As the latest revelation in a season of unlikely cameos kicked off by a certain Nerf Herder’s surprise appearance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Bill Murray will be reprising his role as Dr. Peter Venkman in the upcoming Ghostbusters sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife. This is a piece of news so unexpected that I had to triple check it to make sure I’d read it correctly.
Murray hasn’t played the character since 1989’s Ghostbusters II, although he did return to voice Peter Venkman in 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game. He also appeared in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, albeit as a completely different character named Martin Heiss. So he clearly has fondness for the series, and as he told Vanity Fair, he’s excited to be appearing in the latest installment, which was written and directed by Jason Reitman. (Reitman, an Oscar-nominated director, is the son of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman, and actually appeared in Ghostbusters II as a bratty kid telling the Ghostbusters that they are full of crap.)
“The script is good,” Murray told VF. “It’s got lots of emotion in it. It’s got lots of family in it, with through lines that are really interesting. It’s gonna work.” As previously reported, Murray’s Ghostbusters co-stars Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson are also confirmed to return as Dr. Ray Stanz and Winston Zeddemore, respectively. Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the first two films with Aykroyd and played the laconic oddball Dr. Egon Spengler, passed away in 2014. “Well, we are a man down. That’s the deal,” Murray said. “And that’s the story that we’re telling, that’s the story they’ve written.”
It’s unclear how exactly the original cast members will fit into the new story, but according to VF, each actor will have a “meaningful role.” Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd, and is due in theaters July 10.