It was confirmed this morning that Bill Murray is returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Now, director and co-writer Jason Reitman is opening up about why he made the anticipated sequel and some new images from the movie have also been revealed. In a set visit interview with Vanity Fair, Reitman spoke about why he chose to pursue making the movie, and the filmmaker credits his desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ivan, who directed the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. From the interview, here's what Reitman said about his decision to develop a new Ghostbusters movie.
"If I think about who I'm making this movie for, it's my father. We all know what it's like to be told stories by our parents. I'm really honored to get a chance to tell one back to him from the world he brought to life."
Ivan directed and produced the original two Ghostbusters movies, which were co-written by series stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. For Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Ivan is again on board as a producer, though he is passing the torch to his son Jason for the creative side of the project. In addition to directing the new sequel, Jason co-wrote the screenplay with Gil Kenan (Monster House). Though Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, Aykroyd will also be involved as he'll be reprising his original role alongside Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts.
Ivan Reitman isn't saying exactly how the old characters will intersect with the new ones, though the story will deeply revolve around what is known in Ghostbusters lore as the 1984 "Manhattan crossrip." He goes onto say this about creating new characters to play with in this established universe.
""Before I ever thought I could make a Ghostbusters film, the image of a 12-year-old girl carrying a proton pack popped into my head and just wouldn't leave. Eventually, I knew who she was. I'm floored by the idea of what it would be like to find a proton pack in your grandparents' basement. What would that discovery reveal about who you are and what adventures you're about to go on?"
When all is said and done, Reitman hopes to create a movie that will get a new generation of kids excited about strapping on that proton pack.
"I wanted to make a movie about finding a proton pack in an old barn and the thrill of actually putting it on for the first time. I've had friends come to the set and hoist on the packs, and it always turns grown-ups into children."
From Vanity Fair's set visit, Bill Murray also touched on the script written by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan. For many years prior to the development of Afterlife, Murray was notorious for his utter refusal to return to the franchise, stalling plans from Aykroyd and Ramis to get a third movie off the ground. Though he cameoed as a new character in Paul Feig's reboot, there was no guarantee he would return for Afterlife, but Murray says Reitman and Kenan's screenplay sealed the deal for him. "The script is good. It's got lots of emotion in it. It's got lots of family in it," Murray said of the screenplay.
Three new images from the movie have also been revealed. In one photo, stars Logan Kim and Mckenna Grace can be seen testing out some of the Ghostbusters' equipment, including the proton pack. "I wanted to make a movie about finding a proton pack in an old barn and the thrill of actually putting it on for the first time," Reitman says. Another image shows Reitman directing Grace on the set next to the Ecto-1, with the young actress seated on a contraption attached to the vehicle. A third photo reveals Paul Rudd as local teacher Mr. Grooberson, inspecting a map along with lead actress Carrie Coon.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is scheduled to premiere in theaters on July 10, 2020. Hopefully the sequel will be just as satisfying to fans of the original as it will be to newcomers introduced to the franchise for the first time. For what it's worth, the trailer seems promising, and the reception to it has been largely positive. This news comes to us from Vanity Fair.