Wednesday 28 January 2015

Ghostbusters III - Quick ideas

I'm massively excited about the new Ghostbusters film. I think it sounds like a great idea, and one that could be really fun. The new cast members are smart, funny women, and that's exactly what they need to be.

For me, the least exciting thing they could do would be to do a straight remake. I'd rather see a continuation from the original, and see how the Ghosbusters world has changed. So here's my idea for a Ghostbusters III that I'd like to see, establishing a new team and continuing the original. It's a very brief idea, written over my lunchtime, with some ideas from @cethanleahy and @daddymightyzim, who I was shooting ideas with over twitter.

Ghostbusters III - Ghostbusters Inc

In the decades since the original Ghostbusters movie, the original team set up Ghostbusters Inc. It's become a franchise, and a successful one. Our new team is the first branch in a new location (possibly Chicago). It should be remembered that Ghostbusters should be, at least a bit, scary. The team bickers but works together.

The founder came up with the idea of setting up the new franchise. She's intelligent, optimistic, and she's a huge fan and advocate for the originals. When they announced franchising, she's worked and worked to be able to set up for this, and she's set up with one of her college buddies, who is a technical genius. Opening this, and being official ghostbusters is something she's wanted all her life. They've finally made it. They hire a capable freelance former bodyguard hardass, and they're assigned a manager by Ghostbusters Inc to train them and keep them on-brand.

So, that's founder, techie, hardass and manager. Each of these will have their own story.

They get their new equipment. The manager trains them, and is - throughout - uber-professional. Techie is surprised it's so old-fashioned. She starts tweaking it almost immediately, and throughout the movie is constantly making improvements (by the end, they'll have totally new equipment that's similar but much more modern).

Peter Venkman turns up to do some motivation. He's now old, rich and lazy. He's more interested in flirting and telling stories than he is in telling them anything useful. He's rambly and a bit sleazy. They're all a bit icked out. For the first time, Founder has a bit of the gloss of her opinions of the originals tarnished a little.

They get their first call - it's tough, but they get through it. Founder realises they're not playing at this. Hardass enjoys it. Techie's equipment is playing up. She starts improving it.

Ray Stantz turns up to do an early inspection. He's overprotective of the brand and picky as hell. He's critical over everything - although admits he's very impressed with what the techie has been doing. He goes out on a call with them and times them, making everything awkward. Founder gets flustered and upset. Hardass wants to kick his ass. But... they do it. Ray passes them although makes clear it's barely a pass and the licence will be revoked if they screw up too much. He becomes, basically, their adversary for the story from here.

When techie is alone, something starts to happen. Parts of the station equipment start sparking. Monitors flashing on and off. It only happens when she's on her own there. This should be mild at first and slowly get scarier. She thinks she's just being jumpy, though - the readings all indicate everything's normal.

Following a situation where the hardass makes fast decisions to solve a call-out that's going badly, the manager and the hardass continue to clash. Manager's take is that they've got to go by the book to pass. Hardass complains that the job isn't the same every time, and they have to have the flexibility to make decisions in the moment.

As things progress, they realise that the call-outs are getting harder and more frequent. More and more ghosts are turning up. Something is happening.

Meanwhile, techie is working late, and the equipment starts playing up again. Everything is going weird. She starts working on it, trying to fix it. She looks at the screen and they're all saying the same thing.


She doesn't know what it's trying to say, but she's worked out two things.

The system is possessed.

And it's trying to communicate with her.

As a second evaluation, Winston Zeddemore turns up. He's more easy going than Ray was, and talks to the founder - the thing she has to understand about the original guys is that they had it easy and they don't realise that it's not easy for everyone else. He was the first person to be employed as a ghostbuster, and he thought they were assholes. Nice guys, but assholes. Their biggest worry was getting the university funding to do what they wanted. His biggest worry was putting food on the table and they never got that. They're now old rich white guys - not bad guys, but old rich white guys nonetheless. She needs to stop trying to impress them. Concentrate on trying to impress herself. Founder's faith is restored, and she resolves to lose some of the hero worship.

Techie finally realises what the equipment is trying to say. The central containment unit in Ghostbusters Inc HQ is full. It's getting ready to burst. The forces of hell are making a play - they've contacted some of the demons in the containment unit, and they're working together. They're sending out the wrong signals, and harvesting souls. Once the unit bursts, they intend to unleash hell.

She convinces the others, and they go to Ghostbusters Inc HQ. Ray doesn't listen at first, but they convince him when they realise what "Gone" is... it's actually Egon, who has possessed the machine since his death, and is trying to help contain things from within.

Working together, the new team contains the situation - controlling the explosion and then defeating the demons inside the unit. They save the world.

And now, back to work tomorrow...

Each character's journey:

Founder - Naive optimism through to depressed rejection, finishing on assured confidence.

Hardass - Cynical viewpoint, not trusting others easily, through to trusting and caring about her team.

Manager - Stickler for the rules realising that sometimes they can restrict rather than help.

Techie - Connecting with the original Egon, and realising she needs to equally weigh the tech side and the supernatural side of her job.

What they'll come up with will probably be a lot better. They'll certainly have thought about it for longer than I have - but there's plenty to play around with. And that's just a minimum.

Whatever happens, I can't wait to see what they come up with.

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