In an annals of doomed films, any and all potential follow-ups to Ghostbusters II rank pretty high. From Dan Aykroyd’s “The Guys Go to Hell” plan to whatever other ideas Aykroyd tossed around in the last 20 years, none of the potential sequels ever got anyone excited enough to get moving, and thanks to the Sony hack, we now know what the last shot-down Ghostbusters 3 pitch was before Harold Ramis died, Ivan Reitman dropped out as director, and the entire thing got placed in Paul Feig’s hands.
Remember all that talk about this sequel having to do with the elder Ghostbusters passing on the proton beam torches to a younger squad of specter seekers? Thanks to ComicBookMovie, we now know who some of these new characters would have been and who the studio had in mind for each role. Of course, all of this is completely in the past now, as the email came well before the upcoming female-fronted revamp was in the works.
The movie would have been called Ghostbusters: Alive Again—no mention of an “ectoplasmic boogaloo”—and one of the characters would have been Chris, the son of Peter Venkman. (What happened to Dana’s son Oscar?) Actors in line for this presumably sarcasm-heavy role were It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Charlie Day, The Mindy Project‘s Adam Pally, and Zombieland‘s Jesse Eisenberg, all of whom had reportedly met with Reitman, according to an email he sent to Sony head Amy Pascal.
There were two other male leads involved. One, Jeremy, was described as the group’s leader, and Jonah Hill was the one actor name checked for the part, and he was set to receive an updated script at some point. The other dude role, Dean, was going to be for comic relief, and Reitman reportedly wanted Zach Galifianakis for the part, and the two men were going to set a meeting before it all fell apart.
For the female role—the one, lonesome female role—was going to be a doctor named Anna, and the two actresses Reitman met with for the role were Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises) and Brie Larson (Short Term 12). I would love to see either of those actresses in a heightened sci-fi comedy, especially Larson.
For the villain, Reitman wanted Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen to play someone or something named Gniewko, although it isn’t exactly clear what kind of antagonist he would have been, living or dead. Pascal apparently wanted Will Ferrell for the role, but Reitman didn’t think he’d be right for it. Thank goodness.
There are also some smaller roles described, and Reitman was apparently happy to keep looking up big stars to fill them, as he reportedly met with Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson and Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza and Aziz Ansari for these extra parts.
But all of this is in the past now, although it’s still possible some of the stars listed above will be brought into Paul Feig’s new female-led non-reboot, non-sequel, or even that spinoff idea. Do you guys wish we’d have gotten this earlier version? Or are glad they passed on it?