When it comes to promoting Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the studio is leaning heavily into the nostalgia factor. They want audiences to know that stars from the original Ghostbusters will appear, like Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Akroyd, and Sigourney Weaver. Audiences are going to see a brand new take on the Stay-Puft monster. On top of all this, the original director’s son is the person in charge of this fresh take. Still, with so much already revealed for the new movie, there’s going to need to be some surprises if the studio wants audiences to like this one. After some work from one of our trusted and proven inside sources, we’ve exclusively learned one of the surprises in store for fans. Olivia Wilde is in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and she’s playing an iconic character from the original movie.
Thankfully, our source was also able to share who that character is. Olivia Wilde is playing Gozer the Gozerian in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. That’s right, the iconic villain is back in play.
Slavitza Jovan played Gozer in the original movie. Her original take on the character was memorable. She was scary. She was cold. Gozer has two hounds with glowing red eyes to match her own. A cult worshipped her. Some of the most memorable things about her scenes were actually the lines spoken by the main characters, but that hasn’t made her any less memorable. Olivia Wilde certainly has some big shoes to fill when it comes to taking on a character that audiences remember so fondly.
The trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife doesn’t show Olivia Wilde, or at least, it doesn’t show enough of her to identify her. Many have already speculated that a few key moments hint at the return of Gozer the Gozerian. This happens fast enough that it’s easy to miss. In the trailer, the group of kids head into a mine in town. A sign shows that the mine is owned by Shandor Mining Company. In 1984’s Ghostbusters, Ivo Shandor owned an apartment building where he connected with the afterlife and worshipped Gozer the Gozerian as part of his cult. When the kids head into the mine, a statue is shown. It appears to be Gozer.
Notice the fire at the base of the statue. This is where a hand that likely belongs to Olivia Wilde’s Gozer appears in the next shot in the trailer.
Also backing up the return of Gozer the Gozerian in Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the appearance of the hounds. In Gozer’s famous scene in the first movie, she’s shown with two hounds. In the trailer for the new film, Paul Rudd is shown running out of a Wal-Mart. He appears to be running away from Gozer’s hounds.
Bringing back Gozer the Gozerian is a bold move and one that may or may not pay off. The nostalgia factor is something the studio is pushing and that can help draw audiences in. But will having Olivia Wilde play a character that audiences already know be something that can help restart the franchise? There’s a strong possibility that bringing in a new villain would have given Ghostbusters: Afterlife fresh life to build on for a new series of films while revisiting the same character could lead to a dead end.
Another obstacle they’re going to face with this decision is finding a way to have Olivia Wilde’s Gozer top the original. One of the best things about this villain was the iconic and hilarious lines spoken during her scenes. Ernie Hudson saying, “Ray! When someone asks you if you’re a God, you say yes!” has to be one of the funniest moments in a climactic action scene ever. Bringing back the nostalgia for that scene is a great way to draw audiences in. However, if they can’t top the original (and who can top that?) then how will they make this new movie something that audiences will crave a sequel for?
After the intensely negative fan reactions to 2016’s Ghostbusters movie, the franchise is really riding on this one. It’s going to be interesting to see how elements like Olivia Wilde’s take on Gozer play into fan reactions when Afterlife releases on November 19, 2021.