Ghostbusters 3 writer-director Jason Reitman says the new movie, a sequel to father Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, has one foot in the past and one in the future.
“Going into making this film, we wanted to make a love letter to the original movie,” Reitman said Saturday at Ghostbusters Fan Fest.
Even as the self-professed first fan of Ghostbusters, Reitman admitted he “did not expect to be making a Ghostbusters movie.”
“I thought I was gonna be this indie dude who makes Sundance movies,” added the Juno and Thank You for Smoking filmmaker, “and then this character came to me. And she was a 12-year-old girl.”
The story centers on the tween future ‘buster, to be played by Captain Marvel’s Mckenna Grace, who is joined by her mother (Avengers: Infinity War’s Carrie Coon) and brother (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard).
“I didn’t know who she was, or why she popped into my head, but I saw her with a proton pack and this story began to form. And it formed over many years, actually,” Reitman said. “It started with a girl, and all of a sudden it was a family.”
Reitman eventually “knew this movie I needed to write.”
After recruiting Monster House and Poltergeist scribe Gil Kenan, Reitman and his co-writer developed a script before establishing a think tank.
“We reached out to all the originals — the cast, the crew, the people who made [Ghostbusters] — and we even formed this kind of small group that gets together, an advisory board of people who worked on the original film, to make sure that we make the right film,” Reitman said.
“I’m not gonna give anything away today, but I will say it’s a new movie. This is a new movie about a new set of characters, it takes place in a new place, a new location.”
Reitman, who personally thanked Ghostbusters reboot director Paul Feig for “kicking down the door” in terms of broader storytelling, added he’s excited for “the possibility of all kinds of Ghostbusters movies.”
“And I’m hoping that [the fans] join me on this one, because these characters are amazing,” Reitman said. “Amazing, and I can’t wait to introduce you to them.”
What of those new characters’ connections to the old guard — Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd’s Ray Stantz, Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, and Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett — who Reitman confirmed have all read the script?
“This is what I’ll say. You don’t know their connection,” a tight-lipped Reitman teased, “and they don’t know their connection yet either.”
Ghostbusters 3 busts into theaters July 10, 2020.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.