The majority of the surviving cast members from Ivan Reitman’s Ghostbusters dropped by for cameo appearances in Paul Feig’s divisive 2016 reboot, but for some reason, the decision was made to have them play entirely different characters from the ones that the fans know and love.
It was just one of many things about the last version of Ghostbusters that didn’t sit well with a lot of people, especially when it refused to settle on a consistent tone or place in the mythology after directly referencing events that had happened previously, while still ignoring others. Needless to say, the backlash was loud and clear, and the relatively inoffensive idea of a female cast headlining a new version of a beloved 1980s property went down in the history books as one of the most controversial blockbusters of the modern era.
Luckily, this year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife is going to be keeping it all in the family. Not only is co-writer and director Jason Reitman picking up from where his father left off over 30 years ago, but the gang is getting back together for real this time. In a new interview, Bill Murray revealed his surprise at Reitman Jr. taking over the franchise, but admits that he was won over by the second generation filmmaker’s pitch.
“Ivan’s son, Jason, did one. I remember him calling me and saying, ‘I’ve got an idea for another Ghostbusters. I’ve had this idea for years’. I thought, ‘What the heck could that possibly be?’. I remember him when he was a kid. I remember his Bar Mitzvah. I was like, ‘What the heck? What does this kid know?’. But he had a really, really wonderful idea that he wrote with another wonderful guy that I got to work with, Gil Kenan, who made City of Ember. The two of them wrote a Ghostbusters movie that really brings it back to life. It really has the feel of the first one, more than the second one or the girls’ one. It has a different feel than two out of four.”
If you thought Peter Venkman would be taking it easy in his grand return to the franchise, then you’d be wrong, after Murray also confirmed that he’d thrown on a proton pack for the first time in decades, and it was about as difficult for the 70 year-old to handle as you’d imagine, although he did at least say that Afterlife would be the worth the wait.
“I think he’s really got something. It was hard. It was really hard. That’s why I think it’s gonna be good. We were just in it for a little while, but it was physically painful. Wearing those packs is extremely uncomfortable. We had batteries the size of batteries. They now have batteries the size of earrings. It’s still a really heavy thing to wear, all the time. The special effects in this one are a lot of wind and dirt in your face, and there was a lot of going down and getting back up. I was like, ‘What is this? What am I doing?’. These are like Bulgarian deadlifts, or a Russian kettlebell, getting up and down with this thing on my back.’ It was very uncomfortable. Usually, when something has a very high misery quotient, something comes of that and some quality is produced that, if you can capture it and project it, comes on the screen and affects you. I think it comes out sometime in the fall. They’ve delayed it for a year or a year and a half, but I’m glad they did. It will be worth seeing.”
After being delayed several times from its originally planned July 2020 release date, Ghostbusters: Afterlife now lands on November 11th, when it’ll hopefully live up to the expectations that surround it.