Ghostbusters 25th Anniversary; New Video Game, New Movie, but no new books?
So, this year is the 25th Anniversary of the movie Ghostbusters. Released in 1984, it has become a comedy classic. There has been much buzz recently about the Ghostbusters franchise and several announcements and product releases that have got “Ghosties” (Ghostbusters fans) excited.
On June 16, the first Ghostbusters movie was released on Blu-Ray.
Also on June 16, a new video game called, appropriately, Ghostbusters: The Video Game was released for all the next generation console systems.
One of the things about this video game that excited fans of the movie was that it reunites most of the cast from the original movie for the first time since Ghostbusters II in 1989 (which was also released on June 16). Returning to voice their characters are Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler), Dan Ackroyd (Ray Stantz), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zedmore) and even Bill Murray (Peter Venkman). Also returning for the game are Annie Potts as Janine and William Atherton as Walter Peck. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis turned down the opportunity to return to voice their characters.
Ramis and Ackroyd wrote the script for the game and they both said that they treated the development of this game as if they were making a new Ghostbusters movie. Judging by online reviews, that commitment shows in the game’s play and storyline. I look forward to playing it on the PS3.
When the actors reunited to voice their characters for the game, Bill Murray was quoted as saying he had a great time re-visiting the character of Venkman and working with his friends Ramis and Ackroyd. He also said he would consider returning to the Ghostbusters franchise in a new movie. That was big news as Murray has continually said for years that he would never do another Ghostbusters movie after the studio made so many changes to Part 2 that it was no longer the movie he signed on to make. Needless to say, Ramis and Ackroyd are in active development of a new Ghostbusters movie. Hopefully, it happens, I would love to see the group back together again.
With the Ghostbusters set to pounce on all of these different fronts, there is one media that is decidedly absent from this list. Novels. There really is no mention of new Ghostbusters adventures in book form. This is surprising as sci-fi adventure novels are very popular. Many TV Shows and movies go on to have novels based on them with new adventures for the main characters. The popular Fox show Bones has novels based on its characters. You can’t chuck a dead squirrel in Barnes & Noble without hitting racks of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel novels. Hell, even movies like National Treasure have a book series based on them.
To this point there are only three books featuring the adventures of the Ghostbusters. The first two books are novelizations of the movies.
The third Ghostbusters book you may have never heard of before. It’s written by Sholly Fisch and was released in 2004. It’s called Ghostbusters: The Return.
Like I said, you’ve probably never heard of this book as it’s extremely rare. It was written as a sequel to Ghostbusters II. The story of this book and why it’s so rare is very interesting. The website GBCollector.com had a great interview with the author, Sholly Fisch, and he revealed that the plan was to start a franchise of Ghostbusters books. The company with the literary Ghostbusters license, iBooks, had at least four books mapped out and Fisch would write the first two. Right as this book was about to be released in 2004, Barnes & Noble decided the book wouldn’t sell well and, consequently, only sold them online. This was a huge blow to iBooks and kept printings of the book low. Very soon after this the founder of iBooks was killed in a car crash and coupled with the low book sales, the company was not able to recover. They declared bankruptcy soon after thereby killing the rest of the Ghostbusters books. Several licensing issues would have to be cleared up before any more new Ghostbusters adventure novels could be written. Due to it’s rarity, The Return is considered a Holy Grail by Ghostbusters collectors and it fetches hundreds of dollars on the secondary market.
I, for one, would love to see a publishing house buy up the literary rights, reprint Fisch’s The Return as well as start a new Ghostbusters adventure series. I can’t be the only one.
So enjoy the Ghostbusters 25th Anniversary by watching the movies and playing the video games. And hope that one day, we not only get to see the boys back together in Ghostbusters III, but we see their continuing adventures in a cool adventure series at our local Barnes & Noble.
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