In the wake of the box office bomb of the all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot, the suits at Sony Pictures are contemplating the future of the franchise, according to IO9. To be sure content is still being produced. A Comic Book is coming out that will feature a cross-universe crossover of the new gals and the old guys. And a VR experience called “Ghostbusters: New Hire” is being rolled out. But new live action movies are on hold for the time being, or in the parlance of Hollywood, development hell.

Ivan Reitman, who did the original two “Ghostbusters” films is touting an Animated Movie that he hopes will be on the big screen by 2019 or 2020.

Using animation involves a unique set of challenges, but it would allow the old guys to come back nearly as young as they were when they last saved the world from evil spirits, back in 1989. And someone has to be hired to voice Egon as Harold Ramis become a ghost almost three years ago.

The other question is, will Bill Murray agree to strap on the proton pack again. He has been on record of not wanting to be in a new “Ghostbusters” movie, which presumably means an animated version as well unless he could be a ghost. On the other hand, having a ghostly Ghostbuster would be an interesting twist.

One thing that the studio will have to do is to admit that its online social justice posturing likely doomed the all-female reboot. To be sure bad writing, directing, and acting did not help. But the sort of audiences that are attracted to movies about people using technological toys to do battle with the spirits of the dead reacts badly to accusations of sexism.

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The popularity of a number of TV shows and movies about women who can kick butt suggests that fans are not adverse to strong, female characters. But they have to actually be strong and not lame.

The studio may be tempted to try a sequel with the all-female cast, the theory being that the failure of the first movie was a one off thing. It may be right, but going with a second movie is going to be something of a risk.