“Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman is teaming with Dan Aykroyd to form Ghost Corps, a new production company based on the Sony lot that is teaming with Channing Tatum, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” directors Joe and Anthony Russo and “Iron Man 3” writer Drew Pearce to develop a supernatural comedy set in the “Ghostbusters” universe, TheWrap has learned.
The film will serve as a counterpart to Paul Feig’s female-powered “Ghostbusters” movie starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.
The testosterone-heavy project will be developed as a potential starring vehicle for Tatum, who will produce with Reid Carolin, Peter Kiernan, the Russo brothers and Ghost Corps.
The Russo brothers are not officially attached to direct at this point, as they’re busy with “Captain America: Civil War” and have set their sights on potentially directing Marvel’s two-part “Avengers” finale. The siblings signed a first-look deal with Sony Pictures just last week.
“We want to expand the ‘Ghostbusters’ universe in ways that will include different films, TV shows, merchandise, all things that are part of modern filmed entertainment,” Reitman told Deadline, which first reported the news. “This is a branded entertainment, a scary supernatural premise mixed with comedy. Paul Feig’s film will be the first version of that, shooting in June to come out in July, 2016. He’s got four of the funniest women in the world, and there will be other surprises to come. The second film has a wonderful idea that builds on that. Drew will start writing and the hope is to be ready for the Russo Brothers’ next window next summer to shoot, with the movie coming out the following year. It’s just the beginning of what I hope will be a lot of wonderful movies… My primary focus will be to build the ‘Ghostbusters’ into the universe it always promised it might become. The original film is beloved, as is the cast, and we hope to create films we will continue to love… Sometimes things happen as the speed they are supposed to happen. The deals were so strong on that second movie that the franchise became frozen in place 25 years. Nothing got done, we all had the power to block whatever we didn’t like, but we finally got together and found a way.”
Reitman and Akyroyd will be principals at Ghost Corps along with Tom Pollock, Ali Bell and Alex Plapinger. Reitman and Pollock will continue to operate their Montecito Picture Company as a separate entity at Paramount, where MPC is developing a “Baywatch” movie that is expected to score Dwayne Johnson as one of its leads.
In addition to feature films, Ghost Corps will develop TV projects set in the “Ghostbusters” universe, as well as exploit lucrative merchandising opportunities for the popular franchise.
The Ghost Corps deal has been percolating for the last several months, as Reitman discussed the wide-ranging possibilities to expand the “Ghostbusters” franchise with Sony execs Amy Pascal and Doug Belgrad last fall at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Feig’s “Ghostbusters” movie hits theaters in July 2016.