Bill Murray’s Original Sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Has Been Cleverly Revived

Ghostbusters: Afterlife depended on the presence of the original team’s surviving members, as well as a new (and highly emotional) take on Bill Murray’s initial sequel demand.

Ghostbusters is the latest series to be rebooted, especially after the failure of Paul Feig’s 2016 film of the same name. Following in the footsteps of previous reboots, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a direct sequel to Ivan Reitman’s original two films.

Bill Murray’s Original Sequel

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Jason Reitman and set 30 years after the events of Ghostbusters II, follows single mother Callie (Carrie Coon) and her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) as they are forced to relocate to a farm in Summerville, Oklahoma, which Callie inherited from her late father – none other than the original Ghostbuster, Egon Spengler.

When Summerville is hit by a series of mysterious earthquakes and other strange events, Trevor and Phoebe discover their family’s connection to the original Ghostbusters team and decide to carry on their heritage by resolving whatever is causing the trouble.

They uncover a massive threat with the help of the original Ghostbusters’ equipment, Phoebe’s new friend Podcast (Logan Kim), Trevor’s love interest Lucky (Celeste O’Connor), and local seismologist and Phoebe’s teacher Mr. Grooberson.

The focus of Ghostbusters: Afterlife focuses on family and legacy, with a big focus on Callie’s resentment of Egon for abandoning her and Phoebe’s struggle to find her place, which leads her to connect with her grandfather’s work. Afterlife provides a whole new (and younger) Ghostbusters crew that can carry on the series, but it also leaned heavily on nostalgia, much like recent Hollywood reboots. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is chock-full of Easter eggs and nods to previous films, and it welcomes the team’s surviving members back. Fans were happy to see Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Bill Murray return, even if the latter’s request for a sequel was not fulfilled, but the idea was cleverly recreated.

Murray stated in 2010 that he would be interested in appearing in a third Ghostbusters film if he was killed off in the first reel and returned as a ghost, and there was once a narrative idea in which Peter Venkman died and became a ghost, and a group of Columbia students took over the Ghostbusters mantle.

Murray eventually consented to return in Ghostbusters: Afterlife without dying, but the notion of an original member returning as a ghost was rehashed to bring Harold Ramis’ Egon Spengler back. In what is undoubtedly the most moving scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Egon’s ghost emerges just in time to assist Phoebe in defeating Gozer and joins his old friends in fight, giving spectators one last glimpse of the team together.

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