There's something strange in the neighborhood. Again.
Decades after the last movie in this beloved series, it's once again time to call the Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a new Ghostbusters movie set in the same continuity as the first two movies (and ignoring that 2016 Paul Feig reboot) will be released in 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic may have delayed this movie almost a year, but hey, who else you gonna call?
Here's everything we know so far about the next movie in the enduring Ghostbusters franchise.
When is the Ghostbusters: Afterlife release date?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife will open in theaters on June 11, 2021, exactly 37 years after the release of the original Ghostbusters. Originally slated for release July 10, 2020, the release date was later pushed to March 5, 2021 before it settled on the anniversary date on which it will finally haunt theaters nationwide. The film was one of many blockbuster movies from Sony Pictures to be delayed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, joining movies like the Jared Leto superhero horror movie Morbius in 2021.
What is Ghostbusters: Afterlife?
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the "official" third Ghostbusters movie, continuing the story first told in Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1990). The movie will not share the same continuity as the 2016 movie, a remake that starred Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Melissa McCarthy.
What is the story and plot of Ghostbusters: Afterlife?
Set in the modern-day, Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows two teenagers and their single mother who move to Summerville, Oklahoma to live on a farm inherited from their late grandfather.
When unexplained phenomena plague the town, the children discover their grandfather was one of the Ghostbusters, the heroes of a largely forgotten event known as the "Manhattan Crossrip of 1984." The children and their science teacher (Paul Rudd) must learn to use their grandfather's tools in order to save the town.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Mckenna Grace (Annabelle Comes Home), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Carrie Coon (Avengers: Infinity War), and Paul Rudd as Mr. Gooberson.
The film will also feature most of the surviving Ghostbusters cast reprise their roles, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts. Harold Ramis, who played Egon Spengler in the first two movies, died in 2014.
There's no news concerning the involvement of Rick Moranis, who has recently come out of retirement to reprise his role in other beloved family franchise, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. He previously expressed zero interest in reprising his role for the 2016 reboot, but maybe the more recent change of heart means there's a surprise in store.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is directed by Jason Reitman, director of Juno (2007) and Up in the Air (2009). He is the son of filmmaker Ivan Reitman, who also directed the first two movies.
Just how did Ghostbusters: Afterlife even happen?
After Ghostbusters II, development of a third Ghostbusters movie — with the known working title Ghostbusters: Hellbent, and later Ghostbusters in Hell — took place over many, many years. Anecdotally: When production looked ready to begin in 2007, my New Jersey high school was one of Dan Aykroyd's choices to film a scene set at a football game, which would have opened the movie.
In 2009, a new script for a third Ghostbusters movie came from Year One writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. While Aykroyd reportedly liked the script, veteran cast member Bill Murray allegedly did not, which left the movie again in "suspended animation." In 2012, it was reported the script was discarded.
Due to Murray's reluctance to return to a third Ghostbusters movie, it was decided by Sony to reboot the series and introduce a new cast of characters. After several more years, that movie became the 2016 film Ghostbusters from director Paul Feig. After that movie's box office gross failed to satisfy the studio, with Feig himself doubting a sequel, work on a new movie tied to the original series' continuity began. Aykroyd confirmed the movie's development in a 2018 interview with Dan Rather.
Now the movie is set to release in 2021, that means this film has been in the making for 12 years. That's quite the long build up for any film, but a summer blockbuster and simultaneous sequel/reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise will surely prove worth the wait.
In 2008, a Ghostbusters video game simply titled Ghostbusters: The Video Game was released on consoles. For so long, the game was considered by fans to be a "third" Ghostbusters movie; it was written by Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and starred all of the original cast (except Rick Moranis), and allowed the writers to explore concepts discarded from the first two movies. The game told a story set after Ghostbusters II, about a rookie Ghostbuster who joins the team to take on a new threat that arises over Thanksgiving weekend, 1991. A remastered version of the game was released in 2019.
Where can I watch the trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife?
Two teasers have been released for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The first is a cryptic teaser, depicting the Ecto-1 vehicle parked in a haunted barn. The teaser was released in January 2019, when the film officially entered production with Jason Reitman attached as director.
In December 2019, an actual trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife was released that revealed more of the film's new characters and central plot. You can watch it in the embed below.
Where can I rewatch the other Ghostbusters movies?
Neither the two original Ghostbusters movies nor the 2016 remake are available on any popular streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu. However, all the movies are available to buy or rent on your preferred digital storefront, including iTunes, Vudu, Prime, Google Play, and YouTube.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be released in theaters on March 5, 2021.