Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016) might just be one of the most widely hated reboots in recent memory - and even films, for that matter. Even before it hit theaters, it was met with a negative response from fans, and when it was finally released from Sony's Ecto-Containment Unit, it was a critical and financial disaster. But is the Ghostbusters reboot getting a sequel?
The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot requires very little explanation in terms of its story - it's a carbon copy of the original 1984 film, except with an all-female cast that includes Kristen Wiig (Erin Gilbert), Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan), Melissa McCarthy (Abby Yates), and Kate McKinnon (Jillian Holtzmann).
So where did the film go wrong? Well, not only did it not stand a snowball's chance in hell at the box office (and rightly so - the trailers looked really, really bad), last-minute reshoots sent the film over its budget, thus resulting in an even bigger loss for Sony Pictures.
And so begins the story of Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), the very long-awaited sequel to the original Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989). Not wanting to continue with the timeline established in the reboot, Sony Pictures opted for a course correction and decided to revisit the main series.
The rest is history - Afterlife is now getting its own sequel which will hit theaters on December 20 this year. If Ghostbusters: Answer the Call wasn't already completely dead when the 2021 sequel was announced, it most definitely is now. But is there a chance of a follow-up?
It might seem like a futile question given the fact the film bombed in 2016, which was due to poor marketing, and the very existence of the film itself, and not to mention the fact that members of the cast and crew attacked the film's target audience (although there was vitriol on both sides).
However, never say never, because, as we all know, stranger things have happened. If a franchise can be rebooted (Answer the Call), and then de-booted (Afterlife), then surely it can be re-rebooted all over again, right? You only need to look at the latest Halloween films to know this.
This would, of course, beg the question, why? Why would Sony Pictures take such a huge risk in revisiting the reboot's timeline when it didn't prove to be at all profitable? Well, perhaps that timeline is salvageable - who says Ghostbusters can't operate with two separate continuities? Just look at DC.
On the other hand, this is, of course, extremely unlikely, and there isn't even a whisper of a follow-up of any kind to the 2016 reboot. Although, with that said, the female Ghostbusters from that film have since been utilized in IDW Publishing's long-running "Ghostbusters" comic book series.
Perhaps a follow-up would be interesting to some extent, provided the "humor" is dialled down and then some. Or maybe its characters, at least, can be used in another form, especially if Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 (2023) plans on opening the Ghostbusters Multiverse (which exists in the comics).
Come to think of it, "Ghostbusters: No Way Home" has a nice ring to it.
As per Sony Pictures, here's the synopsis for Ghostbusters: Answer the Call:
Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return with Director Paul Feig's unique and hilarious take on the classic, supernatural comedy, led by the freshest minds in comedy today, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Together they team-up to save Manhattan from a sudden invasion of spirits, spooks and slime that engulfs the city. Robert Abele of TheWrap says, "This new A-team of ghostbusters are fresh and funny."
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call stars Kristen Wiig (Erin Gilbert), Melissa McCarthy (Abby Yates), Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan), Kate McKinnon (Jillian Holtzmann), Chris Hemsworth (Kevin Beckman), and cameos from original Ghostbusters icons Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, all of whom play new characters.
Ghostbusters 4 will be released in theaters on December 20, 2023.