come up with a great comedy that's not only worthy of the first movie, but also sufficiently apologizes for the last one.