…and it was penned by a desperate writer – not Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg – hoping to get him recognition. I will not be posting his name. (UPDATE 11-21-14)
Way back in 2008, it was confirmed that Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (writers on NBC’s “The Office”) had been hired by Sony to pen the script for Ghostbusters 3. Some story rumors were confirmed around that time, mainly that a “next generation” of Ghostbusters would be involved.
Following years of gossip and rumor-tug-of-war amongst the original players, Paul Feig is now set to direct (and co-write with his The Heat collaborator Katie Dippold) with a heavily female cast of busters to star. Back in August when all this came out, the sequel rumors were primarily squashed in favor of the reboot route.
It’s been a dizzying path for the next Ghostbusters film and many fans are stoked it’s finally happening. But what became of Stupnitsky and Eisenberg’s original treatment? At the time word was that the studio loved the outline but Harold Ramis (RIP) did not. The duo was working on it apparently into 2010 and probably beyond. So what of it?
Well, Brad received a document that damn sure looks like it’s the duo’s treatment. It came from a source who wishes to remain anonymous, and is labelled “Second Draft – 04/08/2009.” While we haven’t been able to confirm its validity, it contains plenty of points that were rumored to be within their story.
And now, for your reading pleasure, what (possibly maybe) could’ve been…
The script opens with a prologue similar to the first Ghostbusters. Two museum security guards are walking down a narrow hallway at night, boring each other with droll chit-chat. They turn a corner to see objects floating about, aimed right for them. An apparition appears, with long arms and legs and no face. It’s speaks some kind of ancient incantation, then attacks.
Cut to a hyper-stylized commercial for Ghostbusters, Inc. -complete with obnoxious dub step version of the classic theme song. The rag-tag business started by the original guys is now run like any other corporation, with shit-eating CEO TODD PRENDAGHAST in charge. How loathsome is Todd? He keeps SLIMER in a glass-walled containment unit as a trophy.
Theirs is a very high-tech approach to busting – think all the extraneous tech and touch screens shown on “CSI” and the like. The days of scorching buildings and furniture with proton packs is over. How did it get this way?
Years ago, when DR. RAY STANTZ and DR. EGON SPENGLER were the last vestiges of the original crew, Ghostbusters went public. Then an “incident” occurred during a bust that led them to destroy the Triborough Bridge. The collateral damage was tremendous, but they saved the city. Still, Ray and Egon were forced out of their positions by the board members of Ghostbusters, Inc., demoted to the lowly position of “freelance classifications.” Essentially what they do now is act as first responders when people call. They investigate the phenomenon and advise Todd how to proceed.
The problem is Todd doesn’t want to listen to them. That slender man looking bastard from the prologue? This is the fourth or fifth time he’s been spotted and his attacks are getting progressively more aggressive. Egon has classified the being as a ‘Class-5 Cross-Dimensional Snatcher.’ But Todd won’t listen. And Ray is boiling over with resentment.
Him and Egon work with OSCAR BARRETT, the son of DR. PETER VENKMAN and DANA BARRETT (a story that Bloody Disgusting exclusively broke years ago). She acted as a single mother while Venkman was off being elected as mayor of NYC. After the Triborough Bridge incident, he used an anti-Ghosbuster ballot to be reelected. Since then, he hasn’t spoken to his old friends. Resentment runs deep through the bulk of this script.
Venkman is a hands-off type of mayor. He likes being on TV, but when he has to actually take responsibility for something, he’s at a loss for words (there’s a lot of Bill Murray’s deadpan quirks played with here). His savior at times is JANINE MELNITZ, who now acts as his secretary and chief advisor (sadly, LOUIS TULLY is nowhere to be found).
As Venkman is assaulted with questions over the slender man ghost at a press conference, he caves in and must take action. He reunites with Ray, Egon, and WINSTON ZEDDMORE (who’s a mechanic at Ghostbusters, Inc.) in Todd’s office.
Remember “Tobin’s Spirit Guide”? It’s the book referenced in the first Ghostbusters while they were researching Zuul. Here Ray uses it to conclude that the slender man spirit is WOLFRAM VON GRAUEN, one of the head architects of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Hundreds of people vanished during the fair, possibly sacrificed in the basement of a building Von Grauen owned. The vile man was eventually thrown in an insane asylum on Staten Island. His belongings were auctioned off by the police and now his spirit is being drawn to them.
Amazed that Ray and Egon figured it out so soon while Todd sat on his ass doing nothing about it, Venkman ousts Todd from his CEO position and reinstates Ray and Egon. What follows is a montage aimed at pushing the fans’ nostalgia buttons. A lot of imagery from the first two films appears, including a polished off Ecto-1. Ray even lets Slimer out of the containment unit, leading to a heartwarming and gooey reunion.
They fire all of the new Ghostbusters, Inc. recruits and bring in three fresh faces (PARKER, WILLIAMS, TRACY). Cannibalising the new technology, Egon creates all-new proton packs that are more powerful (and destructive) than ever before. They pinpoint the location of Von Grauen’s cursed items: the Brundelheim Institute on Staten Island, the former asylum Von Grauen was held at (where else would it be, duh). Winston travels there with the new recruits while Ray and Egon advise via radio. They find a secret room in the basement, where Oscar’s presence sets off Von Grauen’s spirit. Turns out the youngest Barrett has the same affinity for attracting negative psycokinetic energy that his mom Dana does.
Von Grauen’s power is used to unleash the Ghostbuster’s biggest foe yet. It’s essentially a Cthulhu monster that’s been dwelling under the ocean – tentacles and all. It’s even referred to as an “elder god.”
The epic final battle sees the national guard, NYPD, recently fired employees of Ghosbusters, Inc., and the guys all blowing away at the immense creature. The NYC skies are lit up with gunfire and proton beams. They manage to slow the behemoth down, but the only way to stop it…you guessed it.
They have to cross the streams. Knowing that it could kill them, Venkman makes the first selfless act he’s made in years and takes Oscar’s place. Even that bastard Todd steps up to lay his life down for the city. They manage to lure the creature to a prime spot near a skyscraper. There, the guys take one final sentimental look at one another and light it up. A bright white super beam plows into the creature and his guts and bile rain down on the city. They’ve slain the beast and saved the city once again. Only this time it cost them their lives.
Cut to an undisclosed time in the near future. Ghostbusters, Inc. is going stronger than ever, with Winston in a high-paying position. Oscar is still working there as well. One night, Janine is working late and as she’s walking down the hall, she comes across the ghosts of Venkman, Ray, and Egon playing cards…
We’ll update this if the document is ever confirmed as Stupnitsky and Eisenberg’s original treatment. It reads pretty legit, in my opinion. What do you think?