Ghostbusters May Hire Chris Pratt As Sony Plots Four Films

87th Annual Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals

Yesterday’s announcement of a guy-centered Ghostbusters to be directed by the Russo brothers struck a sour note with many readers. Why, after Sony affirmed its commitment to a female-powered Ghostbusters film boasting a stunning cast and a talented director (Bridesmaids‘ Paul Feig), did the studio have to backtrack with another movie all about the dudes? It seemed rather un-pc at the time, and now, thanks to some digging by Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci, a much larger and more interesting picture has come into focus regarding Sony’s new Ghostbusters universe – which, at present, will include four movies.

For one, talk of a “guy-centric” Ghostbusters was premature. The actual plan is for the Russos’ movie to riff on the real-life chemistry between actors Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt (as reported back in December) and to strike a different tone from Feig’s movie, which will come first. It’s not solely male-powered, and it’s a complement to Feig’s movie.

We’ve heard that Feig’s Ghostbusters will take inspiration from The Walking Dead, but that Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong are in the cast suggests a fair modicum of belly laughs are also in store. Where that leaves the Russos’ sequel is unclear, but Tatum and Pratt are both talented comics, so no one’s expecting a gritty, grounded Ghostbusters.

What’s more, after Feig and the Russos’ Ghostbusters movies are both out, the plan is to have both teams of ‘busters meet up, Avengers-style, in a third film. This has been the plan for a while, Faraci reports, and has been structured in such a way that Feig and the Russos can do their own thing before having to cross over and merge tones.

As for the fourth film, Faraci reports that a prequel is also in the works, that will take place before either Feig or the Russos’ films. For rights reasons, none of the original Ghostbusters will play a role in the prequel – the door is open for some famous ghosts to feature, though. The setting is being kept under wraps, but it helps to establish the larger sandbox in which subsequent films can play.

Now, that’s a hell of a lot to swallow, but the big takeaway from all of it is that Sony is planning Ghostbusters as an expansive cinematic universe that can accommodate a variety of tones and plots under one banner. The brand can still sell tickets, they believe, which is why many supernatural FX comedies will bear the Ghostbusters label over the next decade. It all sounds rather ambitious, but as long as the directors, screenwriters and casts working on the universe are on the right page, there’s no reason Sony can’t do it successfully.

On another note, what this means for the Russo brothers directing Avengers: Infinity War – Parts 1 and 2 is very unclear. The pair are a hot commodity in Hollywood right now, and despite their allegiance to Marvel, strengthened with the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, their Ghostbusters work is probably going to make it tricky to keep their foot in the door over at Marvel. More will probably emerge on that front sooner rather than later.