Ghostbusters: Afterlife will see the return of almost every original cast member. Everyone except Rick Moranis, that is, as according to Variety, Moranis will not reprise his role as the nosey neighbor, Louis Tully.
The original cast members, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts will all appear in the film. Harold Ramis, meanwhile, passed away in 2014, but writer/director Jason Reitman still managed to find a way to make his character, Egon Spengler, integral to the plot.
As for Moranis, he’s all but retired from acting. The only on screen appearance he’s made in the last 20 years was reprising his famous character, Bob McKenzie, in Bob & Doug McKenzie’s Two-Four Anniversary, a TV movie documentary from 2007.
Of course, he was offered a chance to appear in Paul Feig’s 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, but declined it, saying at the time:
“I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me,” Moranis previously told The Hollywood Reporter of the reboot. “Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?”
It’s certainly disappointing to hear that he won’t be involved in Afterlife, as he was one of the more memorable characters from the original film. How the studio was able to get Murray and not Moranis is remarkable, but he appears to be content with living a quiet life away from the industry.
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In case you haven’t noticed, Sony Pictures is really into the idea of releasing sequels to long-dormant franchises right now. It started in late 2017 with the mega-hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which earned almost $1 billion at the box office. Then came last summer’s Men in Black: International, which didn’t exactly meet expectations. Despite a decent haul overseas, the movie failed to connect with audiences in North America, grossing less than $100 million.
Sony officially bounced back in 2020, though, as Bad Boys For Life has become a massive success. It’s well on its way to being number one at the box office for a second weekend in a row and will surely pass that $100 million benchmark by the end of the weekend. Oh, and it hasn’t even opened in China yet.
Next on the docket is the aforementioned Ghostbuster: Afterlife. A direct sequel to the 1989 Ghostbusters II, the movie follows a mother and her two children who start over by moving to a small town in Oklahoma. But after arriving, strange things begin happening and with the help of science teacher, Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd), they aim to investigate the local phenomenon and figure out a way to stop it.
Sony is hoping fans will flock to the theater for another dose of nostalgia, but the reaction to the first trailer was less than ideal and after the sour taste left in our mouths by Feig’s effort, it’ll be interesting to see how this next stab at the franchise goes over with moviegoers.