Ghostbusters: Afterlife post-credits scenes explained: How the new movie sets up a sequel
The Ghostbuster reboot has more in store for fans after the credits roll.
Fire up your Proton packs because the Ghostbusters are back! Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the new film from director Jason Reitman (yes, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman), has finally arrived in theaters. The thrilling reboot revives the franchise and indulges its longtime fans by paying homage to the series they’ve come to love since the first film delighted audiences in 1984.
Of course, that means Ghostbusters: Afterlife is packed to the brim with pure nostalgia, from its opening moments all the way to its credits scenes. The latter is where the film leans fully into fan service, directly referencing the original films while hinting at what the future of the franchise might look like.
Afterlife has two credits, one that appears mid-credits and another at the very end. Here’s what happens in both scenes, who appears in them, and what they mean for a potential sequel.
Major spoilers ahead for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife mid-credits scene explained
The mid-credits scene for Afterlife begins unexpectedly. As the movie ends and we’re still wiping our tears from the beautiful dedication to the late Harold Ramis (who played Egon Spengler), the main credits sequence starts flashing before our eyes. As the actors' names appear on screen, we see Sigourney Weaver’s name pop up, which is confusing because she didn’t appear in the movie… yet.
The credits then cut straight to the first bonus scene, starring Weaver as her Ghostbusters character Dana Barrett and Bill Murray as Peter Venkman. The moment finds the pair together, although it's unclear if they’re together or just good friends. (They were romantically linked in the original films.) The two are playing with Venkman’s ESP machine as Dana holds up a card and tests Venkman’s ability to guess the shape on the other side.
As seen in the clip above, Venkman is a parapsychologist who would perform this ESP test on his students. In the new Ghostbusters scene, the tables are turned, and Dana soon realizes that Venkman marked the cards (thus knowing how to answer them) and starts shocking him for his deceit. The funny moment ends with Venkman admitting to only shocking the male students, not the women — as if that would earn him some extra sympathy.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife end credits scene explained
While the first credits scene worked as a comedic footnote, the second credits scene hints at what could be next for the franchise.
The film’s final moment (before the credits) shows the Ghostbusters car, the Ecto-1, being driven back to NYC. It’s unclear why until the after-credits scene where we see Janine, the original Ghostbusters receptionist (who also appeared near the beginning of Afterlife), in the city visiting Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) at his office. Since his ghost-busting days, Winston has become a successful businessman, but as his earlier cameo suggested, he still holds a fondness for his old profession.
Janine and Winston’s conversation centers on legacy, as Winston explains he started his business for his kids so that they could have a good life. We next see Winston back at the fire station where the original team used to work, and the Ecto-1 arriving back to where everything started. Winston touches the car, as if welcoming back an old friend.
The final scene seems to infer that Winston might hold the keys to Ghostbusters' future. Considering he has the money and now knows the spirited Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Podcast (Logan Kim), who may want to carry on the Ghostbusters’ torch, it makes sense that Winston would wish to kickstart the business for a new generation.
It’s a fitting end for a movie that explores the meaning of legacy in several different ways. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is full of excitement and heart that lives in the moment, but it’s also all about the future.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is now playing in theaters.