After more than a year and a half of silence, Ghostbusters: Afterlife has risen from the dead. On Tuesday (July 27th), Sony Pictures finally shared the second trailer for the highly-anticipated third installment in the beloved Ghostbusters series.
The new trailer reveals more about the film’s plot and setting, and gives us a more intimate look at the family dynamic between the film’s protagonists. It also showcases a whole new crop of creepy ghosts whose inevitable busting we can look forward to, as well as a whole bunch of mini Mr. Stay-Puft Marshmallows.
In an effort to keep the PKE levels of freaked-out fans (ourselves) under capacity, Consequence has rounded up everything we know about Ghostbusters: Afterlife — so far.
The Release Date
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is slated to release in theaters on November 19th, 2021. Sony delayed the film three times prior to settling on November 11th, which is expected to be the actual release date. Afterlife was originally planned to release on July 10th, 2020, but was pushed back to March 5th, 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It was then delayed again to June 11th, 2021 pushed back to November 11th, and then shifted once again to the 19th.
Unlike the 2016 reboot, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a true sequel to (and set in the same universe as) the original Ivan Reitman films. In fact, it’s the production of his son, filmmaker Jason Reitman, who has said the project is as much a love letter to his father as it is the original movies.
Leaving behind the urban New York setting of the first two films, Afterlife is set to take place in the fictional rural town of Summerville, Oklahoma. The film follows single mother Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two children Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), who, after being evicted from their previous home, move to a decrepit farmhouse left behind by the children’s mysterious late grandfather.
While Trevor is presented as a fairly normal teenage boy, Phoebe is shown in the trailers to be a nerdy and socially awkward young girl, which worries Callie. As the family gets adjusted to life in Summerville, a number of strange occurrences happen around town, most notably the frequent earth tremors which plague the city, despite the fact that the city does not rest on any fault lines. These quakes are being investigated by seismologist Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd), who befriends the family.
Eventually, the children discover evidence that their grandfather was once involved with the Ghostbusters, who have faded into obscurity in the years since the first two films. A YouTube video of the classic Ghostbusters commercial from the first film is seen in the new trailer with under 90,000 views, implying the modern world just isn’t terribly interested in the Boys in Grey.
The children soon discover their grandfather’s old equipment, including the Ghostbusters’ iconic Ecto-1 vehicle in the farmhouse’s garage. When the strange occurrences around town reveal themselves to be of supernatural origin, Phoebe and Trevor, armed with the old Ghostbusters equipment, set out to solve the town’s mystery, as well as the mystery of who exactly their grandfather was.
The Fan Theories
The two trailers released so far are packed full of Easter eggs and tiny details, leading to a significant amount of fan speculation about the movie’s plot. One of the more noteworthy details shown in the trailers is the Shandor Mining Company, a clear reference to the Gozer cultist and architect Ivo Shandor from the original Ghostbusters film. In the latest preview, the kids are seen descending into an underground temple where statues of Gozer the Gozerian, the first film’s apocalyptic antagonist, overlook a pit that seems filled with the undead.
Later in the trailer, we see the terrifying and beloved Terror Dogs (who possessed Dana Barrett and Luis Tully in Ghostbusters), including a shot of their spectral form (the fiery demon seen busting up some school busses); in the original, these creatures served as Gatekeeper and Key Master for Gozer. There’s also some familiar pink energy beams coming out of that doom cloud in the sky, which are not only reminiscent of those seen in at the beginning of the first film’s climax, but were actually created using the original special effects frames.
All this has led many to believe that the first film’s apocalyptic entity Gozer the Gozerian will return as Afterlife’s primary evil.
There is also a popular theory circulating that the children’s grandfather will be Egon Spengler, one of the original Ghostbusters, who was portrayed by late actor Harold Ramis. Although everything seems to be pointing to this based on the more obvious context clues, there’s a line in the new trailer in which Phoebe refers to him as “Egon” rather than “our grandfather” or something of the like. This, coupled with the fact that Jeanine (Annie Potts) appears in the second trailer and was dating Luis at the end of Ghostbusters 2, has led to some speculation the kids could actually be of Tully blood. This would track with them carrying on the legacy of the short-lived fifth Ghostbuster, who undoubtedly is even less remembered by the world than the core four.