It’s the theme song that everyone knows. You only so much as need to mouth the words “If there’s something strange” for someone to perk up as they reply, “In your neighbourhood.” Cue mass singing and nostalgia-induced enthusiasm.
Make no mistake, Ghostbusters is coming back to the big screen, and the first look at Jason Reitman's fresh take on the ghoul-hunting franchise has arrived.
Here's everything else we know about the film so far.
If the name sounds familiar, Reitman is the filmmaker son of Ivan Reitman, the man who directed and produced the original 1984 comedic hit that starred Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. The original saw Murray’s character, Peter Venkam, lead a team of parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. It was an instant success, grossing $242 million in the United States and over $295 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing comedy film of its time.
Taking to Twitter to confirm the news, Jason Reitman posted: “Finally got the keys to the car. #GB20.”
It seems only fitting that Reitman would take the reigns on this one. With Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Pictures producing, sources close to the director said he thinks of the film as a passing of the torch.
Reitman, the Oscar-nominated Juno filmmaker, co-wrote the screenplay with Gil Kenan and plans to shoot the film this year, with Sony hoping for a summer 2020 release. While getting another film off the ground has always been discussed, bringing Reitman on has been covertly handled over the past couple of months, with the studio using the fake title “Rust City” just to keep the news under wraps until plans were ready to be revealed.
In an interview with EW, Reitman said the film would divert from director Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters that featured an all-female cast including Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones. The film didn’t do well both commercially and critically, but Reitman was never interested in doing a reboot. Instead, his film will go back to the original universe his father created.
“This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot,” said Reitman. “What happened in the ‘80s happened in the ‘80s, and this is set in the present day.”
He added, "I have so much respect for what Paul created with those brilliant actresses, and would love to see more stories from them. However, this new movie will follow the trajectory of the original film."
Reitman also joked about admonishments he’d often made to journalists who had previously asked if he’d tackle his father’s franchise. “I think I said, ‘There’d be no busting.’ [But] I’ve thought about this franchise and it has occupied a piece of my heart for basically as long as I can remember.”
He's become somewhat synonymous with the 1980s nostalgia genre, so it's easy to see why Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things fame has been cast in the upcoming Ghostbusters flick.
Wolfhard will star alongside Mckenna Grace and The Leftovers actress Carrie Coon, who between them will play a family led by a single mother. As fans will know, Coon has had a busy few months on both the big and little screen, with the success of Widows and The Sinner earning her critical acclaim. Paul Rudd will also
Vast swathes of the OG Ghostbusters cast will also return, with Dan Aykroyd confirming that himself, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts will all reprise their roles. "We’ve shot our part... and it was really exciting working on this new idea and new take on the story which Jason, who’s a really incredible and fine filmmaker, came up with," said Aykroyd in an interview on The Greg Hill Show.
The plot details unveiled in the trailer are fairly scant, but we do know that the majority of the plot will revolve around Wolfhard's character and his family, who relocate to a remote town that becomes beset with supernatural occurrences. Along the way, they uncover the story of everyone's favourite team of Ghost-fighting bandits, with our heroes perhaps revealed to be descended from Bill Murray's Peter Venkman.
Given that the original is a comedic classic, and the sequel now has an element of family embedded in it, we can’t wait to see what comes of Reitman’s vision. "Jason Reitman wrote a beautiful, heartfelt script that takes the real DNA from the first two movies and transfers that directly to the next generation—it hands the legacy off to a new generation of stars, and players, and actors, and characters," said Aykroyd.
An exact release date is yet to be unveiled, but we do now know that Ghostbusters: Afterlife will arrive in Winter next year.