Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon strap up for Ghostbusters

Who knew that ghostbusting is a family business? Jason Reitman, the director best known for Juno and Up in the Air, announced that he will helm a new Ghostbusters film, continuing the franchise that his father, Ivan, launched in 1984.

According to rumors, Reitman’s sequel focuses on two brother and sister pairs, including a 13-year-old boy who is a dedicated conspiracy theorist and a 12-year-old girl who struggles with “interpreting and expressing emotions.” The four kids will get wrapped up in supernatural shenanigans after moving “back home to a small town” where all kinds of ghostly secrets await, We Got This Covered reports.

As fans have noted, that summary makes Reitman’s Ghostbusters follow-up sound an awful lot like Netflix’s paranormal drama, Stranger Things. If the latest casting news holds up, expect those parallels to get even stronger. Variety reports that Stranger Things lead Finn Wolfhard, who also fought monsters in It, is in talks to star in Ghostbusters. Actress Carrie Coon (The Leftovers, Fargo, Avengers: Infinity War) is also being tapped for a role in the film, in which she’ll most likely play Wolfhard’s struggling single mom.

Finn Wolfhard in Stranger Things Season 2
Finn Wolfhard and the rest of the kids dressed as Ghostbusters in Stranger Things season two.

Less than 24 hours after Ghostbusters was announced, the project got its first teaser trailer (see above), courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. The brief video opens on a dark and stormy night, with some mysterious flashes of light coming from a far-off barn. As the camera enters the barn, a tarp blows off the vehicle it was covering to reveal the Ghostbusters’ iconic car, the ECTO-1.

Jason Reitman’s film will not be a reboot or a sequel to 2016’s female-driven Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, but will instead continue the story that started in the elder Reitman’s Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2.

“This is the next chapter in the original franchise,” Jason Reitman told EW. “What happened in the ’80s happened in the ’80s, and this is set in the present day.” The movie is scheduled to begin filming this summer in anticipation of a 2020 release.

Neither Sony Pictures nor Reitman shared any details about the film’s plot, including whether or not original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson will return for the sequel. Harold Ramis, who starred in Ghostbusters and its sequel as Egon Spengler, died in 2014.

Jason Reitman, along with Monster House director Gil Kenan, wrote the new Ghostbusters script in secret before presenting it to his father, who will serve as one of the film’s producers. “It will be a passing of the torch both inside and out,” Ivan Reitman said.

Ghostbusters, which chronicles the adventures of three academics who open a paranormal extermination business, was an instant hit when it came out in the summer of 1984. Paul Fieg’s recent revamp didn’t fare quite as well. Despite an all-star cast, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call took a $70 million loss at the box office, scuttling Sony’s plans for a sequel.

Franchise creator Aykroyd has been trying to get a sequel to the first two Ghostbusters films off the ground since the ’90s with little success, although the original cast did reunite for Ghostbusters: The Video Game in 2009. 

Despite that, Ghostbusters continues to flourish, with virtual reality attractions, Pokémon Go-inspired mobile games, and comic books keeping the brand alive. Reitman’s sequel isn’t the only Ghostbusters film on the slate, either: Sony is developing an animated Ghostbusters feature, although that won’t come out until after Reitman’s sequel hits theaters.

Updated on March 1, 2019: Added Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon casting information.

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