Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Now With A Confirmed Release Date

Ghostbusters 3 is Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a direct sequel to the original eighties Ghostbuster movies.

By Faith McKay

The Ghostbusters franchise is still part of public consciousness and is world beloved by fans who grew up with the paranormal investigators. Recently, the original film celebrated its 35th release date anniversary. Since the original films from the 1980s, we’ve seen cartoons, the 2016 Ghostbusters film, and other incarnations of the popular story. Now, we’re about to get a fresh installment called Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Who’s behind Afterlife? Will any of the original cast be in it? What’s the angle for the new story? And, of course, when can be expect to see it? Here’s the answer in our complete Ghostbusters: Afterlife guide.

When Will Ghostbusters: Afterlife Be Released?

stay-puft ghostbusters 3

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was originally scheduled to be released on August 7, 2020, but that release date was cancelled. Sony Pictures was not confident that movie theaters would be reopened after their closure for the Coronavirus pandemic in time for the movie to be shown. They then delayed Ghostbusters: Afterlife for more than an entire year and scheduled a new date for the sequel on June 11, 2021.

Now, in what seems to be the final and true date, we have an actual release to look forward to. Ghostbusters: Afterlife will officially release in movie theaters on November 11, 2021.

The Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailers

Sony Pictures has already given us the film’s first movie poster and official trailer. Take a look…

Ghostbuster: Afterlife First Trailer

That was just the first trailer! Check out the Ghostbuster: Afterlife trailer released in July, 2021 below.

The New Mini Stay-Puft Marshmallows

In the first half of 2021, we got an updated teaser following Paul Rudd’s character and his first run in with mini stay-puft marshmallow monsters for Ghostbusters 3. See the trailer below.

Bill Murray reacted to seeing them for the first time in a video online.

The Man In Charge Of Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Director
Writer/Director Jason Reitman

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is channeling those 1980s nostalgia vibes. You can see this in both the first movie poster and trailer released on December 6th, 2019. That focus on nostalgia is also reflected in the hiring of Jason Reitman as the movie’s director. Reitman is most known for his work on Thank You For Smoking, Up in the Air, Young Adult, and Juno, which may not make him an obvious choice to be the voice behind a genre film, but he also has a unique vantage point as the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed Ghostbusters in 1984 and Ghostbusters II in 1989. 

Jason Reitman, the film’s director, co-wrote this script with Gil Kenan, whose previous work has been directing films like Monster House and City of Ember. Reitman says that the main character for the story, a 12 year old girl, came to him and then stayed with him as he developed the project over many years. From her, came a family, then the rest of the story unfolded for him. “And eventually,” he said, “I knew this movie that I needed to make, that I needed to write.”

His exposure to the early Ghostbusters films goes further than his connection to his father. He actually played a small role in the second film as a kid who tells Dr. Raymond Stantz (Akroyd) that the Ghostbusters aren’t all that great, according to his father. 

Returning Ghostbusters

While they won’t be the central characters for this story, there will be many returning cast members from the eighties Ghostbuster movies.

Bill Murray will appear as Dr. Peter Venkman. There was some degree of doubt about this, particularly since he wasn’t in the first trailer, but Murray himself has confirmed it. In a rare interview with Vanity Fair Murray had this to say about Ghostbusters: Afterlife: “Well, we are a man down. That’s the deal. And that’s the story we’re telling, that’s the story they’ve written. The script is good, it’s got lots of emotion in it. It’s got lots of family in it, with through lines that are really interesting. It’s gonna work.”

Dan Akroyd will also appear in the movie as Dr. Raymond Stantz. Ernie Hudson will show up as Winston Zeddmore. The late Harold Ramis will be missed, though the trailer hints at the idea that his character may be related to the kids Ghostbusters: Afterlife focuses on. 

Sigourney Weaver will return as Dana Barrett. You can also expect to see Annie Potts take up her role as the original Ghostbusters secretary, Janine Melnitz. 

Don’t forget the car. It’ll be back too. Ecto-1 features prominently in the movie’s trailer and will be returning as part of this new adventure. You can catch a glimpse of Slimer in the footage they’ve released too, so expect to see him back causing trouble.

Rick Moranis

Unfortunately, Rick Moranis will not appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. He played accountant Louis Tully in the original Ghostbusters and later became a member of the Ghostbusters team in Ghostbusters II. He won’t be in Ghostbusters: Afterlife though, as confirmed by a report from Vanity Fair.

In 1997 Rick Moranis stepped away from acting after the tragic death of his wife, intending to focus on caring for his children. He never really returned to his career, though he has done an occasional cameo in recent years. It looks like he won’t come back for Ghostbusters: Afterlife either.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s New Cast

Carrie Coon
Actress Carrie Coon

Actress Carrie Coon, best known for her stunning role on The Leftovers and also as Proxima Midnight in the Avengers movies, will be central to the story as a new mom in town. She has two children, played by McKenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard. 

McKenna Grace, who previously played Young Carol in Captain Marvel and has been cast on Fuller House, is Phoebe a twelve year old girl. Reitman has said his inspiration for the movie started with this character, so expect her to be the movie’s lead.

If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, you may remember seeing actor Finn Wolfhard dressed as a ghostbuster in the show’s Halloween episode. Coming full circle, he will now be playing a central role in this story as Trevor, McKenna Grace’s brother.

Paul Rudd (recently best known as Ant Man) is Mr. Grooberson, a school teacher who gives our new main characters information on Ghostbusters history as they work to discover more about their grandfather and his secret connection to the paranormal investigators. 

What’s This Sequel About?

The new characters for Ghostbusters: Afterlife discover their ties to the original ghostbusters and with that new information, arm themselves against a new threat to their new town. 

The script is centered around a small family of three. A single mother and her two children never knew their grandfather, but when he passes, he leaves them a farm in a small town in Oklahoma. When the family moves into the home, they learn more about their grandfather and how he was involved with the original ghostbusters team. The siblings, played by Wolfhard and Grace, will be the ones uncovering the secrets and working to deal with the supernatural threat to come. 

Is This A Reboot?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is not a reboot, or so the movie’s creative team claims. This film is a followup for the franchise, so you can think of it as Ghostbusters III. The original movies from the 1980s directed by Ivan Reitman all happened; we are still in that timeline. In this new movie, we are in the same world, in the present day. The film will totally ignore the 2016 Ghostbusters soft-reboot.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife In Production

Ghostbusters Afterlife Car

Filming began back in July 2019 and took approximately four months, with 68 days of active filming, according to Jason Reitman’s Instagram post. The movie was primarily shot in communities around Calgary, though some was done farther afield in Alberta. 

Behind the scenes, there has been an impressive team of producers working to make this movie possible, including Dan Akroyd, who played Dr. Raymon Stantz in the original Ghostbusters movies and Ivan Reitman, the director of the first two Ghostbusters movies.