Sony finally adding some diversity to ‘Ghostbusters’ with ‘male-driven’ reboot

In January, Paul Feig announced a stellar cast for his all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot along with plans to release the film on July 22, 2016. With the exceedingly capable “Bridesmaids” director at the helm and a cast that features talent like Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, the forthcoming “Ghostbusters” film sounds really exciting, despite the backlash from angry manbabys, MRAs and Donald Trump, of all people.

Still, the last thing we were expecting to hear that plans were already in the works for a male-driven reboot before Paul Feig’s movie started shooting, but according to Deadline, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Sony is forming a production company called Ghost Corps which is devoted to expanding the “Ghostbusters” franchise and seeking out branding opportunities. The company employs Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman as principles. You might recall Reitman as the director of the original Ghostbusters film who left the “Ghostbusters 3″ project dead in the water after Bill Murray refused to sign on. Well, he left it dead in the water until Feig brought it back to life with the fresh and innovative idea of casting all female leads. Ghost Corps is now looking to produce a male-driven counterpart to Feig’s movie, which has yet to be shot. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” directors Joe and Anthony Russo are attached to direct, “Iron Man 3’s” Drew Pearce has been picked to write the script and Channing Tatum is reportedly attached to produce in the hopes that he’ll also star. An email that surfaced during the Sony hack back in December revealed that Columbia Pictures co-president of production Hannah Minghella was pitching Chris Pratt to star alongside Tatum in a “Ghostbusters” vehicle.

Reitman has been kicking around ideas on the branding effort with top Sony brass for quite some time, but now that former studio head Amy Pascal is moving on to be a producer on Feig’s film, Reitman is ready to expand the “Ghostbusters” universe.

“We want to expand the ‘Ghostbusters’ universe in ways that will include different films, TV shows, merchandise, all things that are part of modern filmed entertainment,” Reitman told Deadline. “This is a branded entertainment, a scary supernatural premise mixed with comedy. Paul Feig’s film will be the first version of that, shooting in June to come out in July 2016. He’s got four of the funniest women in the world, and there will be other surprises to come. The second film has a wonderful idea that builds on that. Drew will start writing and the hope is to be ready for the Russo Brothers’ next window next summer to shoot, with the movie coming out the following year. It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a lot of wonderful movies.”

Given the fact that Deadline initially described the new “Ghostbusters” film as “guy-themed” it sounds like the studio couldn’t wait to set the “Ghostbusters” franchise back to the all-male status quo without even seeing how the female-centric film performed critically and commercially. However, Devin Faraci over at Bad Ass Digest argues that the movie that would presumably star Pratt and Tatum would be complimentary to the Feig film and that characters from both movies would likely end up in the same films similar to how characters in the Marvel films exist in one giant universe. And like the super-prolific Marvel universe, Faraci wagers that there are currently four movies being planned within the “Ghostbusters” universe, including one prequel. It will be interesting to see if and when that all pans out.

Still, no matter what the motivation, we’re just relieved to see that men are finally being represented in action-driven comedies. It’s exciting to live in a time where those stories can finally be told.

[Deadline|Image: Screen Crush]