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又一部翻拍片:《捉鬼敢死队:来世》继续打怀旧牌

Isaac Feldberg 2020年01月02日

尽管三年前的翻拍版反响平平,索尼和哥伦比亚还是决定再试试曾广受欢迎的老片潜力几何。

《捉鬼敢死队:来世》第一部预告片发布了,尽管三年前的翻拍版反响平平,索尼和哥伦比亚还是决定再试试曾广受欢迎的老片潜力几何。

值得注意的是,本次新版的编剧和导演是贾森·雷特曼(曾执导《朱诺》),也是老版《捉鬼敢死队》导演伊万·雷特曼的儿子。有了薪火相传的背景,此次新片《捉鬼敢死队:来世》呈现出忧郁怀旧的基调,最突出的特点就是致敬。

新片并未像老版《捉鬼敢死队》和《捉鬼敢死队2》一样选择曼哈顿为背景,本次故事发生在田园风情浓厚的乡村小镇,风格有点类似安培林公司出品的电影。2011年J·J·艾布拉姆斯拍过科幻片《超级八》,片中也充满了对80年代类型片的致敬,审美方面比2016年重拍的《新捉鬼敢死队》强,2016版更依赖明星的力量,氛围营造要差一些(稍后会详述)。

新版电影主角是一位单身母亲(凯莉·库恩饰),全家从城里搬到已故父亲的豪宅,但她跟父亲很不熟悉。小镇上并不宁静,孩子们(麦肯娜·格瑞丝和菲恩·伍法德饰)发现原来外祖父是最早的捉鬼敢死队成员埃贡·斯宾格勒博士(已故的伟大演员哈罗德·雷米斯饰),于是让附近一位科学老师(保罗·路德饰)看鬼魂陷阱,老师一看到就立刻称赞陷阱做得完美,简直值得收藏。

“已经30年没见过鬼了,”路德解释说(他在片中担任原版中里克·莫拉尼斯的传人,车盖上的恐怖狗就是暗示)。“80年代的纽约就像《行尸走肉》。你爸没跟你提过吗?”新闻里能看到比尔·默瑞、丹·艾克罗伊德、哈罗德·雷米斯并肩战斗的镜头,就像第一部《捉鬼敢死队》里一样。

当然了,路德有很多事没说。年轻人并不了解当年的捉鬼敢死队多么传奇,但随着镇上出现各种灵异事件,他们又在车库里发现了类似原版的捉鬼车,过程中不断学习。本片的假设是初代捉鬼敢死队成员都是全民英雄,当然也将两部老电影捧到神圣甚至是历史性的高度。

可以想象,本片的致敬情怀,还有路德对前辈的态度对于认为两部老版《捉鬼敢死队》极其完美的观众来说吸引力很大。更让人期待的是老版里的几位原演员,如默瑞、艾克罗伊德和埃涅·赫德森都会出现,整片充满了对前人充满尊重的氛围,一些粉丝(特别是因强硬撤下女演员加深仇恨的粉丝)可能觉得2016年的重拍版在故意回避。雷米斯回归无疑将引发催泪弹效应,鬼魂史莱姆的出现也一样。

预告片的背景是美国小镇、阴沉的基调,昏黄的灯光,演员菲恩·伍法德出现的方式也很有特点,很容易让人想到Netflix热播科幻剧《怪奇物语》,巧合的是该剧第二季里演员们还曾扮成《捉鬼敢死队》的造型,有点互相致敬的意思。

新版《捉鬼敢死队》与2016年翻拍版对比

总之从预告片来看,2020年版《捉鬼敢死队》竭力避免2016年翻拍版中的现代感,2016版的导演保罗·费格打造了平行宇宙,克里斯汀·韦格、梅丽莎·麦卡西、莱斯莉·琼斯和凯特·麦克金农组成了纽约第一支捉鬼敢死队。《捉鬼敢死队:来世》则直接拍成两部老版电影的续集,而且肯定会花不少工夫揭示年轻的主人公跟老版之间的联系。

值得注意的是,中期制作期间,雷特曼执导的新片片名将从《捉鬼敢死队2020》改成了《捉鬼敢死队:来世》,虽然调整不大,但可能有潜在的深意。

2016年翻拍版简单地取名叫《新捉鬼敢死队》,全片呈现了编剧兼导演保罗·费格用全女性阵容重新打造系列的思路。使用原版的称号时就隐含着某种铺垫,有人认为哥伦比亚和索尼在借此扫清障碍,将该系列持续拓展,最终可能会将韦格、麦卡西、琼斯打造成默瑞、艾克罗伊德和雷米斯一样受欢迎的组合。

这是大胆的一举,比电影公司预想中影响还大,迅速出现一波反对声浪,批评声音主要来自厌女主义和反女权主义者。电影的宣传导向似乎是,现在是时候让女性背起质子背包了,2016版就充分体现了这一点,尤其考虑到该声明的时代精神和女权主义者的指控,但老版电影的粉丝肯定不能容忍。虽然打着老版里的“响应使命”口号,但不过是跟《瞒天过海:美人计》一样,变成另一部强调女权的大片。

影片上映时评论褒贬不一,票房成绩也不理想,该片给人的感觉是对《捉鬼敢死队》IP态度非常纠结,主要因为在重启老版电影的创作团队和感觉有权掌控该片创作方向的粉丝之间存在分歧,或多或少影响了老版重造的计划。所以哥伦比亚和索尼只得为下一步重新规划。

雷特曼这部新片副标题是《来世》,努力的目标就是避免上一部翻拍版惨败的命运,启用少年主角比较安全,可以避免网络喷子对之前全女性阵容的抵制。到目前为止,该片的宣传包括中西部地区的捉鬼车海报,还有一条预告片,看不出该片要将故事带入现代世界的感觉(不过电影名里的2020还是有点现代感),只是回顾鬼片辉煌岁月的致敬电影。跟随着初代捉鬼敢死队成员埃贡·斯宾格勒博士的后代一起学习,简单来说,孩子们了解到外祖父多酷时,也会进一步提升两部前作的传奇地位。

怀旧的混合效果

关键问题在于观众对如此处理《捉鬼敢死队》续作会如何回应,目前还没有明确的答案。虽然近年来翻拍80年代大片方面成功案例不少(看看《星球大战:原力觉醒》,也是新人和原版角色搭配),但最近几部都遭遇惨败,最失败的当属《终结者:黑暗命运》。(也没什么人喜欢新版《霹雳娇娃》和《睡梦医生》。)

去年秋天上映后,《终结者:黑暗命运》成了Skydance和派拉蒙的票房炸弹。跟新版终结者一样,《捉鬼敢死队:来世》市场宣传时(至少早期阶段如)也突出了淡淡的忧郁感,而且拉回前作主创人员,强调对经典的继承。詹姆斯·卡梅伦就回归担任了《黑暗命运》监制,还将故事重新改编,琳达·汉密尔顿和阿诺德·施瓦辛格在片中出演,成功交棒给了麦肯兹·戴维斯和娜塔利娅·雷耶斯饰演的角色(还有加布里埃尔·鲁纳饰演的新版终结者)。

但观众对该片反应十分冷淡,由于续集/翻拍价格极高,电影公司损失惨重。如果在近2亿美元预算基础上增加宣传成本,损失可能达到1.3亿美元。除非索尼和哥伦比亚出现非常非常严重的问题,否则不可能对《捉鬼敢死队:来世》付出如此巨大的成本。(值得注意的是:人们之所以认为费格的《新捉鬼敢死队》失败,也是预算高得离谱,达到1.44亿美元。《捉鬼敢死队:来世》能拿到1亿美元预算已经很幸运,但从第一条预告片,再加上雷特曼拍独立小片的资历来看,或许预算还能少很多。)

第一条预告片也巧妙地与2016版《新捉鬼敢死队》划清了距离,展示了完全不一样的基调,并且只将两部前作当成经典致敬(换句话说,别指望韦格和搭档们会客串。比较之下,《终结者:黑暗命运》并没怎么努力表现出与之前2015年翻拍的《终结者:创世纪》不同之处,当时《创世纪》上映后恶评如潮,片中也有施瓦辛格(汉密尔顿没有出演)。

更适合拿来比较的可能是索尼自家的《勇敢者游戏》系列,片中也有类似的“孩子玩家传之物”情节,但比起原作采取了一些新鲜和独特的改动。该片续集在圣诞节前档期稳步上映,抢在了《星球大战9:天行者崛起》和音乐剧《猫》之前。不过《捉鬼敢死队:来世》也具有小小的优势,就是由菲恩·伍法德出演,之前他曾出演《怪奇物语》,可以作为非官方声音协助索尼和哥伦比亚宣传。

今年很有趣,翻拍片扎堆上映。绝地战警系列让人期待已久的第三部《绝地战警:疾速追击》将于初春上映,威尔史密斯和马丁·劳伦斯再聚首。《壮志凌云:独行侠》将登陆暑期档,届时可测试汤姆·克鲁斯的号召力是否持久。还有一部较小众但也有趣的续集:比尔和泰德系列第三部《比尔和泰德寻歌记》。接近今年年底将会上映《美国之旅》续集,还有史蒂芬·斯皮尔伯格操刀的《西区故事》翻拍(该片既是音乐剧又是斯皮尔伯格出品,票房相当有保障)。

对电影公司来说,最大的疑问在于观众有没有兴趣看更多电影,以及老版电影会不会被彻底遗忘,形成不了强大的IP吸引力。《霹雳娇娃》就从来没考虑过这个问题,票房滑铁卢也不出所料。《睡梦医生》的续作同样有新瓶装旧酒的感觉,没有自身特色,也没考虑到当初《闪灵》上映后票房并不佳。最惨的就是《终结者:黑暗命运》,该片让电影公司最可怕的噩梦成谶,即曾经绝佳的IP因为使用不善口碑爆炸,导致整个系列被迫终结。

等到今年夏天《捉鬼敢死队:来世》上映,我们再来看看捉鬼系列到底还有没有挖掘空间。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

The first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife has arrived, and with it our first look at Sony and Columbia's latest bid to bring one of its most beloved franchises back to box-office glory, despite the indifference with which its three-years-ago attempt to do exactly that was received.

Notably, the new effort is written and directed by Jason Reitman (Juno), son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. Perhaps predictably, given that behind-the-scenes passing of the torch, Afterlife conveys a somber, nostalgic tone distinguished most by its remembrance of what came before.

Far removed from the Manhattan setting of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, this new entry is set in the countryside, in a small-town idyll most reminiscent of an Amblin film setting. J.J. Abrams's 2011 Super 8, another sci-fi time-capsule filled with reverence for '80s genre fare, makes for a better aesthetic parallel than the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, which relied more on star power than ambience (more on that later).

At the center of the new film is a single mother (Carrie Coon) who moves her family from the city to a mansion owned by her late father, whom she never really knew. Not all is well in the small town, as becomes clear once the kids (McKenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard) uncover that their grandfather was original Ghostbuster Dr. Egon Spengler (the late, great Harold Ramis), presenting one of his ghost traps to a nearby science teacher (Paul Rudd), who goes so far to remark on what a neat replica, a collector's item, the contraption appears to be.

"There hasn't been a ghost sighting in 30 years," explains Rudd (being set up to serve as the film's Rick Moranis successor, if that terror dog on the hood of his car is any indication). "New York, in the '80s, it was like The Walking Dead. Did your dad never mention this to you?" News footage of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ramis is visible as those three head into battle, circa the end of the first Ghostbusters.

But of course he didn't mention it. The new generation doesn't know how legendary the Ghostbusters once were—but as all manner of paranormal activity spreads through the town, and they uncover what appears to be the original Ectomobile idling in a garage, they're sure to learn. It's a premise predicated on the notion the original Ghostbusters were national heroes, one that relies on considering the two original films to be sacrosanct, almost historical monuments.

One has to imagine that messaging will better appease those for whom the first two Ghostbusters films are unimpeachable nostalgia items, the way Rudd treats them. Sweetening the deal is that several original cast members, like Murray, Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, are due to make appearances, lending the whole affair a sense of respect for its elders that some fans (especially those whose animosity was deepened by bigoted dismissal of the female cast members) may have felt the 2016 reboot willfully eschewed. A teary tribute to Ramis feels as inevitable as the return of Slimer.

With its small-town Americana setting, somber tone, and golden-hour lighting, not to mention the presence of star Wolfhard, the trailer also evokes Stranger Things, a curious bit of franchise Ouroboros-ing given that the characters on that hit Netflix sci-fi series dressed up as Ghostbusters for Halloween in its second season.

"Ghostbusters: Afterlife" vs. the 2016 Reboot

All in all, the trailer points to a Ghostbusters update that seeks to avoid the progressive, modernized feel of the previous, ill-fated 2016 reboot, in which Paul Feig constructed a parallel universe where Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon became New York City's first ghost-busting team. Instead, Afterlife serves as a direct sequel to the original two films and is sure to spend a not-insignificant portion of its runtime revealing connections between its young protagonists and the original films.

Tellingly, the upcoming, Reitman-directed film's title shifted mid-production from Ghostbusters 2020 to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a small adjustment with potentially major implications.

The 2016 reboot, simply titled Ghostbusters, was awarded its title as a show of faith in writer-director Paul Feig's all-female reimagining of the franchise; implicit in its use of the original title was a paving-over of sorts, the idea that Columbia and Sony were wiping the slate clean and setting up an extended franchise that might eventually treat Wiig, McCarthy, Jones, and McKinnon as reverentially as Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis.

It was a bold gambit, moreso than the studio had figured, and a particularly noxious fan contingent soon emerged in response, its criticism rooted primarily along misogynistic and anti-feminist lines. It's time, the marketing seemed to communicate, for women to be the ones holding the proton packs; 2016 would have been a fitting subtitle, given the zeitgeist-y, feminist charge of that statement, one the film's Gamergate-adjacent detractors have never been able to tolerate. That Answer the Call was once floated around as a quasi-subtitle/tagline only further aligned the film with girl-power blockbuster initiatives like the star-studded Ocean's Eight.

By the time the film was released, garnering mixed-to-positive reviews and disappointing at the box office, its image was so entangled in a bizarre battle for the identity of the Ghostbusters IP—between the creative team that worked on rebooting it and fans who felt entitled to control over its creative direction—that it more or less poisoned what had been intended as a fresh start. Columbia and Sony would go on to pull plans for future installments.

With its Afterlife subtitle, Reitman's film seeks to avoid a similar fate, even if its much less buzzy use of kid actors as leads is a safer bet for avoiding trolls than Feig's all-female cast ever was. The marketing thus far, including an evocative poster of the Ectomobile in a Midwestern field as well as the trailer, positions the upcoming film not as a progressive overhaul of the franchise aimed at bringing it into the modern day (as might be conveyed by the subtitle 2020), but as a reverential look back at the Ghostbusters glory days. Following the descendants of original Ghostbuster Dr. Egon Spengler as they learn, in a nutshell, how cool their grandpa was, it casts the first two films in a golden Ecto-glow.

A mixed bag of results for nostalgia

Whether audiences will respond to this kind of continuation of the Ghostbusters franchise is a key question with no clear answer. Though there have been hugely successful efforts to continue '80s franchises in the modern day (take a look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which similarly paired newcomers with franchise veterans), a few recent ones have been major failures, none more than Terminator: Dark Fate. (Though no one's writing home about Charlie's Angels or Doctor Sleep either.)

Like Dark Fate, which became a box-office bomb for Skydance and Paramount when it opened earlier this fall, Afterlife is being marketed (at least at this early stage) with a lightly melancholy tone that teases the legacy of its predecessors out by setting up the return of its key players. James Cameron came back to executive-produce and heavily retool Dark Fate, and it starred Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, returning for what should have been a triumphant passing of the torch to newer characters played by Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes (even a new Terminator, played by Gabriel Luna).

But the film got a brutally cold shoulder from audiences, and its studios' losses are particularly deep given the sky-high pricetag of the sequel/reboot; they could reach $130 million, when marketing costs are tacked on top of the nearly $200 million budget. Unless something has gone very, very wrong over at Sony and Columbia, there's no way Afterlife is costing them nearly that much. (Of note: one reason Feig's Ghostbusters was considered such a failure was that its budget was set ridiculously high, at $144 million. Afterlife would be lucky to get $100 million, but the first trailer, coupled with Reitman's indie credentials, suggests he could have done it for much less.)

The first trailer also smartly distances itself from the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot by showcasing an entirely separate tone and only considering the first two films to be canon (in other words, don't expect Wiig and her co-stars to cameo). Dark Fate made little effort to choreograph that it was a very different kind of movie that the previous attempt at a reboot, 2015's Genisys, which received rancid reviews and also starred Schwarzenegger (though not Hamilton).

A better comparison point might be Sony's own Jumanji franchise, which has a similar "kids playing with heirlooms" setup but did something fresh and tonally unique with it, compared to the franchise predecessors. That film's sequel is on track to open solidly in the pre-Christmas frame, serving as the one big blockbuster coming ahead of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Cats. And Afterlife has a small edge on that movie in the presence of Wolfhard, too, whose Stranger Things bona fides make him an unofficial tone ambassador Sony and Columbia will be able to lean on in the marketing.

Next year's set to be an interesting one for this kind of franchise rinse-and-repeating. Bad Boys for Life, a purportedly long-awaited threequel reuniting Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, is opening in early spring. Top Gun: Maverick, testing just how enduring Tom Cruise's star power is, is set for summer, as is a smaller-scale but still amusing update: a third Bill & Ted. And much later in the year, there will be a Coming to America sequel, as well as a West Side Story reboot from Steven Spielberg (though that latter one, as both a musical and a Spielberg production, feels like a much safer bet).

The biggest query for these studios lies in whether audiences still have an interest in seeing more, or whether the films are too forgotten to have a powerful IP pull. Charlie's Angels never considered that question, and the film's tanking box office speaks for itself; the mediocre postings for Doctor Sleep similarly communicated an idea for a sequel that never really stood for itself or considered that The Shining itself was not critically well-received upon release. Dark Fate, worst of all, exposed a studio's worst nightmare: a once-treasured IP whose stock has been lowered through mismanagement enough it's reached a kind of franchise death.

We'll find out whether there's juice left in the Ghostbusters franchise's particular proton packs when Afterlife opens next summer.

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