The "Ghostbusters" universe is making room for guys once again.
Sony Pictures has formed Ghostcorps, a new production company to develop movie and TV content and merchandise based on the supernatural comedy franchise, The Times has confirmed, and first up is a male-led "Ghostbusters" movie.
Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
"Ghostbusters" helmer Ivan Reitman and writer-star Dan Aykroyd are among those heading up the new banner, which is eyeing Anthony and Joe Russo ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier") to direct the next movie installment, after Paul Feig's female-led one with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. (Feig's film is to open July 22, 2016.)
"Iron Man 3" scribe Drew Pearce is to write the new film, with Reitman, the Russos, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan producing. Tatum, who already anchors Sony's "21 Jump Street" movies, could star in the new "Ghostbusters" as well.
Sony, which has at times struggled to keep up in the franchise arms race compared to rivals such as Disney and Warner Bros., has been looking to rejuvenate the "Ghostbusters" brand for several years.
Until fairly recently the plan had been to reunite the original on-screen team of Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis (who died in 2014), but the latest strategy is to build out a new shared cinematic universe, à la Marvel Studios' superhero movies. Thus characters can have their own separate adventures but occasionally team up and cross over into interrelated films (as in "The Avengers").
If the approach works, it could give Sony a big blockbuster sandbox to play in. On the other hand, it also runs the risk of franchise fatigue. It's been more than 25 years since the last "Ghostbusters" movie, and now all of a sudden there are two more on the way.