Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the latest movie in the much-loved comedy series, and it hits theaters later this year. Unlike the commercially disappointing 2016 reboot, the movie is a direct sequel to the original ’80s films, and it combines a new cast with some familiar faces.
The original Ghostbusters was released in June 1984 to rave reviews and huge box office results. It was a masterful mix of big scares, dazzling special effects, brilliant comic performances, and a clever, laugh-out-loud script, but despite a sometimes rocky road to the screen, now as a genuine cultural phenomenon. The film was the biggest movie at the US box office in 1984, and worldwide came second to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that year.
Inevitably, a sequel followed, as did an animated TV spin-off, video games, and comic books. But 1989’s Ghostbusters II was considered a disappointment by many fans and Aykroyd’s attempt to make a third film over the following years was met with little success. The franchise was finally rebooted in 2016 with an all-new female-led cast, but that movie’s commercial failure ensured that sequel plans were quickly dropped.
Nevertheless, the series refuses to die and hopes are high that the next movie can recapture what made the first movie so special. So here’s everything we know so far about Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
What’s the release date?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife will hit theaters on November 11, 2021. This is the movie’s fourth release date. It was originally set to arrive in July 2020, before being pushed to March 2021 and then to June this year.
Who’s the director?
The movie is directed by Jason Reitman. He’s the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the original Ghostbusters and its sequel as well as comedy favorites such as Stripes, Twins, and Kindergarten Cop. Jason has an impressive directorial career too, having helmed acclaimed comedy dramas such as Juno, Up In the Air, and Young Adult. He’s also co-written the script with Gil Kenan (Monster House).
Who’s coming back?
A number of big names from the original movies are set to make an appearance in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. It’s not yet known how big these roles are–it’s likely some will just be brief cameos–but unlike the 2016 movie, the returning actors will be playing the characters from the ’80s films. So look out for Bill Murray as Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stanz, Ernie Hudson as Winston Zedemore, Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, and Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz. Sadly Harold Ramis, who played Egon Spengler, died in 2014.
Who’s new to the cast?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife puts the focus on some younger characters. Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard and Captain Marvel’s McKenna Grace play siblings Trevor and Phoebe, while Carrie Coon (The Leftovers, Avengers: Infinity War) plays their mom Callie. Ant-Man star Paul Rudd appears as high-school teacher Mr. Grooberson, and the cast also includes Bokeem Woodbine (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Tracy Letts (Ford v. Ferrari), and JK Simmons (The Amazing Spider-Man, Justice League).
What’s the story?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a sequel to the first two movies. The trailer revealed that the film shifts the action from New York to rural Oklahoma, where Trevor and Phoebe are forced to move to an old farm with their mom. They’re the grandkids of one of the original team, and while it hasn’t been officially confirmed, it’s rumored that it’s Spengler. Inevitably, there’s something weird going on in the town–strange underground rumblings, as if something is trying to burst out of the earth. With the help of Ghostbuster-obsessed Mr. Grooberson, the kids find their grandpa’s old Ghostbusting equipment and set about fighting whatever spooky things are afoot.
Is there a trailer?
The first Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer was released in December 2019. It set up the basic plot and introduced the new characters, but didn’t reveal much in the way of spooky action. The movie was delayed soon after, so a second trailer is yet to be released. However, a new image was recently revealed by Empire, which shows the young stars in familiar Ghostbuster outfits.
Will there be more movies?
Ghostbusters is one of the most beloved pop culture franchises of all time, even though many fans might argue that there’s actually only one good movie. So it’s highly unlikely this will be the final slice of Ghostbusting action. Back in 2017, Ivan Reitman stated he was developing a new animated series, and Afterlife is likely to get a sequel if it’s a success.