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New Ghostbusters will be a total reboot without original characters, says director

Just a day after confirming the addition of a new writer and a female-centric cast for the next Ghostbusters movie, director Paul Feig has revealed that the project will be a complete reboot of the franchise without any of the original films’ characters or continuity.

“I love the first one so much I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that,” Feig told Entertainment Weekly. “So it just felt like, ‘Let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics.’ I want the technology to be even cooler. I want it to be really scary, and I want it to happen in our world today that hasn’t gone through it so it’s like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on?'”

Previously, it had been assumed that the long-awaited return of the Ghosbusters franchise would straddle the line between sequel and reboot, with some of the original characters passing the torch (or the proton pack, in this case) to a new, younger team. While Bill Murray has expressed some reluctance to return for a new Ghostbusters movie, his former co-star (and original co-writer and producer) Dan Aykroyd has been a driving force behind the project and was expected to play a connective role between the new film and the old franchise.

However, Feig seems to be taking a more clean-slate approach to the project.

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“It’s not coming into the world that existed before,” he explained. “It’s always hard if the world has gone through this big ghost attack, how do you do it again? I wanted to come into our world where there’s talk of ghosts but they’re not really credible, and so what would happen in our world if this happened today?”

Still, the Bridesmaids director said he’s open to the idea of casting some of the original Ghostbusters team, as long as they play different roles in the new film.

“As far as I’m concerned, anybody wants to come back I welcome with open arms,” he said. “It would just be in different roles now, but it would be fun to figure out how to do that.”

Feig also indicated that he’s hoping to raise the scare factor of the new film with co-writer Katie Dippold, and to avoid rehashing old material.

“It’s not going to be, ‘Here is the exact same stuff,'” he said. “It’s also not going to go, ‘Screw you, if you like that stuff, it’s all completely different.’ We’re going to have fun with it, but again, bring it into our time period … If we just flop four women into the exact same personalities and roles as original, then that’s lazy filmmaking on my behalf, and who wants to see that? It’s the difficult thing about remaking a great movie. So that’s why we’re not remaking a great movie. We’re doing our take on it.”