For more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced delays on highly anticipated movies that are only just starting to trickle into theaters amid a still-uncertain time for the industry. However, there’s perhaps no movie holding out for a traditional theatrical release with as much anticipation from fans as Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Originally slated to come out in July of 2020, the movie was delayed multiple times and has seemingly been collecting dust on a shelf in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s vault for months. That is until a select group of journalists who braved the pandemic to attend CinemaCon in Las Vegas were surprised at Sony’s big three-hour presentation when a good portion of it was eaten up by the first-ever screening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
The movie is months away from its November 11 release date, meaning that the window isn’t closed for it to be mired in script rewrites or even reshoots to perfect it ahead of the big theatrical release. However, it seems writer and director Jason Reitman and Sony Pictures Entertainment are content with the finished product they have. Therefore, they were fine with showing an advanced screening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife at Cinemacon. In fact, according to Deadline, Reitman’s only concern wasn’t a poor reception, merely spoilers.
Fans of the 1984 original Ghostbusters as well as its sequel Ghostbusters II (1989) don’t have to speculate about the film’s quality, either. Collider went ahead and compiled a collection of (spoiler-free) tweets from those lucky enough to be in the audience and there doesn’t seem to be a single negative critique of the movie among them.
Most praised Ghostbusters: Afterlife for being a worthy sequel to the original, filled to the brim with Easter eggs that diehard fans are sure to pour over for years to come. However, others noted that its connection to the original was not distracting and that it even stands alone as its own movie, for the crazy few who buy a ticket having no knowledge of its predecessors. However, for the rest of the audience that’s been waiting for a true third Ghostbusters film (meaning no shade to the 2016 reboot), one reviewer summed it up best as “nostalgia done right.”
Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows a mother, played by Carrie Coon, and her two kids, played by Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace, who are forced to move to Oklahoma where the kids quickly discover that they have ties to the original Ghostbusters team by way of their grandfather, heavily implied in the trailer to be Dr. Egon Spengler, played in the first films by the late, great Harold Ramis.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife acts as a reboot of the franchise. However, unlike Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot that starred Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the bustin’ team, Reitman’s film will also act as a direct sequel to Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. As a result, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts are expected to return.
That’s not the only connective tissue that Ghostbusters: Afterlife will have to the original 1980s franchise. If Jason Reitman’s name sounded familiar to the diehard Ghostbusters fans out there, it should. Producer Ivan Reitman, his father, was the director behind both the sequel and the 1989 original. So, much like the characters in Ghostbusters: Afterlife the creative team is keeping it in the family.