Shocking Reason For Canceled ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel Finally Revealed

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Paul Rudd encounters Stay Puft in 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Recently, The Ship-It Show podcast featured co-host Tara Strong, the voice actor best known for playing Kylie Griffin in animated series Extreme Ghostbusters (1997), which served as a Ghostbusters sequel as it followed on from The Real Ghostbusters (1986).

Strong was joined by guests Jason Marsden, Billy West, Pat Musick, Maurice Lamarche, Rino Romano, and Dave Coulier, who voiced Garret Miller, Slimer, Janine Melnitz, Egon Spengler, Eduardo Rivera, and Peter Venkman in the show.

Kylie Griffin (Tara Strong) in Extreme Ghostbusters 1997
Credit: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution / Bohbot Entertainment

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As you can see, the podcast was something of an Extreme Ghostbusters reunion, during which the cast talked to great length about their time on the show, while Marsden made a surprising revelation about why it was canceled after just one season, something that has remained a bit of a mystery all these years.

“I was so jaded, thinking this is show friends, I keep forgetting that no, it’s show business,” he said. “When I asked Audu Paden, our producer, “So, why’d you guys decide to do another Ghostbusters series?” He’s like, “To sell toys.”

Marsden went on to explain that it was actually poor toy sales that led to the cancelation, saying:

“That’s all it was, and because the toys didn’t sell, despite all the amazing work everyone did, in front of the mic, and behind the mic, and the art department, and all the animators, it suffered.”

Extreme Ghostbusters line-up
Credit: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution / Bohbot Entertainment

Related: Female Ghostbuster Actress Continues to Tease Return In ‘Afterlife’ Sequel

A surprised Strong responded to Marsden’s comments, saying that she “never knew that was the reason it [Extreme Ghostbusters] got canceled.”

Like, that’s so sad, and you know,” she said. “They didn’t really put out a lot of toys, so what were they expecting? You know, usually, when you’re on a show that you know comes with a built-in fanbase, you do some dope-ass merch. There’s some kind of crappy toys, but there weren’t, like, amazing things, right?”

Marsden also talked about how his character Garrett, a wheelchair-bound Ghostbuster, didn’t receive his own action figure, saying that he was told it would be “insensitive to the children who were in wheelchairs,” and that a prototype of the toy featured bionic legs.

Kylie Griffin (Tara Strong) screaming in Extreme Ghostbusters
Credit: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution / Bohbot Entertainment

Related: Did You Miss This Epic Crossover Between the Original ‘Ghostbusters’ and the 2016 Reboot?

The animated Ghostbusters sequel ran for 40 episodes but was canceled after just one season. While it clearly wasn’t much of a hit at the time it aired in 1997, the show has amassed a cult following within the Ghostbusters fanbase in the decades since.
Some of the characters, including Kylie Griffin, went on to appear in IDW Publishing’s now-defunct “Ghostbusters” comic book series. Whether or not she’ll appear in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) sequel, though, remains to be seen.
Recently, on The Ship-It Show, Strong praised the series for its diverse set of characters — Strong is female (the first female Ghostbuster), Garrett is disabled, Roland is African-American, and Ronaldo is American-Mexican — however, she went on to criticize the wider Ghostbusters franchise for its lack of representation.
IDW Ghostbusters Comics
Credit: IDW Publishing

As per Wikipedia, here’s the synopsis for Extreme Ghostbusters:

Set years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters, lack of supernatural activity has put the Ghostbusters out of business. Each member has gone their separate ways save for Dr. Egon Spengler, who still lives in the firehouse to monitor the containment unit, take care of Slimer, further his studies, and teach a class on the paranormal at a local college.

When ghosts start to reappear, Egon is forced to recruit his four students as the new Ghostbusters: Kylie Griffin, a goth genius and expert on occultism; Eduardo Rivera, a cynical Latino slacker; Garrett Miller, a young white paraplegic athlete who uses a wheelchair; and Roland Jackson, a studious African-American machinery whiz. Filling out the cast are Janine Melnitz, the Ghostbusters’ previous secretary who returns to the job, and Slimer, a hungry ghost.

The series follows the adventures of this “Next Generation” of Ghostbusters tracking down and capturing ghosts all over New York and occasionally beyond the city. The series is styled as a supernatural comedy, following the trend set by its predecessor but with an updated and darker feel. This is reflected by the use of a gritty, rock/punk-inspired variation of Ray Parker Jr.’s song “Ghostbusters” as the opening theme, written by Jim Latham and performed by voice actor Jim Cummings.

Recurring themes throughout the series are the new team learning to work together despite their differences, Janine’s largely unrequited affection for Egon, the unresolved love-hate relationship between Kylie and Eduardo, and the Ghostbusters’ frequent clashes with authority figures who disbelieve their work.

Extreme Ghostbusters
Credit: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution / Bohbot Entertainment

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Ghostbusters 4 will be released on December 20, 2023.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is out now, and VR game Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (2023) is expected some time this year.

There’s also a Ghostbusters animated series and a Ghostbusters animated movie in the works. A new “Ghostbusters” comic book series is also expected in 2023.

Ghostbusters Afterlife character ensemble poster
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: 5 Things Fans Expect From ‘Ghostbusters 4’

Are you a fan of Extreme Ghostbusters? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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