Hollywood wanted to make a new Ghostbusters years ago. 1984's original was supposed to be a high-concept one-off for the Saturday Night Live crew. It took five more years to churn out a sequel, which, besides Vigo the Carpathian and a dancing toaster, wasn't as good as anyone remembers. A dip in quality should have killed threequel ideas, but both movies were box-office bonanzas, and talk of a new entry cropped up any time Dan Aykroyd had a movie to promote. The proposed trilogy-capper -- which Aykroyd claimed would have sent the scientific superheroes to Hell -- never came to be, and Ghostbusters III stewed in limbo. Until Bridesmaids director Paul Feig took over.
This summer Ghostbusters returns, with a new movie serving as both a sequel and a reboot of the original. Feig recruited Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones to strap on the proton packs and ward off a new wave of pissed-off spirits, and left room for Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson to bridge the 30-year gap with cameos. (Original cast member Harold Ramis passed away in 2014.)
Based on the first trailer (above), Feig's movie expands the Ghostbusters concept for the modern blockbuster audience. Gone are the gritty streets of New York and practical ghost-puppets enhanced by photo effects. Ghostbusters 2016 is a living cartoon -- the Real Ghostbusters adaptation we should have expected. New personalities keep it fresh. Wiig, McCarthy, McKinnon, and Jones avoid mimicking their predecessors. They're just weirdos. The chemistry spills like ectoplasm.
Ghostbusters hits theaters on July 15. Angry franchise diehards will be railing against the movie's changes starting... yesterday. There's always something. We say: don't be afraid of no Ghostbusters purist.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. The Ghostbusters firehouse play set was once his most prized possession. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.