As you may have gleaned from the title, spoilers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife follow from here on out, so you might want to turn back if you aren’t one of the people who contributed to the movie’s healthy $44 million opening weekend.
We’ve known since the very beginning that legacy players Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts would be returning for the third canonical installment in the franchise, and fourth overall if you acknowledge the existence of Paul Feig’s reboot.
It was also made clear that the late Harold Ramis would have a huge bearing on the plot, with Egon Spengler’s family inheriting his farmhouse to discover his past life as a Ghostbuster, which sets up everything that follows. However, we weren’t expecting a CGI recreation of the iconic character to show up and lend an assist during the climactic action sequence, which left many fans feeling emotional.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Jason Reitman explained how the cameo came to be, and how much it meant to him on a personal level.
“I was never going to make this movie unless they were comfortable with the portrayal of Harold. Everyone has a favorite Beatle. And everyone has a favorite Ghostbuster. My favorite was always Egon.”
Sure, it’s ethically questionable to recreate somebody who died in 2014 as a CGI apparition for the sake of fan service, but Ghostbusters: Afterlife handled the return of Egon about as well as could be expected.