Fans have been waiting since 1989 for a third movie in the Ghostbusters series, and (with most people agreeing that the 2016 reboot doesn’t count) we finally got that with the arrival of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Yet while the film builds on the story established in the 1984 original, it strikes a very different tone as a more family-oriented adventure with less raucous humor. Here are some facts about Ghostbusters: Afterlife you didn’t know – and be warned, there are spoilers ahead.
Afterlife director Jason Reitman appeared in Ghostbusters II
You may recall that, in the opening scenes of Ghostbusters II, we see that our ghost-busting heroes Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) have been reduced to making personal appearances at children’s birthday parties to make ends meet. At such a party, they’re approached by an obnoxious youngster who bluntly informs them, “my dad says you guys are full of c**p.”
Jason Reitman declared Afterlife would give Ghostbusters “back to the fans”
The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot proved hugely controversial, failing to win over the existing fanbase or kickstart an all-new franchise the way studio Sony had hoped. As such, when Jason Reitman announced his attachment to a Ghostbusters movie which he said would “give [the franchise] back to the fans,” many took this as a stab at director Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.
Finn Wolfhard thought dressing up as a Ghostbuster in Stranger Things lost him the part
For younger viewers less acquainted with the Ghostbusters movies, one of the key selling points of Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the presence of teen actor Finn Wolfhard, famed for his role on beloved Netflix series Stranger Things. Set in the 80s and steeped in the popular culture of the time, one Stranger Things episode sees Wolfhard’s Mike and his friends get dressed up as the Ghostbusters.
You may recognize Phoebe actress Mckenna Grace from Captain Marvel
While grown-up actors Carrie Coon (Callie) and Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson) take top billing in the credits of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, arguably the real lead of the movie is Mckenna Grace; she plays Phoebe, the younger grandchild of Egon Spengler who finds herself inducted into the family business by her grandfather’s spirit.
Josh Gad plays the Muncher ghost
Paul Rudd may be the biggest contemporary star name in the Ghostbusters: Afterlife cast, but you might not have known that another well-known film actor of recent years also makes an ‘appearance’ in the film. We’re talking about Josh Gad, best known as Olaf in the Frozen films, and Le Fou in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, who voices the ghost dubbed Muncher in Afterlife.
Paul Rudd turned down Halloween Kills to appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Paul Rudd takes the role of Gary Grooberson, the summer school science teacher who finds himself caught up in the supernatural goings-on. However, this wasn’t the only spooky 2021 movie the actor had the chance to appear in; he had also been asked to appear in the horror sequel Halloween Kills in the key role of Tommy Doyle, the young survivor of the original 1978 Halloween.
Its release was re-arranged four times due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Ghostbusters: Afterlife was shot mostly in Alberta, Canada between July and September 2019, using the fake production name ‘Rust City’ to help protect the shoot’s privacy. Originally the film was poised to open in cinemas on the 10th of July 2020, but – as was the case with many other major films that year – the lockdown enforced because of Covid-19 made this impossible.
Mckenna Grace sings (and co-wrote) the film’s end credits song
On top of being a hugely successful young actress, Mckenna Grace is also making moves as a singer and songwriter – and she appears to have a lot of ability in that field as well. For evidence of this, look (or, rather, listen) no further than the end credits of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, as the song which plays over them, is the work of Grace herself.
Jason Reitman has hinted a sequel could feature Vigo from Ghostbusters II
As the plot revolves around the work of occultist Ivo Shandor and his efforts to bring forth Gozer to end the world, Ghostbusters: Afterlife owes a great deal to the original 1984 Ghostbusters. Yet beyond the appearance of Ray’s Occult bookstore, there doesn’t seem to be much in Afterlife that echoes Ghostbusters II, something that has led some fans and critics to ponder whether or not the 1989 sequel was being treated as canon.
Ecto-1’s gunner seat is a nod to The Real Ghostbusters toyline
Some fans and critics have been a bit puzzled as to the state of the Ghostbusters signature vehicle Ecto-1 in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. For one thing, the model Trevor finds and fixes up in his grandfather’s garage appears largely identical to that of the original 1984 film, with none of the modifications made in Ghostbusters II. Yet it also has a feature we never saw in the first two movies: a retractable gunner seat.