Bill Murray is holding up Ghostbusters 3 and the marketing strategy behind this game may be why.
Yesterday, we reported that Bill Murray was the reason that production on Ghostbusters 3 wasn't moving forward. The actor who played Dr. Peter Venkman in the first two films told Howard Stern that he was hesitant to read the script and commit because its seemed like the project was a blatant attempt to cash in on a still-popular property. Kind of like Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime? This XBLA game follows on the footsteps of the modest hit that was the Ghostbusters videogame of 2009. In Sanctum of Slime, the player once again assumes the role of one of four rookie Ghostbusters, and can play solo or with up to 3 other players in local or online multiplayer to catch ghosts and defeat bosses. The game is available on XBLA on March 23rd, but Atari announced the four new Ghostbusters and their images today.
Meet the new "real" Ghostbusters with the descriptions provided by Atari:
ALAN CRENDALL (red cap)
Practical and hardworking, he has no real background in the paranormal, but is the workhorse leader of the team - the others know he's always there to pick them up after a Knock Down or help with wrangling a frenzied ghoul. He's also the steady hand of the team - when things go wrong he's the one with the plan.
SAMUEL HAZER (blonde dude)
An optimistic scientist with a positive outlook that keeps the team's spirits up. There's no ghost too big or bad that can't be figured out and then busted. He has a slight advantage with his studies in the paranormal and makes good use of this extra knowledge to help bust the stranger entities that the team comes across.
BRIDGET GIBBONS (blue-haired lady)
The tough chick with a fierce determination and a penchant for wisecracks at other's expense. Like Alan she has no paranormal training, but she is a natural Ghostbuster, always at the forefront of the battles. At times sparks can fly between her and the rest of the team, but the jokes end when there's work to be done.
GABRIEL SITTER (glasses)
The technical genius of the group, he's also not scared of getting his hands dirty when the ghosts try and get up close and personal. Following in Dr Spengler's footsteps, he's keen to learn more about being a Ghostbuster, and make his own mark unearthing more information on the spectral realm and developing his own new technologies.
The images of each new Ghostbuster seem similar to the The Real Ghostbusters Saturday morning cartoon from the late 80s, but other than that the whole thing feels really inauthentic. The first Ghostbusters film remains great because it is a snapshot of New York City and American culture of the era, as well as a blend of horror and comedy that succeeds in both. Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler and Ray Stanz (and later Winston Zeddemore), are not heroes, but smart-alecky everymen. We love them because there is no reason for them to succeed.
By creating new Ghostbuster characters that have no relation to the core of why people care about the franchise, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime doesn't seem to understand its roots.
Which is exactly why Bill Murray is right to distance himself from the franchise.