It’s a good week to be a Ghostbusters fan. Yesterday, the original Ghostbusters movie was released on Blu-ray and a new Ghostbusters video game featuring the original actor’s voices was released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and the Wii. Also this week during the press junket for Year One, Harold Ramis talked about Ghostbuster 3, which is officially in the works.
Now, on paper, Ghostbusters 3 sounds like a fantastic idea. Reports indicate that all four lead actors will be back to reprise their role and the script is being written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, who both write for The Office. Original Ghostbuster director Ivan Reitman may even come on board to direct the film.
Sounds good so far, right? Unfortunately, when you dig a little deeper, you realize the project may not be as wonderful as it sounds. Sure, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky seem like good choices to write the project, since at its best, The Office is one of the funniest shows on television. However, that doesn’t mean that The Office writers can do no wrong.
While The Office ended on a particularly strong note this season, in the past there have been quite a few bad episodes of the show, many of them featuring Michael and Dwight being completely over-the-top and painful to watch (Michael driving his car into a lake because he’s too dumb to follow GPS and he and Dwight kidnapping a pizza delivery guy instantly come to mind). I’m too lazy to figure out if Eisenberg and Stupnitsky had anything to do with those episodes, but either way, the point remains that getting writers from The Office doesn’t automatically mean that the Ghostbusters 3 script will be funny. Besides, these two guys are the writers of Year One, which looks like an absolutely terrible movie. (Aren’t they supposed to give away all of the funny lines in the trailers? Why haven’t the previews made me laugh once?)
The concept of the film itself also worries me. Unlike Rambo or Live Free or Die Hard, which allowed their original stars to shine despite their advancing ages, the plan is to have the original team hand over the reins to a new generation of Ghostbusters. That sounds a lot like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s plan to have Shia LaBeouf eventually take over for Indiana Jones … and we all remember how well that turned out.
Ghostbusters 2 was tough enough to accept as a fan. It would be very disappointing if after all these years, the creative forces behind this project “George Lucased” the whole thing and made a terrible film.
Perhaps that’s what they are going for. Maybe this is a genius plan by Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Company to make the worst Ghostbusters film imaginable. Most of these modern rehashes of classic 80s movies end up sucking anyway, so what if their plan is to make the worst 80s rehash ever? What if these comic geniuses have discovered a way, a la The Producers, to make a box office flop that under the right set of circumstances will actually make them a boatload of cash? What if Ghostbusters 3 is their Springtime for Hitler?
If that is in fact the case, then I’m here to help. I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think I’ve developed the perfect formula to make this new Ghostbusters film as awful as possible – a perfect shit storm if you will. So without further ado, here is how to ensure that Ghostbusters 3 is an epic failure …
Dane Cook as the new Dr. Peter Venkman. Bill Murray manages to be a special kind of asshole in Ghostbusters (and in most of his best films, actually); he is capable of being reprehensible and charming at the same time. Thanks to a string of terrible movies like Good Luck Chuck and My Best Friend’s Girl and a HBO documentary that showed what a tool he is in real life, Cook has the asshole part down, just not the whole charming thing, which makes him the ideal (terrible) replacement for Venkman.
Jack Black as the new Dr. Raymond Stantz. Jack Black actually tried to convince Ramis to give him a part in the new Ghostbusters film while the two worked together on Year One, so this could actually happen. For the record, I think Jack Black can be incredibly funny in small doses, but if he is not reined in properly, he has a tendency to be incredibly annoying and over-the-top. (Besides, having him play a Ghostbuster in this film may remind people of Be Kind Rewind, which was a really terrible and disappointing movie.) To ensure his performance is as painful as it needs to be, all they’ll have to do is feed him a few Red Bulls before each scene and allow him to improvise.
Rainn Wilson as the new Dr. Egon Spengler. Rainn Wilson would actually be a good choice to replace Egon if we were trying to make a not-terrible Ghostbusters 3, since he’s got the whole funny nerd thing down playing Dwight on The Office. But, as I mentioned above, some of the worst moments on The Office are when Dwight is dialed up to 11 and becomes a zany cartoon sidekick. As long as Eisenberg and Stupnitsky can recapture the dreadfulness of those bad Dwight moments, Wilson will be a perfectly horrible Egon.
A Wayans Brother as the new Winston Zeddmore. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, they will all be equally terrible.
Kirsten Dunst as the new Dana Barrett. She already ruined Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-man movies, so why not have her ruin Dana Barret? For good measure, let’s recapture some of the painfulness of Spider-man 3 by give her three musical numbers.
Jimmy Fallon as the new Louis Tully. Because nothing will be worse than seeing him laugh his way through this painfully-unfunny script.
Eddie Murphy in a fat suit as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I think this one is self-explanatory.
And finally, let’s have Ray Parker, Jr.’s iconic theme song redone by Adam Lambert. Now, I know many of you out there are Lambert fans (and even I can admit that he sang the hell out of Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World,” which I dearly love), but you have to admit that the guy has a tendency to oversing songs. I think with the right guidance, he can butcher the Ghostbusters theme song worse than he did “Ring of Fire.”
There you have it, my plan for the worst Ghostbusters movie ever made. If the powers that be behind this film really are trying to make it an epic flop, I think we now know who they’re gonna call.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.