Who Ya Gonna Call?
How many people walking the earth right now can’t properly answer that question? Ghostbusters, the 1984 film from director Ivan Reitman has transcended cinema. After its release, the supernatural ensemble comedy from the man who directed Meatballs and Stripes took on an (after)life of its own. The film became a box office hit and put a three-decade-long bearhug on pop culture.
Sequels, toys, video games, and cartoon shows kept the brand relevant in mainstream entertainment for the past 35-years. So much so, that when Sony announced a 2016 reboot featuring an all-female cast, countless life-long Ghostbuster “fans” lost their damn minds. It wasn’t the movie fans hoped for, so they refused to support the new edition.
Ghostbusters is so near and dear to people’s hearts that creating a film that appeases their decades of anticipation would take a miracle. So, when word spread that Jason Reitman (Ivan’s son) would direct the next Ghostbuster picture, fans weren’t dancing in the streets. Yesterday the trailer dropped for Jason Reitman’s entry into the Ghostbuster universe, and it looks intriguing.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer:
What first stands out is how Afterlife pays homage to the original Ghostbusters. One reason Ghostbusters 2016 pissed off fans was that it takes place in an alternate universe. It focuses on different characters and has the original cast members make cameos in new roles. The film acknowledges the original movies with plenty of Easter eggs, but it still strays too far from the 1984 classic.
Afterlife takes place in the same universe as the original movie, which is what fans have asked for all along. But the biggest news here is that Afterlife is a direct sequel to the first two films. The story picks up decades after New York’s massive ghost infestations and follows the adventures of OG Ghostbuster, Egon Spengler’s grandchildren.
Afterlife passes the ghostbusting torch to the next generation. We see this in the film as kids take up the ghostbusting cause, and we see this on a meta-level as well. Ideas must grow and evolve. Nostalgia is great up to a certain point, but it inhibits change. We can’t lock away film properties we love in time capsules, wanting them to stay the same forever. We’ve already enjoyed our version Ghostbusters, and now it’s time to hand it off and and let new moviegoers enjoy it their own way.
What’s most exciting about this movie is the real-life passing of a torch. Ivan Reitman directed Ghostbusters, and now his son Jason, a filmmaker of considerable renown and talent, is taking on the mantle. Jason visited the Ghostbusters sets as a child and has the spirit of the Ghostbuster movies ingrained in his DNA. But on top of that, as he works on this property he is also striving to uphold his father’s legacy. If that’s not motivation to put your heart and soul into your work, I don’t know what is.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife looks like the best possible addition to the Ghostbuster saga. It shows great reverence for the original series but feels like something entirely new. The trailer welcomes fans with open arms, without making everyone else feel excluded. And now, as a long time fan, all that I can say is, “I ain’t afraid of no…change.”
Ghostbusters: Afterlife synopsis:
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.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives in theatres in summer 2020.