Let’s just state the obvious, OF COURSE, Winston Zeddemore needs to be part of a Ghostbusters 4 movie, if it ever gets made that is. A lot of people are of the mind that Winston has a lesser role in the Ghostbusters movies, and sadly it’s kind of accurate since the idea is that he had a fully fleshed-out backstory and would have been a much stronger character. But Bill Murray, who, like it or not, had a much bigger following at the time, was allowed to shine far more. But the fact is that by the time he comes in, Winston becomes a part of the team without question, as he’s hired on the spot and taken into the confidence of the other guys without any huge issues, other than the fact that he needs to think and learn on the fly. Stating that he became an integral part of the team is easy since if Ray was the heart of the team, Egon was the brains, Peter was the frontman, and Winston was the backbone that made the team complete.
Indeed, he wasn’t exactly allowed to shine in the second movie either as he had to be brought back, but this can be chalked up to poor decision-making when it came to the writing. Fans have been adamant that Winston was given a raw deal for years, and they’re not wrong. There’s no doubt that he needs to be a part of the next movie if there is one, but some fans have been nearly rabid when it comes to explaining the need to give Winston the same due as the other team members were given. As of now though, it would appear that Winston is doing the best out of any of the Ghostbusters in the movies, and another sequel could show him as the person with the financial means to back the return of the team and possibly the next generation of Ghostbusters that might take the franchise forward. If nothing else, his importance to the team is easily able to be seen if people missed it early on.
Taking a mental note of how Winston came into the story, and the fact that he was given enough importance to be deemed as an important member, was kind of overshadowed back in the day since the comedic trio of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Dan Aykroyd kind of eclipse Ernie Hudson in a big way. His career has never been as diminished as people might want to think, since he’s gone on to star in several different projects, and people are always happy to see him show up. But his inclusion into the Ghostbusters is still a big part of his career and by the second movie, it became obvious that the team would have been worse off without him. But one thing to remember is that when it came to the Ghostbusters being placed in trouble by the law, the writing apparently had Winston nowhere to be found. Yes, he was tossed in jail in the first movie along with the others, and he was brought before the mayor to help explain things. But this wasn’t before he stated that “I’ve got to get my own lawyer”. If anyone is to blame for Winston appearing to cut and run when the team needed to stick together, it’s the writers.
Plus, in the second movie, when the team is busted after trying to find out more about the pink goo, Winston is nowhere to be found. Yes, he’s there to start with, but he wasn’t involved in the dig, he didn’t get arrested, and he’s gone either before or right as the ghost activity begins. Poor writing is a definite culprit here, or perhaps there was a scheduling conflict during filming, but poor writing is still a big deal since Winston’s character could have been treated with a lot more respect. But as far as being important to the team and being written out of certain scenes, fans tend to go a bit too far when making various claims about why Winston isn’t there. As of the first movie, Winston became an important part of the team, and if another sequel comes along, he’d likely be even more important than before if he becomes the backer, since it is revealed that he became a successful businessman, but still answered the call when it came to busting ghosts.
If there’s one reason why the reactions of the fans make little to no sense when some start claiming that Winston was shafted, it’s because his importance to the team is shown in the first two movies. People missed the idea that despite his need to keep himself grounded, Winston was still there for his coworkers and friends, as the second and third movies proved without any doubt. So, yes, Ernie Hudson is ABSOLUTELY needed for another movie, and his role should be just as big as the rest of the cast.