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又一部翻拍片:《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》繼續打懷舊牌

Isaac Feldberg 2020年01月02日

盡管三年前的翻拍版反響平平,索尼和哥倫比亞還是決定再試試曾廣受歡迎的老片潛力幾何。

《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》第一部預告片發布了,盡管三年前的翻拍版反響平平,索尼和哥倫比亞還是決定再試試曾廣受歡迎的老片潛力幾何。

值得注意的是,本次新版的編劇和導演是賈森·雷特曼(曾執導《朱諾》),也是老版《捉鬼敢死隊》導演伊萬·雷特曼的兒子。有了薪火相傳的背景,此次新片《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》呈現出憂郁懷舊的基調,最突出的特點就是致敬。

新片并未像老版《捉鬼敢死隊》和《捉鬼敢死隊2》一樣選擇曼哈頓為背景,本次故事發生在田園風情濃厚的鄉村小鎮,風格有點類似安培林公司出品的電影。2011年J·J·艾布拉姆斯拍過科幻片《超級八》,片中也充滿了對80年代類型片的致敬,審美方面比2016年重拍的《新捉鬼敢死隊》強,2016版更依賴明星的力量,氛圍營造要差一些(稍后會詳述)。

新版電影主角是一位單身母親(凱莉·庫恩飾),全家從城里搬到已故父親的豪宅,但她跟父親很不熟悉。小鎮上并不寧靜,孩子們(麥肯娜·格瑞絲和菲恩·伍法德飾)發現原來外祖父是最早的捉鬼敢死隊成員埃貢·斯賓格勒博士(已故的偉大演員哈羅德·雷米斯飾),于是讓附近一位科學老師(保羅·路德飾)看鬼魂陷阱,老師一看到就立刻稱贊陷阱做得完美,簡直值得收藏。

“已經30年沒見過鬼了,”路德解釋說(他在片中擔任原版中里克·莫拉尼斯的傳人,車蓋上的恐怖狗就是暗示)?!?0年代的紐約就像《行尸走肉》。你爸沒跟你提過嗎?”新聞里能看到比爾·默瑞、丹·艾克羅伊德、哈羅德·雷米斯并肩戰斗的鏡頭,就像第一部《捉鬼敢死隊》里一樣。

當然了,路德有很多事沒說。年輕人并不了解當年的捉鬼敢死隊多么傳奇,但隨著鎮上出現各種靈異事件,他們又在車庫里發現了類似原版的捉鬼車,過程中不斷學習。本片的假設是初代捉鬼敢死隊成員都是全民英雄,當然也將兩部老電影捧到神圣甚至是歷史性的高度。

可以想象,本片的致敬情懷,還有路德對前輩的態度對于認為兩部老版《捉鬼敢死隊》極其完美的觀眾來說吸引力很大。更讓人期待的是老版里的幾位原演員,如默瑞、艾克羅伊德和埃涅·赫德森都會出現,整片充滿了對前人充滿尊重的氛圍,一些粉絲(特別是因強硬撤下女演員加深仇恨的粉絲)可能覺得2016年的重拍版在故意回避。雷米斯回歸無疑將引發催淚彈效應,鬼魂史萊姆的出現也一樣。

預告片的背景是美國小鎮、陰沉的基調,昏黃的燈光,演員菲恩·伍法德出現的方式也很有特點,很容易讓人想到Netflix熱播科幻劇《怪奇物語》,巧合的是該劇第二季里演員們還曾扮成《捉鬼敢死隊》的造型,有點互相致敬的意思。

新版《捉鬼敢死隊》與2016年翻拍版對比

總之從預告片來看,2020年版《捉鬼敢死隊》竭力避免2016年翻拍版中的現代感,2016版的導演保羅·費格打造了平行宇宙,克里斯汀·韋格、梅麗莎·麥卡西、萊斯莉·瓊斯和凱特·麥克金農組成了紐約第一支捉鬼敢死隊?!蹲焦砀宜狸牐簛硎馈穭t直接拍成兩部老版電影的續集,而且肯定會花不少工夫揭示年輕的主人公跟老版之間的聯系。

值得注意的是,中期制作期間,雷特曼執導的新片片名將從《捉鬼敢死隊2020》改成了《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》,雖然調整不大,但可能有潛在的深意。

2016年翻拍版簡單地取名叫《新捉鬼敢死隊》,全片呈現了編劇兼導演保羅·費格用全女性陣容重新打造系列的思路。使用原版的稱號時就隱含著某種鋪墊,有人認為哥倫比亞和索尼在借此掃清障礙,將該系列持續拓展,最終可能會將韋格、麥卡西、瓊斯打造成默瑞、艾克羅伊德和雷米斯一樣受歡迎的組合。

這是大膽的一舉,比電影公司預想中影響還大,迅速出現一波反對聲浪,批評聲音主要來自厭女主義和反女權主義者。電影的宣傳導向似乎是,現在是時候讓女性背起質子背包了,2016版就充分體現了這一點,尤其考慮到該聲明的時代精神和女權主義者的指控,但老版電影的粉絲肯定不能容忍。雖然打著老版里的“響應使命”口號,但不過是跟《瞞天過海:美人計》一樣,變成另一部強調女權的大片。

影片上映時評論褒貶不一,票房成績也不理想,該片給人的感覺是對《捉鬼敢死隊》IP態度非常糾結,主要因為在重啟老版電影的創作團隊和感覺有權掌控該片創作方向的粉絲之間存在分歧,或多或少影響了老版重造的計劃。所以哥倫比亞和索尼只得為下一步重新規劃。

雷特曼這部新片副標題是《來世》,努力的目標就是避免上一部翻拍版慘敗的命運,啟用少年主角比較安全,可以避免網絡噴子對之前全女性陣容的抵制。到目前為止,該片的宣傳包括中西部地區的捉鬼車海報,還有一條預告片,看不出該片要將故事帶入現代世界的感覺(不過電影名里的2020還是有點現代感),只是回顧鬼片輝煌歲月的致敬電影。跟隨著初代捉鬼敢死隊成員埃貢·斯賓格勒博士的后代一起學習,簡單來說,孩子們了解到外祖父多酷時,也會進一步提升兩部前作的傳奇地位。

懷舊的混合效果

關鍵問題在于觀眾對如此處理《捉鬼敢死隊》續作會如何回應,目前還沒有明確的答案。雖然近年來翻拍80年代大片方面成功案例不少(看看《星球大戰:原力覺醒》,也是新人和原版角色搭配),但最近幾部都遭遇慘敗,最失敗的當屬《終結者:黑暗命運》。(也沒什么人喜歡新版《霹靂嬌娃》和《睡夢醫生》。)

去年秋天上映后,《終結者:黑暗命運》成了Skydance和派拉蒙的票房炸彈。跟新版終結者一樣,《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》市場宣傳時(至少早期階段如)也突出了淡淡的憂郁感,而且拉回前作主創人員,強調對經典的繼承。詹姆斯·卡梅倫就回歸擔任了《黑暗命運》監制,還將故事重新改編,琳達·漢密爾頓和阿諾德·施瓦辛格在片中出演,成功交棒給了麥肯茲·戴維斯和娜塔利婭·雷耶斯飾演的角色(還有加布里埃爾·魯納飾演的新版終結者)。

但觀眾對該片反應十分冷淡,由于續集/翻拍價格極高,電影公司損失慘重。如果在近2億美元預算基礎上增加宣傳成本,損失可能達到1.3億美元。除非索尼和哥倫比亞出現非常非常嚴重的問題,否則不可能對《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》付出如此巨大的成本。(值得注意的是:人們之所以認為費格的《新捉鬼敢死隊》失敗,也是預算高得離譜,達到1.44億美元?!蹲焦砀宜狸牐簛硎馈纺苣玫?億美元預算已經很幸運,但從第一條預告片,再加上雷特曼拍獨立小片的資歷來看,或許預算還能少很多。)

第一條預告片也巧妙地與2016版《新捉鬼敢死隊》劃清了距離,展示了完全不一樣的基調,并且只將兩部前作當成經典致敬(換句話說,別指望韋格和搭檔們會客串。比較之下,《終結者:黑暗命運》并沒怎么努力表現出與之前2015年翻拍的《終結者:創世紀》不同之處,當時《創世紀》上映后惡評如潮,片中也有施瓦辛格(漢密爾頓沒有出演)。

更適合拿來比較的可能是索尼自家的《勇敢者游戲》系列,片中也有類似的“孩子玩家傳之物”情節,但比起原作采取了一些新鮮和獨特的改動。該片續集在圣誕節前檔期穩步上映,搶在了《星球大戰9:天行者崛起》和音樂劇《貓》之前。不過《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》也具有小小的優勢,就是由菲恩·伍法德出演,之前他曾出演《怪奇物語》,可以作為非官方聲音協助索尼和哥倫比亞宣傳。

今年很有趣,翻拍片扎堆上映。絕地戰警系列讓人期待已久的第三部《絕地戰警:疾速追擊》將于初春上映,威爾史密斯和馬丁·勞倫斯再聚首?!秹阎玖柙疲邯毿袀b》將登陸暑期檔,屆時可測試湯姆·克魯斯的號召力是否持久。還有一部較小眾但也有趣的續集:比爾和泰德系列第三部《比爾和泰德尋歌記》。接近今年年底將會上映《美國之旅》續集,還有史蒂芬·斯皮爾伯格操刀的《西區故事》翻拍(該片既是音樂劇又是斯皮爾伯格出品,票房相當有保障)。

對電影公司來說,最大的疑問在于觀眾有沒有興趣看更多電影,以及老版電影會不會被徹底遺忘,形成不了強大的IP吸引力?!杜Z嬌娃》就從來沒考慮過這個問題,票房滑鐵盧也不出所料?!端瘔翎t生》的續作同樣有新瓶裝舊酒的感覺,沒有自身特色,也沒考慮到當初《閃靈》上映后票房并不佳。最慘的就是《終結者:黑暗命運》,該片讓電影公司最可怕的噩夢成讖,即曾經絕佳的IP因為使用不善口碑爆炸,導致整個系列被迫終結。

等到今年夏天《捉鬼敢死隊:來世》上映,我們再來看看捉鬼系列到底還有沒有挖掘空間。(財富中文網)

譯者:馮豐

審校: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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