This holiday season, the Ghostbusters get into the spirit by hunting the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future in a one-shot from IDW Publishing. Based on the characters made famous by Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in Ivan Reitman’s classic 1984 film, “Ghostbusters: Past, Present, and Future” is written by “Cla$$war” scribe Rob Williams and illustrated by Diego Jourdan. CBR News caught up with Williams to discuss the project, due out in December, as well as his affinity for writing characters from ’80s movies.
“Ghostbusters” has only recently returned to comics, with the third issue of IDW’s second miniseries starring the team shipping in November. Williams noted, however, that there are several factors that make this the right time for a revival. “There’s the computer game, and the building buzz about ‘Ghostbusters 3’ – apparently Ivan Reitman’s on board, yay!” the writer said. “But, to be honest, those weren’t considerations for me. I love the first ‘Ghostbusters’ movie. It’s one of my favourite films. I’ve got a lot of experience now, writing licensed properties, and figured it would be fun to write some Peter Venkman dialogue, so I asked Chris Ryall at IDW if I could pitch.”
“Ghostbusters: Past, Present, and Future” will see the team taking on the ghosts from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” One might think that the spirits responsible for reforming the miserly Scrooge are good ghosts and thus not worthy of busting. “Ah, well, there’s a cynical twist to our tale, so I can’t reveal too much,” Williams said. “But basically the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future turn up at the penthouse of New York’s richest man every Christmas Eve to try and get him to change his ways, and that’s something he has no intention of doing, largely because he has huge mountains of cash and really enjoys the power, nubile women, and luxuries that allows him. Especially the nubile women. And the power. So, finally, he hires the Ghostbusters to get rid of his yuletide pests and dangles a very large check in front of them for their trouble. Now, whether trapping and imprisoning the spirits of Christmas themselves is something the Busters should really be doing? That’s a moral judgement they have to make.”
As to whether or not the famous ghosts have anything to teach Venkman, Ray, Egon, and Winston, Williams said, “the ghosts have a lesson to impart on our story’s Scrooge character, sure. For Venkman, it’s more about ‘can he get this job done in time to still make it to his flight to Vegas for Cesar’s Palace’s ‘all you can eat’ Festive Buffet Incorporating Erotic Dance?'”
At this point in his career, Williams has written a few licensed series, including “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” at Dark Horse and a new “Robocop” series for Dynamite. “Me and ’80s movies,” he joked. “It’s become a bit of a running joke – I think 2000AD artist PJ Holden said I’d be after the ‘Police Academy’ license next. It brings back how much of a fan I was of these movies and characters when I was younger, I guess. Writing dialogue for Han Solo, Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Marcus Brody, Pete Venkman – it’s a thrill.
“Weirdly, I didn’t find writing the ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Indy’ characters too daunting, but I did feel some trepidation about writing Venkman. Bill Murray is so funny in ‘Ghostbusters,’ with a real laconic, knowing, esoteric charm – that’s all tough to capture. But funny, most of all. If it’s Pete Venkman dialogue, it had better be funny. I think we get that with ,Past, Present & Future.”
Pages from “Ghostbusters: Past, Present, and Future”