'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' teaser trailer haunted by callbacks to 1984 original
When your ghostbusting franchise is in trouble, who ya gonna call? Jason Reitman! The first teaser trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife dropped today and the film, written and directed by the Oscar-nominated son of Ivan Reitman, who helmed the first installment 35 years ago. Not surprisingly, the first trailer for the new film pays loving respect to the original while, as expected, completely ignoring Paul Feig’s 2016 female-led reboot. (Watch the trailer above.)
Afterlife picks up three decades after the events of Ghostbusters, with the family of the late Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) — grown daughter Callie (Carrie Coon), and her kids, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) — heading back to the Spengler country farm and discovering his moldering spook-eradicating equipment. (Stranger Things fans will remember that Wolfhard donned a homemade version of the Ghosbusters uniform in Season 2, and argued with buddy Lucas about who got to be the Venkman of their quartet.)
It’s up to the kids’ schoolteacher, Mr. Gooberson (Paul Rudd), to fill in the gaps about what happened between the ‘80s and today. Good thing he happens to be a supernatural-loving fanboy of the original ’Busters. His eyes grow to Stay Puft-sized saucers when he lays eyes on a vintage ghost trap, and he eagerly shows off YouTube footage from the 1984 film. “New York in the ‘80s was like The Walking Dead,” he says, and also revealing that any paranormal activity has mostly been dormant since the “Manhattan Crossrip” that unleashed Zuul upon the world. That detail confirms what Feig proclaimed on Twitter earlier this year: that his polarizing 2016 film, which starred Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as a female team, won’t be acknowledged in Afterlife. “We’re forever proud of our movie,” he wrote at the time.
The trailer goes on to show the kids testing out their grandfather’s gear, driving the Ecto-1 through a nearby cornfield and learning how to aim the photon pack-general particle beams for minimal destruction. It’s a good thing they’re practicing, because it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the ghosts’ hiatus is over, though what form their return will take isn’t revealed in the trailer. We also don’t see any surviving Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson, who are reportedly going to make cameos in the film. (Aykroyd has promised that Bill Murray will also return, but that has yet to be confirmed.) Despite their absence, there are plenty of visual callbacks to the 1984 movie, including the return of Zuul’s “terror dog” and, of course, the mean, green, hot-dog eating ghost machine, Slimer.
All those ‘84 callbacks are going over very well on the nostalgia machine that is Twitter.
If you didn’t get chills at the old school news footage of the original Ghostbusters you may be a ghost yourself because this was soooooo awesome. pic.twitter.com/WcG2X3CBwh
It has a fun STRANGER THINGS vibe (including one of the cast members), takes the material seriously, and most importantly: it *doesn’t* stomp all over the original – it honours it.#Ghostbusters 👻🚫https://t.co/KK1AWr1z8m
We tend to talk about Ghostbusters 2016 like it was a massive failure that nobody wanted & everyone hated, but it’s interesting to note that it has a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and made $229 million in theaters. Narrative would be so different if that absurd budget was under control.