Rob Gilroy

Ghostbusters, again

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"For me, the idea of four women taking on a Ghostbusters film is incredibly exciting."

I still have a proton pack.

It’s in my mum’s loft, along with a Real Ghostbusters trap and PKE Meter. It was a birthday present when I was 3. I didn’t have a set of overalls (and I’ve never forgiven my family for that) but I did have a rather fetching tracksuit. It quickly became known as my Ghostbusters suit.

At school I used to perform little sketches for my class mates. Pathetic childish showing off, you say? No doubt. The sketch I performed most often, involved me pretending to be a Ghostbuster along with three of my friends. We would creep round with our proton packs – mine real, theirs’ imaginary – to the iconic theme tune. I won’t lie; there wasn’t much to it but the song always got people on their feet.

Growing up, I would watch the films constantly. Despite the fact the scenes in the library, and of Janosz stealing a baby while dressed as a deceased Mary Poppins, frightened the life out of me. Being scared was fun, especially when the Ghostbusters were around.

For a long time, I was waiting for a sequel. Every couple of years, rumours of a new one would leave me delirious with excitement. The sheer thought of it would set the sounds of Ray Parker Jr ringing in my head. A sort of funky tinnitus.

Occasionally, I’d catch a brief radio interview with the original Ray Stanz; saying they were working on a new script. Or I’d watch a clip of that guy out of Blues Brothers, promising a definite answer from the studio in the next few months. Nothing ever came of it. It got to the point where I developed quite severe trust issues with Dan Aykroyd. I couldn’t watch Evolution without breaking down in tears.

Eventually, my excitement subsided and made way for an empty cynicism. No longer was a sequel a giddy prospect, but another reminder that Hollywood had stopped pitching new ideas, and was instead maxing out its Blockbusters’ card and copying the tapes. Coupled with inferior sequels to other favourites – I will never forgive anyone involved with Son of the Mask – my hope for a new Ghostbusters was slowly extinguished.

I’ll admit, I’ve been protective of Brand Ghostbuster in the past. This is not the first recklessly emotional article I’ve written about it (and it won’t be the last, Mr Editor). It’s not that I know best – despite that absolutely being the tone I take – it’s just that, if they were going to make another one; I wanted it to be everything that the originals were, and remain.

Then the women came along.

Now, a lot has been written about female Ghostbusters; quite often it’s abusive and mostly it’s utter shit. And the last thing anyone needs is a white middle class man’s opinion on the subject; but for me, the idea of four women taking on a Ghostbusters film is incredibly exciting. And excitement isn’t something I’ve felt about a new film GB in a long time. With such a strong cast of unique comic performers, coupled with a behind the scenes dream team of Paul Feig and Katie Dippold – two people currently creating some of the funniest comedies around – and there’s no reason not to be excited.

Now, it’s just been announced that the new Ghostbusters has finally started filming. This makes me incredibly happy. More than that, I’ve started to hear Ray Parker Jr swirling around my head again.

Finally, after years of waiting – we’re getting a new Ghostbusters film. It’s been a long and mostly fruitless wait but now, it feels like the right people with the right idea, have come together to, hopefully, create something as special as those original films. I don’t know about you, but come 22 July 2016 I’m going to be sat on the front row, waiting.

I’ll be the one wearing a proton pack.