Dust off your proton packs and haul the ambulance hearse out of storage: the Ghostbusters are back in business.
Ivan Reitman, who helmed the two original movies about a group of NYC ghost hunters, has chosen to take a producing role for the next round of films, a decision made in light of the death of his longtime friend Harold Ramis .
That leaves a juicy opportunity for another director to take the reins, bringing the beloved Ghostbusters to a whole new generation of moviegoers — and to assemble a cast who can hold their own against the misty water-colored memory of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddmore.
As for who that director might be: there’s a reported shortlist floating around Hollywood as we speak, but it’s a fair bet that Barry Sonnenfeld is at the top of it.
In addition to having worked previously with new “Ghostbusters” scriptwriter Etan Cohen, Sonnenfeld’s résumé — most notably the “Men in Black” franchise — shows a wealth of experience in bringing both thrills and laughs within the same movie. When it comes to reproducing the original franchise’s unique mix of horror and humor, he’d be more than capable.
Perhaps more important, though, will be the cast. The original “Ghostbusters” had heavyweights Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson playing its quartet of supernatural exterminators, not to mention appearances by Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis in supporting roles.
It’s going to be a hard act to follow, and an impossible one to replicate. But when it comes to re-creating a new starring foursome, they could do worse than…
James Franco as the new Peter Venkman
He might be too busy with his one million projects in the works to add this film to his roster, but you cannot deny that there’s something ever so slightly Venkman about Mr. Franco. Of all the actors working today, he’s the one we’d most like to see uttering this iconic Bill Murray line from the original “Ghostbusters.”
Aubrey Plaza as the new Egon Spengler
Nowhere is it written that ghostbusting must be a sausage party, and the upcoming film is a prime opportunity to add a lady into the mix. Our pick: Aubrey Plaza as Dr. Spengler, because nobody, male or female, does deadpan nerd better.
Richard Ayoade as the new Raymond Stantz
In the original “Ghostbusters,” Dan Aykroyd played Stantz: an eager, naive fellow whose contribution to the team consisted of a) financial backing for the Ghostbusters venture, and b) the ability to make really silly faces in a variety of situations. When it comes to the reboot, Richard Ayoade would be more than capable.
Steven Yeun as the new Winston Zeddmore
Every ghostbusting team needs a straight man who can balance out the various neuroses of its other members. And after four seasons of battling zombies on the small screen on “The Walking Dead,” busting ghosts on the big one should be a piece of cake for Yeun… or a piece of big twinkie, as the case may be.
Who would you like to see cast in “Ghostbusters 3″? Let us know in the comments below.