The Ghostbusters are coming back to theatres next holiday season. Sony just announced that its untitled sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife will hit theatres on December 20, 2023. There’s no word if director Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, will once again be behind the camera, but he and co-writer/producer Gil Kenan did announce earlier this month that the film will take place in New York City and will involve the original Ghostbusters firehouse.
That much was implied by the end credits of the last film, which came out in late 2021 and grossed about $US200 ($278) million globally. That’s not a massive, massive smash hit by any means, but Ghostbusters is a big enough brand, and the film a big enough success, for Sony to dive back in.
And while we can assume at least some of the previous film’s cast (Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard) might make it back, one person who almost certainly will be back is Ernie Hudson. His character, Winston Zeddemore, was revealed in Afterlife to now be a hugely successful businessman and it was he who brought the Ecto-1 back to New York and reacquired the Ghostbusters’ firehouse headquarters, which is the kick-off of whatever this story is.
“One thing I wanted to do [with Afterlife] is set the table for Ghostbusters as a franchise to have all kinds of movies,” Reitman told Gizmodo last year. “I want to see all those movies. And we need to do something that really was about setting a foundation and bringing the original 1984 story to a place so that other stories could bloom. I want to see the scary movies, the funny films. I want to see movies involving the original cast. I want to see more movies involving people we haven’t even seen yet. I want to go to new dimensions. I want to go to other cultures and countries. There’s so many places for Ghostbusters to go. The question is, what’s the starting place? And that’s what Afterlife is about. It’s about these generations making amends with each other in a way that brings one story to close and starts another one.”
Stepping back a bit, one of the most intriguing stories surrounding this news is the date itself. December 20, 2023 is just two days before Disney had planned to release the next Star Wars movie, Rogue Squadron. All signs have pointed to that film being delayed and if Sony is confident enough to schedule a similar genre movie on that same weekend, the odds are very, very good the studio is betting that movie will not be released that weekend.