Dan Aykroyd Has Written a Ghostbusters Prequel Set in the '60s

By Charles Pulliam-Moore on at

A new Ghostbusters sequel from director Jason Reitman set in the same continuity as the original films is already hitting cinemas next summer, but if Dan Aykroyd gets his way, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of the original ghost-fighting team in even more films... or television series.

While on a vodka promotional tour, Aykroyd stopped to talk to the Canadian Press about his involvement in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot, Reitman’s new Ghostbusters, and several projects he has in the works.

The outlet writes, “Aykroyd says he’s handed Reitman a script for a 1960s-era prequel, which would look at the teenage years of parapsychologists Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz, played by Aykroyd.” Here’s how the actor described it:

I’ve written “Ghostbusters High,” where they meet in New Jersey in 1969 and we’re looking to do that as probably a glorified feature or pilot within the next maybe five years…. And it would lead to a television project and I thought of him immediately for that.

It’s on [Reitman’s] desk but that’s years away from the current project. But it’s a neat idea for a prequel. Imagine casting the three characters as teenagers!

The three “original” Ghostbusters didn’t meet Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) until they were all adults, meaning that Ghostbusters High would have to do some interesting work to incorporate him into the story, assuming it would try to at all.

While Aykroyd insisted this project is likely a while away from coming to fruition, he had even more to add to the Ghostbusters pile. “We have other stuff after the Jason Reitman-helmed movie,” he said. “We have at least one or two other concepts for the Ghostbusters and then we’ll look at doing the prequel, which will be a perfect button on all we’ve done up to that point.”

As far as Feig’s film goes, Aykroyd explained to the outlet how even though he liked what the director and new generation of actors brought to the film, he believed that budget costs quickly got out of hand:

I kind of got mad, but I realized I should have blamed myself as a producer, the costs were out of control, I should have been watching as a producer a little more, but you don’t dispute with your director.

You hire a director, you trust a director, you trust their vision. But the job that (stars) Kate (McKinnon), and Kristen (Wiig), and Leslie (Jones) and Melissa (McCarthy) did and indeed Paul did on that movie was superior, or superb. We would have done another one but, again, the cost overruns prevented the studio from looking at it and doing another ladies’ movie….

Now we’re going to do it in a sensible way. Costs will be under control and it’ll be brought in for a sensible budget without waste and that’s what’s important now in getting it made.

Reitman’s new Ghostbusters, Aykroyd continued, is expected to cost somewhere between $30 and $50 million to produce compared to the neat $100 million it took to bring Feig’s Ghostbusters to theaters. Aykroyd insisted that practical effects and puppets would be key to bringing production costs on the new film down. “It’s so different from even the first and second (film),” he said. “This just takes it to a new generation and a new direction that is so warm, heartfelt and indeed, quite scary when you confront some of the issues that are being discussed.”

In any case, whether Aykroyd’s Ghostbusters High projects (or any of the others) ends up being greenlit is likely going to depend on how successful Reitman’s new Ghostbusters sequel does when it drops July 10, 2020.