Monday, December 9, 2019


This week and the preceding weekend have been seeing plenty of reveals in terms of the latest crop of upcoming blockbusters for the following year. These films run the gamut of themes and genre, from a “conventional” spy film flick a la James Bond in “Not Time to Die,” to a more superhero-like spy adventure in Marvel’s “Black Widow,” to a legendary epic in Disney’s live-action “Mulan” remake, to a period-piece superhero interquel in Warner-DC’s “Wonder Woman 1984.” But for those audiences looking for more spooky fare, as well as another returning media franchise, then this trailer is for you.

Forbes has it that Sony Pictures has released their first ever trailer for “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” the long in-development follow-up to the 1980s film franchise developed by Dan Ackroyd and the late Harold Ramis. Disregarding the divisive 2016 reboot, “Afterlife” will pick up story-wise from the original two movies, occurring three decades after 1989’s “Ghostbusters II.” The distant sequel will be helmed generation-wise by original filmmaker Ivan Reitman’s son Jason Reitman. In addition to the spooky hauntings that are expected of the franchise, there is also the element of mystery as to how the new cast of characters is connected to the team of paranormal investigators.

Sony, via Columbia Pictures and Ghost Corps, has managed to keep the secret of the primary cast, a family, by not giving them a last name in promotional materials. As the trailer shows, a single mother and her two children move to the Oklahoma town of Summerville to live in an old house inherited from the kids’ grandfather. Summerville is regularly troubled with a strange shaking of the ground, despite having no seismic history or fault lines. While exploring their new home, the children discover some telltale equipment and an old customized combination car called Ecto-1, revealing that their family has ties to the Ghostbusters.

While there has been a bitter taste from the poorly-promoted 2016 “Ghostbusters” reimagining with its all-female team of lead characters, it is refreshing to note that “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” beyond establishing continuity with the first two movies, is not presenting itself as a sharp reaction to the previous installment. The fact that the main characters are a teen brother-sister team makes for a gender-balance dynamic. And of course, the fact that the surviving original cast of Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts will also appear as their characters is a plus, even if they were nowhere around in the released trailer.

Written by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan, and with Ivan Reitman producing, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” arrives in cinemas next July 2020.

Image courtesy of Vanity Fair


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