Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the upcoming narrative successor to Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2, made the original two films’ director cry after watching it. The new movie will include members of the original cast like Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver alongside new additions like Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is directed by Jason Reitman, son of original director Ivan Reitman, and is set for release on June 11.
The initial plans for Ghostbusters: Afterlife began years ago in the form of Ghostbusters 3 – a direct sequel to the original two movies that never got off the ground due to numerous production hindrances. Instead, a Ghostbusters reboot was released in 2016 with an all-star comedy ensemble of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. The 2016 film also faced its share of challenges, mainly driven by anti-feminist online boycott campaigns that clashed with the film’s generally positive critical reception.
Now, the franchise is going back to the story of the original ghost-busting crew, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife already has one big fan – Ivan Reitman, the director of the first two films in the series. Jason Reitman – Ivan’s son and the director of Afterlife – recently spoke with Empire about the film and the experience of taking his father to see it.
“My father hasn’t been leaving the house much because of Covid. But he took a test, put on a mask and drove down to the Sony lot to watch the movie with the studio. And after, he cried, and he said, ‘I’m so proud to be your father.’ And it was one of the great moments of my life.”
Reitman’s story is heartwarming in itself, but it also should be very encouraging to fans of the original Ghostbusters films. After so many years of waiting for more adventures in the world of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore, it looks like Afterlife could finally deliver. The balance of old cast members with new, younger additions will hopefully strike a good balance, paying homage to what came before while also creating an original story for new fans to enjoy. It is worth mentioning it's highly unlikely the elder Reitman would be critical of Ghostbusters: Afterlife in the months leading up to its release, but it's still encouraging to see him give the film such a glowing review.
The shadow of the original Ghostbusters is a tough one to make a sequel in, but it’s also not the only shadow being cast on Afterlife. The influence of the 2016 reboot can be felt as well – a movie whose attempt at broadening diversity in the Ghostbusters universe was met with online vitriol and sexist backlash. Hopefully, Ghostbusters: Afterlife can stay true to the heart of the originals while also upholding the mission of the reboot.
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