The newest Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer has been released by Sony Pictures. Aside from new scenes and character interaction, we can now confirm some details about the fate of key characters from the original films, such as Egon Spengler, Janine Melnitz, and Ray Stantz.
As with other Sony Pictures films that were delayed by the pandemic (such as the Venom sequel), Ghostbusters: Afterlife is locked for an upcoming release. The new trailer finally provides a clearer idea of the plot of the upcoming Ghostbusters franchise continuation that hopes to redeem itself after the failure of the 2016 reboot.
Find out how the beloved characters from the original films appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and what the future may hold for the franchise.
As confirmed in the film’s description and in the first trailer, Afterlife centers on the surviving family of the brains behind the Ghostbusters team. His daughter, Callie (Carrie Coon), inherits the property Egon Spengler leaves behind. Along with Carrie are Egon’s grandchildren, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Howard), who must adjust to their new home and uncover the mystery their patriarch left behind.
Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) was always the go-to guy of the Ghostbusters when it comes to the supernatural knowledge and the technology surronding their equipment, having even greater expertise than Ray Stantz. When the chips were down, Egon had to come up with a plan with how to pull out a victory against the demigods and demons the crew had to deal with.
Whether in the film series, the animated Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, or the video games such as Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009) on the Sony Playstation 2, Egon was the brainiac that saved the day.
With Ramis’s untimely passing in 2014, his presence nevertheless looms large in the upcoming sequel. That is fitting for both the actor and the character who served an integral part to the popularity and success of the Ghostbusters franchise. And as the tagline of the events in Ghostbusters: Afterlife says, "He came here for a reason".
The cantankerous secretary of the Ghostbusters operation, Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) is almost as essential to the Ghostbusters mythos as any of the four guys. Aside from being one of the few that can curtail the snark of Venkman, Janine has always had an ongoing romantic connection with Egon. Despite the brief dalliance with Louis Tully in Ghostbusters II, Janine’s infatuation with Egon is an endearing character trait, played up even more in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters (1986) and Extreme Ghostbusters (1997).
In the Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer, we finally get to see a glimpse of Janine Melnitz. The scene was brief, with Janine talking to Egon’s daughter, Callie, regarding Egon’s apparent lack of financial aptitude, but that he did leave something behind for his family. It is apparently the legacy of the Ghostbusters, with all their equipment and knowledge the scientist hid under the property the family inherits.
It is unclear what Janine’s relationship to Callie is. Is she her mother and grandmother of Egon’s grandkids? Is she the executor of Egon’s estate? The latter is a likely scenario, though it would seem odd if Egon married someone else and not the love of his life, Janine.
Perhaps the most welcome surprise that has fans of the franchise buzzing is confirmation that Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) will be returning. This is not surprising, as Aykroyd has consistently been the most enthusiastic of the old cast regarding the Ghostbusters property. Moreover, Aykroyd is one of the producers of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, so an appearance as Ray was virtually guaranteed.
In the new trailer, we discover that Ray is running his occult bookstore (appropriately named Ray’s Occult Books). This is not the first time this bookstore has appeared in the franchise. In Ghostbusters II, we learnt that this was the business Ray opened up after the events of the first Ghostbusters left them broke and disbanded, blamed by the government and the public for fraud (claiming the apocalyptic threat of Gozer that occurred was just a hoax).
Although we do not see Ray fully, him answering the ringing phone and saying "we’re closed" elicited the most positive reactions thus far. Dan Aykroyd himself is excited for the revelations that will be coming in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, as he shared in his Twitter feed:
— Dan Aykroyd (@dan_aykroyd) July 27, 2021
The rest of the old cast?
So far, there are no details about the rest of the classic Ghostbusters film characters and cast. Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) became a conspiracy TV show host in Ghostbusters II. Could he have returned to that line of work?
Likewise, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) is also unaccounted for. Given that Ray is running his occult bookstore which is in New York, it would be possible that Winston is also in the area, as he is a New York native. Could Winston be the one living in and maintaining the classic Ghostbusters Firehouse?
And what about nerdy Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) and Venkman’s ex-flame Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver)? Both played important parts in the first and second film, particularly in the first when they were possessed by Vinz Clortho and Zuul, respectively. These were the demon dogs, minions of the primordial deity Gozer.
Given that Gozer is returning as the main threat, not having either Louis or Dana, or both of them appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife in some capacity seems like a missed opportunity.
According to the official synopsis of Ghostbusters: Afterlife
From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.
Produced by Columbia Pictures and directed by Jason Reitman from a script by Reitman and Gil Kenan, Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Celeste O’Connor, Paul Rudd, Annie Potts, and Dan Aykroyd. Distributed by Sony Pictures, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set for a November 10, 2021 theatrical release.