Bringing back media franchises from years or even decades past to the present has been one of Hollywood’s standard production practices. The results could be heavily anticipated like “Top Gun: Maverick.” When these remakes or sequels premiere they could become hits like “Cobra Kai,” the streaming series distant follow-up to “The Karate Kid” now on Netflix, or they could flounder like the 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot featuring an all-female cast. It is no surprise that Columbia Pictures has decided that a new movie will return to the timeline of the original two-film universe. Another element that will return with the upcoming “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is genuine scariness.
That was what director Jason Reitman guaranteed to “Ghostbusters” fans awaiting this distant sequel according to Empire. While the original “Ghostbusters” (1984) and “Ghostbusters II” (1989) were classified as supernatural comedies, their plotlines did feature some elements of pure horror, something the 2016 reboot dispensed with for more colorfulness. Reitman should know what he is talking about. He was on set behind the scenes when his father, original “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman, was working on the film and its sequel. Jason says of the finished movies, “The feeling that I’ve kind of held onto is that while it is very funny, it really scared me.”
The younger Reitman also has a major filmmaker who agrees with the spooky horror atmosphere of the original productions, none other than Steven Spielberg himself. He recalls the two of them discussing his plans for “Afterlife” at a Directors Guild meeting, with Spielberg naming a scene from 1984 when the would-be Ghostbusters encounter the irritable New York library ghost to be one of the “Top Ten Scares of All Time.”
Jason Reitman would like to believe that his work on “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” was able to toe the balance between laughs and shivers that his father achieved decades before. And based on another anecdote he tells, Ivan Reitman was won over by his son’s work. Apparently the elder Reitman visited the production lot at Sony Pictures (after precautionary measures against COVID). Jason relates that after seeing the filming being done, “He cried, and he said, ‘I’m so proud to be your father…It was one of the great moments of my life.”
“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” stars Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd and Mckenna Grace, plus returning OG ‘busters Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson, alongside Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts. After its original release date back in July 2020 was scrubbed, “Afterlife” is now coming to cinemas this June 11, 2021.Image from Deadline