Why Evolution Is Ivan Reitman’s Best Ghostbusters Follow-Up

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The end Ivan Reitman had quite an impressive filmography, from wartime comedy Grooves for kindergarten copwho is perhaps the least orthodox Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle to get to the screen. However, the movie most people know him for is ghost hunters. First in 1984, ghost hunters follows the exploits of Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) as they start their own ghost hunting business. The success of ghost hunters led to an entire media franchise, and everyone from rival studios to Reitman itself spent years trying to find lightning in a bottle. Some attempts, like Barry Sonnenfield’s men in black, They succeeded. Others not so much. Same Ghostbusters: Afterlifelast year’s sequel directed by Reitman’s son, Jasonis less of a movie and more of a trip down memory lane for adults ghost hunters Fans. However, there is a film where Reitman was able to capture a spark of this. ghost hunters magic: his 2001 sci-fi comedy Evolution.

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The funny thing is that Evolution did not originally start as a comedy. Writer Don Jacoby originally envisioned the film as a serious sci-fi thriller in the vein of The thingto the point where he wanted John Charpentier to lead. However, the storyline took a drastic turn after Reitman met with writers David Diamond and David Weismann. The duo wrote a screenplay titled Minutemen which, according to Reitman, captured the original spirit of ghost huntersand therefore offered them two scripts to refine: the original script by Jacoby and a comedy script by Todd Phillips and Scottish Armstrong. In an inter 2019review with Forbes, Diamond recalled how he and Weissman mixed and matched elements from both scripts. “He said, ‘Read those two scripts and see if you can do something that would sort of be the tone of ghost hunters with that premise,” Diamond said. “We read the scripts and we responded to the premise. [Then] I went back there and told him how we were going to do it, and he hired us.”


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evolution
Image via DreamWorks Pictures

The end result is a film that has lots of laughs but also a high-level premise: a huge meteorite lands in a cavern in Arizona, prompting scientists Ira Kane (David Duchovny) and Harry Block (Orlando Jones) investigate. They discover that the meteor contains a race of microscopic alien organisms that are rapidly evolving, resulting in alien creatures that threaten to overwhelm the human race. With the help of aspiring firefighter Wayne Gray (Sean William Scott) and accident-prone CDC Dr. Allison Reed (Julianne Moore), Kane and Block work to stop the alien invasion before it spreads.

As ghost hunters, EvolutionThe protagonists of are working-class people who end up becoming unlikely heroes. Kane and Block teach at a community college, much like Venkman, Stanz, and Spengler were professors at Columbia University. And while he’s not working to become a certified firefighter, Wayne works at a stuffy country club. Our heroes also came up against a contradictory government figure in the form of General Russell Woodman (Ted Levin). Unlike Walter Peck of the EPA (William Atherton), Woodman is extremely ruthless in accomplishing his goals; he steals Kane and Block’s research and is ready to bomb the meteor site in order to stop the invasion (unknowing that the heat will accelerate alien evolution).


Evolution also takes a page of ghost hunters‘ Playbook and offers some truly hilarious moments. Much of this comes down to Jones’ performance as Block; his comedic timing is impeccable, especially when an alien parasite invades his body and must be removed in a … rather unpleasant way. Scott, already well known for hit comedies American pie and Boy where’s my car?, turns in a low-key performance but manages to get some laughs, including an attempt to lure in a dragon-shaped alien. And although they’ve done more serious things at this point, Duchovny and Moore fit the role of “straight men” perfectly. (Ironically, Duchovny believed that this role could help him break away from his time as Fox Mulder in X files.) Eagle-eyed comedy fans will also want to look for guest appearances by Sarah Silverman, Ty Burrelland Jerry Trainor. ghost hunters alum Akyroyd even appears as Governor of Arizona!



evolution-julianne-moore-orlando-jones-david-duchovny
Image via DreamWorks Pictures

just like ghost hunters, Evolution would spawn an animated sequel series titled Alienators: The Evolution Continues. Picking up after the events of the film, Alienators features another meteor crashing into Arizona and spawning a race of invaders known as the Genus. Alienators adds two new characters; in place of Dr. Reed, the series features Lieutenant Lucy Mai (Akiko Ann Morison). There’s also an alien sidekick named Gassie who, true to his name, expels flatulence whenever a member of the genus is near. Series Showrunner Michael Ryanwho would later go on to illustrate a number of Marvel comics, including New X-Men: Academy Xgave the crew high-tech armor and weapons to fight the genre – a far cry from using Head & Shoulders shampoo as in the film’s original climax.

Suffice it to say, Evolution didn’t set the world on fire like that ghost hunters did. The film received mixed reviews and barely recouped its $80 million budget. Alienators only reached one season, compared to The Real Ghostbusters, which ran for seven years and even had spin-offs in the form of Extreme Ghostbusters. Despite this, EvolutionThe mix of humor and sci-fi, along with a cast that was more than a game as far as material goes, results in an underrated film that would be worth watching for anyone. . ghost hunters fan.


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