After being delayed three times because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set to premiere in theatres this fall. Bill Murray, who notably starred as Dr. Peter Venkman in 1984’s Ghostbusters and the 1989 sequel, stated that Afterlife will bring the iconic franchise back to life.
The original Ghostbusters was directed by Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Dave) from a script written by Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis, who passed away in February 2014. It followed a group of Columbia University scientists who started a paranormal investigation and elimination service. The group removed ghosts from New York City with their nuclear-powered equipment. Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, and Ernie Hudson starred alongside Murray, Ramis, and Aykroyd in the high-budget film. The sci-fi blockbuster received positive reviews and grossed over $220 million worldwide.
In a revealing interview with Collider, Murray stated that the original Ghostbusters was ahead of its time and had great special effects. He noted that Ramis “was the mind and brain” of the film, and the entire Ghostbusters cast was always looking out for each other. Due to the film’s success, a second film and a 2016 reboot were released. Both films bombed at the box office and were met with negative reviews. Reports of a direct sequel to the first two films persisted for years with Murray famously resisting the idea, and his thoughts on how the making of Ghostbusters 2 unfolded may explain why he was reluctant to revisit the franchise.
Murray revealed that he was “very reluctant” to do Ghostbusters 2 and that the story didn’t end up being what Ramis originally wrote. “They got us in the sequel under false pretenses,” said the 70-year-old star, while adding, “Harold had this great idea, but by the time we got to shooting it, I showed up on set and went, ‘What the hell is this? What is this thing?’” He admitted that the first Ghostbusters was better than the second because it had more substance.
Decades after the release of the original, Jason Reitman, the son of Ivan Reitman, was tapped to make the direct sequel to the first two films. The highly anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Mckenna Grace as Phoebe, Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things as Trevor, Carrie Coon as Callie, and Paul Rudd as Mr. Grooberson. Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson, and Weaver are all expected to reprise their roles as well. The movie follows the grandchildren of Egon Spengler (Ramis) in Summerville, Oklahoma.
Murray spoke glowingly of Jason Reitman and the upcoming film. He stated that Ghostbusters: Afterlife has the feel of the original and is worth seeing in theatres. “It really has the feel of the first one, more than the second one or the girls’ one. It has a different feel than two out of four,” he said. The supernatural action-thriller received a PG-13 rating and was originally slated to be released in theatres last July but was pushed back numerous times by Sony.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is scheduled to be released in theatres on November 11.