The latest film in the Ghostbusters franchise has just released its first trailer, and it's already clear that this is nothing like the other installments. Directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman (who directed the original Ghostbusters movie and its sequel), the movie seems to be attempting a much more serious tone than its predecessors.
From the new trailer, it seems as though Ghostbusters: Afterlife will follow the daughter and grandchildren of original Ghostbusters character Egon Spengler (played by the late Harold Ramis). After being evicted from their home, they move into a dilapidated Oklahoma farmhouse with their grandmother and discover Spengler's old equipment, which they take to with zest. Soon afterwards, they are forced to use their grandfather's legacy in order to save the town from a subterranean ghost invasion. In doing so, they gain confidence in themselves and rediscover the meaning of family.
Reitman's resume as a director contains many dark and dramatic comedies (Thank You for Smoking, Juno), which contrast starkly with the much more lighthearted Ghostbusters series. Moreover, several of his more recent artistic endeavors, such as The Front Runner and Men, Women, and Children, have been critically panned. With this in mind, putting Reitman in charge of this film seems to have been motivated by a desire to keep Ghostbusters in-house, rather than by his qualifications for the role. However, it makes sense that Columbia Pictures would select a director with clear ties to the franchise; after all, the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot was the target of widespread and sometimes misogynistic criticism online for its divergence from the source material, and this controversy led to the film being a box office bomb.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Fargo actress Carrie Coon, The Young and the Restless actress Mckenna Grace, Ant-Man star Paul Rudd, and Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver reprise their roles from the original films. The film premieres in theaters on November 11th, 2021.
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