Everything we know so far about Ghostbusters: Afterlife

The Ghostbusters are coming back to the big screen with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, continuing the story that began with the original 1984 movie.

Co-written and directed by Juno and Up in the Air filmmaker Jason Reitman, who is also the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters: Afterlife will bring back many of the original movie’s cast members, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. With the film scheduled to hit theaters March 5, 2021, here’s everything we know about Ghostbusters: Afterlife so far.

Release date

Ghostbusters fans will have to wait a little longer for Afterlife, which had its original July 2020 release date in the U.S. scrapped due to widespread theater closures. The film is now scheduled to hit theaters on March 5, 2021.

The trailer

The film got its first, official trailer (see above) December 9, offering audiences a sneak peek at the long-awaited sequel. The trailer not only provided a better idea of the story that will bring audiences back to the world established by the first two films, but it also packed in plenty of references to the original movie — from the Cult of Gozer to a certain Class-5, full-roaming vapor.

A teaser trailer for Ghostbusters 3 (below) was released just 24 hours after the project was announced in January. The preview opens on a dark and stormy night, with some mysterious flashes of light coming from a far-off barn. As the camera closes in on the barn, the Ecto-1 is revealed.

The story

As revealed in the film’s first trailer, Ghostbusters: Afterlife will follow a family that inherits an old farmhouse in Oklahoma, only to discover that the small town holds some terrifying secrets. The two siblings at the heart of the story — played by Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace — uncover their grandfather’s connection to the Ghostbusters and are forced to come to terms with his legacy if they hope to save their family and friends from a supernatural threat facing the town.

“This is the next chapter in the original franchise,” said Jason Reitman. “What happened in the ’80s happened in the ’80s, and this is set in the present day.”

During an event celebrating the 35th anniversary of the original film’s release, Reitman explained his inspiration for the new movie.

Ghostbusters

“This character came to me. She was a 12-year-old girl. I didn’t know who she was or why she popped into my head, but I saw her with a proton pack in her hand,” recalled Reitman (as reported by Cinema Blend). “And I wrote this story. This story began to form over many years actually. It started with a girl, and all of a sudden it was a family. And eventually, I knew this movie that I needed to make, that I needed to write.”

The film is expected to ignore the events of 2016’s female-driven Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, and will instead continue the story told across Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2. Despite its all-star cast, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call took a $70 million loss at the box office, scuttling Sony’s plans for a sequel.

The cast

In June, Ghostbusters 3 added to its already significant star power by bringing on Ant-Man and Avengers: Endgame actor Paul Rudd as Mr. Grooberson, a teacher at the siblings’ school.

Rudd confirmed his involvement with a video recorded in front of the famous Hook and Ladder Company 8 fire station in New York City. The exterior of the building was used to portray the Ghostbusters’ headquarters in the first film.

A few weeks earlier, Weaver announced the return of Ghostbusters actors Murray, Aykroyd, and herself in an interview with Parade Magazine.

“It’s going to be crazy working with the guys again!” said Weaver, who will reprise her role as Dana Barrett, who was tormented by the demonic demigod Zuul in the 1984 film and returned for the 1989 sequel.

Potts later confirmed her return as Ghostbusters secretary Janine Melnitz.

This won’t be the first time the cast has reunited since Ghostbusters II. Most of the original actors reprised their roles for 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game.

Finn Wolfhard in Stranger Things Season 2

Joining Grace and the Ghostbusters veterans in the cast will be Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard, as well as Carrie Coon (The Leftovers, Avengers: Infinity War), with the latter playing the mother of Grace and Wolfhard’s characters. In an entertaining bit of convergence, Wolfhard dressed up as a Ghostbuster (see above) for an episode of Stranger Things’ second season.

The car

The film will also feature the return of the paranormal investigators’ iconic car, the Ecto-1, which was first spotted on the film’s set in Alberta, Canada, and later appeared prominently in the movie’s first trailer.

Behind the camera

Reitman penned the script for the film along with Monster House director Gil Kenan. His father, Ivan, will serve as a producer on the film.

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