Original Ghostbusters Star Furious With Afterlife 2 Role

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

Ernie Hudson
Ernie Hudson in Ghostbusters (1984)

Despite his excitement about reprising his role as Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2, Ernie Hudson says he would have taken his character in a different direction. Speaking to ScreenRant, the actor said he enjoyed reconnecting with the old cast while candidly expressing some disappointment with certain aspects of the story.

“It’s different, it’s not necessarily the direction I would go in, but I just love being part of it, and I think the fans will like this new direction, but we’ll see.”

-Ernie Hudson

Information about the Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 plot is limited. However, the story is said to be the next chapter in the Spengler family story.

“As we introduce new stories and new characters, that’s what moves the whole thing forward, but we’re still a part of it. It was great to see Bill Murray, Danny Aykroyd, Annie Potts; it’s great to see them there, and really just enjoying it and enthusiastic about being there.”

-Ernie Hudson

Details about the original group (Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore) and their return remain shrouded in mystery. But Ernie Hudson did reveal that Winston has assumed a new position, serving as a financier for the new team in Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2. “He’s the guy who has the money to keep this thing going,” Ernie Hudson explained.

“So that was good; it wasn’t so much more because we do have these new characters. We’re introducing new stories, but he has a place and purpose for being there,” he continued. Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 serves as the fourth mainline entry in the franchise. Its 2021 predecessor, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, was essentially a reboot and sequel to 1989’s Ghostbusters II.

ghostbusters afterlife 2
Dan Akrody, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson in Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

The movie introduced viewers to a new team of paranormal investigators portrayed by McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd, who are all returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2. New cast members include Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, James Acaster, and Emily Alyn Lind. The film is scheduled to be released by Sony Pictures on December 20.

Despite the absence of plot specifics, an image released on Ghostbusters Day (on June 10) showcased the iconic no-ghost symbol covered in ice. This development sparked considerable speculation about the implications it holds for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2.

In the final scenes of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Ernie Hudson’s Winston returns Ecto-1 to the New York firehouse. There, the old containment unit is seen with an unsettling red flashing light, hinting that something is amiss. Some fans hope that the film might incorporate elements from the original Ghostbusters III plot, which would have taken the team to an alternate version of Manhattan.

According to Dan Aykroyd, the story would have revolved around a phenomenon known as the “poltergeist plague,” which emerged due to overcrowding in Hell, causing damned souls to roam the Earth. The original Ghostbusters team would have played a minor role, with the primary focus on introducing new characters.

Ernie Hudson says while he enjoyed filming Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2, that the story goes in a different direction that what he would’ve preferred.

However, the project was stuck in development for years, undergoing various iterations of the sequel (Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2). In September 2008, screenwriters Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg were brought on board to create a new screenplay, with plans for Ivan Reitman to direct.

However, the project encountered a significant setback due to Bill Murray’s lack of interest.

Ultimately, the original storyline for Ghostbusters III never materialized, and the franchise was rebooted through Ghostbusters: Afterlife, serving as a transition to a new generation of Ghostbusters. With a new team in the spotlight, it would be cool if the young Spenglers had to rescue the original team from Hell in Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2.

It’s also worth noting that the Ghostbusters franchise received a reboot in 2016. The film introduced a brand new team of Ghostbusters comprised entirely of women. Directed by Paul Feig, this reboot aimed to offer a revitalized perspective on the franchise rather than continuing the original storyline.

However, the movie was heavily criticized by fans and has no links to any of the other films.