Ghostbusters Isn’t Going Back To New York After All

The fifth Ghostbusters isn't returning to New York as teased at the end of Afterlife, instead the cast is going to London.

By Mark McKee | Published

If there is something strange in your neighborhood, it is likely because you live in one of the neighborhoods in London. There are few franchises that defined the 80s more than the foursome of Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Harold Ramis’ in Ghostbusters. While the series was firmly connected to the Big Apple by fighting ghosts and defending the public in places like the New York Library or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to The Sun, the franchise is moving its operation overseas to the UK. 

“Ghostbusters has always been synonymous with New York, but to mix things up this time the team was thinking of other great cities with a haunted history. London is perfect.”

An insider quoted by The Sun on the franchise’s big move

The scenery change is nothing new for the franchise, as the fourth film in the franchise saw the storyline leave New York and head to a small town in the middle of nowhere. And the filmmakers may have been on to something as after the third film starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon bombed, Ghostbusters: Afterlife breathed new life into the franchise. Relocating internationally may be the next step in a revitalized franchise that was all but dead for nearly three decades. 

The new cast in Afterlife consisted of big hitters like Paul Rudd (Ant-Man and Avengers: Endgame) and Finn Wolfhard (It and Stranger Things) and also talented newcomer McKenna Grace. While the latter two play the grandchildren of the late Harold Ramis’ Egon Spengler going toe to toe with previous Ghostbusters villain, Gozer, they got some help in the final moments with the cameos of Ernie Hudson, Dan Akroyd, and Bill Murray, and an emotional appearance from the late Harold Ramis. 

Moving to London could move the Ghostbusters mythos in a bold new direction, as instead of an appearance by the Titanic, maybe the ghost of Jack the Ripper is terrorizing White Chapel? What if Henry the VIII returns and still thinks he’s the rightful King of England?

Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, and Dan Akroyd in Ghostbusters 2

The next installment will reportedly see the return of all of the original heroes, minus Ramis, plus the original love interest of Bill Murray‘s Peter Venkman, Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett. There is no word on what else the new installment will bring as far as the storyline or the plot goes, but we can bet that it won’t include the villain from Ghostbusters II, Vigo the Carpathian. While the last installment connected the story to the original and established a cohesive storyline, the following film needs to move beyond the original characters and let McKenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard stand on their own. However, we wouldn’t be against an appearance from Peter MacNicol’s Janosz Poha. 

Reviving a franchise is a tricky thing; older fans demand that you stay faithful to the source material, while newer fans will have the expectation that you find a way to make it unique and fresh. The result can run the spectrum between Top Gun: Maverick on the universally beloved end and Men in Black: International on the reviled end. Ghostbusters is a franchise that, unfortunately for the fans, has seen both ends of that spectrum, with the all-female revival in 2016 being the latter and Afterlife being the former. 

With the new film technically being the fifth in the franchise, the possibility that it is just the beginning of a long-running franchise revival is high. Similar to franchises like Fast and Furious, as long as the storyline (or, in the Vin Diesel vehicle, the action sets) are intriguing, Ghostbusters could be around for a long time to come.