Although I personally quite liked Paul Feig’s 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, the film was a lightning rod of controversy for man-babies and Sony spent too much money on it, so the film’s lukewarm box office wasn’t enough to warrant a sequel. But since IP is everything, Sony didn’t let the property lay dormant and brought on Jason Reitman, the Oscar-nominated son of original director Ivan Reitman, to handle a legacyquel. Now we have the first details, images, and official title: Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Vanity Fair reports that the new story will follow Carrie Coon (Gone Girl) as mom Callie, her science-obsessed daughter Phoebe (Captain Marvel’s Mckenna Grace), and gearhead son Trevor (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard) as they move to a small town in Oklahoma where they don’t know anyone, but have inherited property from Callie’s father, whom she didn’t know.
Unlike Ghostbusters 2016, the new movie will connect directly to the original via the “Manhattan Crossrip”, a “technical term for that long-ago bizarre incident in New York involving an apocalypse-summoning skyscraper, a gargantuan killer marshmallow man, and four working stiffs who managed to fight back against an ancient Sumerian God named Gozer.” Most of the original cast is expected to return, although it’s not clear in what capacity they’ll return.
“As the family arrives at an old farm, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters,” Reitman tells Vanity Fair. “Trevor and Phoebe are about to find out who their grandfather was and whether they’re ready to pick up the proton pack themselves.”
The house they inherit is filled with Ghostbusters stuff including “a mountain of books and lots of bizarre technology,” and “Phoebe will find a device that reads psychokinetic energy.”
However, while Trevor and Phoebe are toying around with old Ghostbusters stuff, they’re not really familiar with the events of the 1984 movie. Thankfully for them, “they have a summer school teacher named Mr. Grooberson (played by Paul Rudd) who was a kid when the Manhattan Crossrip occurred. Although later generations may think of it as a myth, or not think of it at all, he remembers it obsessively and is excited to pass on what he knows.”
While I’m certainly willing to give Ghostbusters: Afterlife the benefit of the doubt and I’m curious to see the first trailer (which arrives on Monday), all of this feels a bit sad to me. You can cloak it in terms of “legacy” and “destiny” but all it means is that while kids of the 1980s got their very own, unique, original franchise with Ghostbusters, kids today don’t get that. Even daring to redo it will all women is apparently a bridge too far, so you just get literal kids receiving what an older generation created. It’s kind of a sad reminder that no studio would take a chance on a Ghostbusters property today unless it had the word “Ghostbusters” attached to it.
Check out the images below. Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens July 10, 2020.