Bill Murray will definitely be in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, finally breaking his silence on his involvement in the upcoming sequel. Previously, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver had both suggested Murray would be returning along with fellow franchise star Ernie Hudson, but Murray himself had yet to speak about his potential casting.
Officially confirming he'll be in the movie, Bill Murray spoke about what finally led to him returning to the role of Peter Venkman, crediting Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan's screenplay.
"The script is good. 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."
One important cast member from the original movies who won't be returning with the others is Harold Ramis, who sadly passed away in 2014. Aykroyd has also hinted that the story will pay homage to Ramis and Egon Spengler in a big way, and Murray agrees, telling Vanity Fair the character's passing will be acknowledged in Afterlife and play a big part in the story. From the interview:
"Well, we are a man down. That's the deal. And that's the story that we're telling, that's the story they've written."
Murray could be referring to the family ties between Egon and the new characters introduced in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. As revealed in the trailer, the movie will follow single mother Callie (Carrie Coon) along with her son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) moving to a farm inherited from their "late grandfather."
There, they find some of the Ghostbusters' old toys and props, including the Ecto-1 cruiser and even Egon's uniform, as seen in the first Ghostbusters Afterlife trailer. Though Reitman hasn't officially confirmed the Spengler family connection, it seems like a safe bet to presume the grandfather who left all of these things behind is the late Egon Spengler.
This will be the first time Murray has returned to the role of Peter Venkman in a live-action movie since 1989's Ghosbusters II. Aykroyd, Ramis, and original director Ivan Reitman had all attempted for years to get a third Ghostbusters movie made in subsequent years, but one of its biggest hurdles had always been the difficulty in getting Murray to come back.
It began to seem like we would never see Murray as Venkman again, though hope of it happening was restored in 2009 when he lent his voice to the character for Ghostbusters: The Video Game. He would also appear in a bit part for Paul Feig's 2016 reboot, albeit as a different character, making it clear he's at least open to appearing in more Ghostbusters movies.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set to premiere in theaters on July 10, 2020. In addition to co-writing the screenplay with Gil Kenan, Jason Reitman directs the sequel. His father Ivan, who directed the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, produces. If the movie does better than the 2016 reboot, then we could be seeing the start of a new franchise. This news comes to us from Vanity Fair.