Everything we know about ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’
We are well aware that every Ghostbusters movie beyond the first one has been tragically disappointing. It is virtually impossible to match the magic that was created with national treasure Bill Murray, comedic genius Dan Aykroyd, and the late Harold Ramis, arguably one of the most magnificently funny straight men of his time.
The fact that 1984’s Ghostbusters still holds up is a testament to its brilliance. The effects, while cutting-edge for 1984 (creating the original Slimer cost $300,000), are now almost comically lame. However, the jokes are (mostly) still funny, the characters still have chemistry, and the sweet innocence of Raymond Stantz’s (Dan Aykroyd) belief that the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man can do no wrong is still frustratingly charming.
Our love of the original Ghostbusters means that we just can’t ignore a movie in the franchise. Even if every other iteration of the film has royally sucked. Now here’s the good news: Ghostbusters: Afterlife actually looks good. In fact, it looks really good. Here’s why we have some seriously high hopes for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife the trailer
Even without Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, IT), the trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife gives us some serious Stranger Things vibes. We have high hopes that it pulls from what makes Stranger Things so great, its creepiness, and its nostalgia.
First of all, Ghostbusters: Afterlife looks genuinely creepy. Director Jason Reitman didn’t lose the horror aspect of the film to the comedic aspect. Part of what makes the comedy in Ghostbusters so great is the timing. A joke is never so funny as when you’re genuinely scared and hoping for a break from the tension.
Secondly, each element pulled from Ghostbusters doesn’t feel like a hacky remake (yup, we’re looking at you Ghostbusters 2016), it feels like finding a memento from an old friend. Lovers of the original movie will have a hard time not smiling when the first ghost trap emerges in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Finn Wolfhard has somehow become the cinematic bridge between the 1980s and today, and there is no need to resist it. As soon as he appears, as Trevor, in the trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife we dialed right back to 1984, even though Afterlife takes place today. Similarly, Carrie Coon, playing Trevor’s mother, Callie brings her own supernatural street cred from her role as Nora Durst in HBO’s The Leftovers. While Trevor’s sister, science-loving Phoebe is played by Mckenna Grace of The Haunting of Hill House.
Paul Rudd enthusiastically posted the news that he was joining Ghostbusters: Afterlife with “When I heard they are going to call me, as you can imagine, I nearly slimed myself”. We admit we had a similar reaction when he appears in the trailer, and we may know why Phoebe loves science so much. Rudd is perfectly cast as the teacher any student would want to confide in.
The real magic in the casting of Ghostbusters: Afterlife doesn’t make it into the trailer. However, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts are all expected to reprise their original Ghostbusters roles, and there is nothing that could elevate Afterlife more.
Behind the Camera
Jason Reitman (Thank you for Smoking, Juno) is directing Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman was the director of the original movie and will serve as the producer for Afterlife. Jason Reitman co-wrote the script with Gil Kenan (Monster House, City of Ember).
When discussing Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Reitman’s love of the first film shines through, “I’ve always thought of myself as the first Ghostbusters fan when I was a 6-year-old visiting the set”.
His script for the reboot has earned him praise from no other than Dan Aykroyd, who together with Harold Ramis wrote the script for the original Ghostbusters. Aykroyd stated “Jason Reitman wrote a beautiful, heartfelt script that takes the real DNA from the first two movies and transfers that directly to the third, the next generation. It hands the legacy off to a new generation of stars, and players, and actors, and characters.”
A brand new story
One of the challenges that faced the 2016 Ghostbusters movie was the attempt to recreate an already beloved film. Reitman thwarted those challenges by taking Ghostbusters: Afterlife in an entirely new direction.
Picking up 30 years after the original, Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows Callie Spengler and her children, Trevor and Phoebe as they move to Summerville, Oklahoma after they are evicted from their previous home. The “creepy old farmhouse” they move to has been willed to them by the children’s late grandfather, former Ghostbuster Egon Spengler.
Something seems to awaken in the town upon their arrival, and it begins to experience unexplained earthquakes. The children learn that their grandfather had moved to Summerville to investigate the town’s link to Ivo Shandor. Shandor also constructed the haunted apartment building in the original Ghostbusters.
In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Egon had discovered that the portal to the demonic Gozer Dimension was only closed and not destroyed. Before he died he left instruction for his family hidden at his ranch. Phoebe and Trevor seek the help of their teacher Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd) who turns out to be a former young recruit of the original Ghostbusters team. He tracks down and reunites the remaining team before Shandor himself can reopen the gateway to the Gozer dimension and release hell on earth.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is scheduled to release in the United States on July 10, 2020, by Columbia Pictures through Sony Pictures Releasing.