Bill Murray dusts off his proton pack in preparation for the end of the world in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the highly-awaited sequel to the first two Ghostbusters starring Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson as the core trio. Taking place thirty years after New York City’s Manhattan Crossrip of 1984, the film introduces us to a new generation of Ghostbusters. And they are facing a supernatural threat greater and more insidious than shape-shifting god of destruction Gozer the Gozerian and its ward Zuul from the first movie.
Check out the final trailer for Bill Murray’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife below. It’s a great trip down memory line with some new and old faces.
It’s 2021 in Summerville, Oklahoma. Single mother Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) and her two kids Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) have just moved into a dilapidated farmhouse belonging to Callie’s late father Egon. He was the distinguished member of New York City’s parapsychology detection and elimination unit: Ghostbusters. A series of catastrophic earthquakes batter the American Southwest as paranormal activity begins sprouting out of a nearby mine. The change in scenery is deliberate; Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman hoped for a significant shift in ambiance and color palette and felt Oklahoma would be a better fit for an official sendoff than New York City. And a sendoff it is. The movie is meant to honor Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson’s final hurrah as Ghostbusters, eventually handing down ownership of the group to a much younger team.
The plot is every bit classic Ghostbusters. Regrouping with Dr. Egon Spengler’s associates Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) reveal the surrounding area is teeming with ghosts and malevolent spirits, all rooted from the same tainted location: an abandoned mine previously owned by occultist Ivo Shandor. The disgraced conjurer designed Dana Barrett’s (Sigourney Weaver) apartment in Ghostbusters with the sole purpose of attracting enough spiritual energy to summon Gozer and bring out the end times. The premise of Ghostbusters: Afterlife is Shandor’s second attempt at reviving the fallen god.
New York City isn’t the only place Ivo Shandor thought to assemble his beacons. His paranormal antennas are scattered across the continental United States, the farmyards of Oklahoma being one such place. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Gozer reunites with the only three people capable of sending demons back to the netherworld: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson’s Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore. And they’re not alone. Phoebe, Trevor, and classmates Podcast (Logan Kim) and Lucky (Celeste O’Connor) are hopping along for the ride.
The final trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife tips audiences off on how the apocalypse inevitably begins: the kids’ teacher, Mr. Chad Grooberson (played to form by the delightfully hilarious Paul Rudd), makes the poor paranormal decision of opening the underworld’s sixth seal, breaking down the barriers of hell and releasing malevolent demons into the mortal realm. Bill Murray explains the situation in voiceover. An earthquake threatens to tear Oklahoma apart as the coming of the supernatural heralds the imminent Armageddon. The demonic hellhounds from the first film reappear as Judgment Day befalls the Earth, and a freakish lightning storm features as an omen.
Desperate for help, Mr. Grooberson and the children ring up the famed Ghostbusters. The very same catastrophic event that rocked New York City in 1984 is back to fill the world with ghosts and demons, and the new team is running out of options. Realizing humanity still needs the Ghostbusters, Bill Murray and the original crew suit up to assist their friend Egon’s family in thwarting this oncoming apocalypse. As the gates of hell pour into the Earth and the undead reclaims the land, the remaining Ghostbusters finally make their presence known. Pointing their proton packs at a fairly harmless collection of Stay Puft Marshmallow Man ghosts, Dr. Venkman coolly remarks offscreen, “Hey, have you missed us?” Cue Ray Parker, Jr.’s “Ghostbusters”. Ghostbusters: Afterlife will presumably end with the original cast hanging up their flight suits and leaving the ghostbusting to the younger generation, namely Phoebe, Trevor, Podcast, and Lucky.
The character of Dr. Egon Spengler, played by recurring Ghostbusters writer Harold Ramis, is notably absent in the film, as the actor already died in 2014. Gil Kenan and director Jason Reitman took over from Ramis and Ivan Reitman following the financial demise of Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters. Most of the original cast, like Sigourney Weaver’s Dana, is returning in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Bill Murray, in particular, finally came around after decades of refusing sequels. The movie comes out on November 19.