Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 – Release Date, Returning Ghostbusters & Everything We Know – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 – Release Date, Returning Ghostbusters & Everything We Know

After the massive success of the soft reboot Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Sony wasted no time in fast-tracking the sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2. Surprisingly, the release date for Ghostbusters 5 is right around the corner. The Ghostbusters series first hit the big screens in 1984, captivating audiences with its unique high concept, catchy theme song, and brilliant chemistry between the comedic leads. However, after the beloved original film, the series experienced a decline in popularity with the release of Ghostbusters II, which was generally considered a disappointment at the time (although it has since gained a cult following). Ghostbusters III, released in 2016, received mixed-to-negative reviews. Nevertheless, several decades later, anticipation is high for the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 in 2023.

In 2021, Ghostbusters: Afterlife revitalized the franchise and was hailed as a triumphant return to form. The film was filled with energy, excitement, and fantasy, while also delivering emotional moments by bringing back original characters portrayed by Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. This refreshing take on the series can be attributed to writer-director Jason Reitman, known for his emotionally resonant indie films, who injected new life into the blockbuster Ghostbusters franchise. The 2021 movie is considered the official sequel to 1989’s Ghostbusters II, and its success guaranteed a follow-up with Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2.

Recent updates on Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 provide a glimpse into the sequel’s aesthetic. A new poster featuring the iconic Ghostbusters logo frosted over on a black background was revealed, generating excitement among fans. Additionally, news about the cast has surfaced, confirming the return of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Annie Potts, reprising their roles from the original Ghostbusters. Cast member McKenna Grace shared a TikTok video showcasing the nostalgic set of the movie, including the iconic firehouse location and the polished Ecto-1.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2023. Despite the initial plan for a summer release, the movie will not have a Christmas setting. This quick turnaround between the two films, with just over two years between releases, is surprising. According to Dan Aykroyd, the production of the new Ghostbusters movie is nearly complete, but there is still editing, mixing, and CGI work to be done. Aykroyd promises an exciting follow-up, describing it as a film with a beautiful, heartfelt story, a great threat, and a mix of scary and funny moments.

The success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife can be attributed in part to its young and talented cast, which will continue in Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2. Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, and Mckenna Grace will reprise their roles as Trevor, Callie, and Phoebe Spengler. Paul Rudd will also return as Gary Grooberson, making 2023 a big year for him with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Fans of the original movie will be delighted by the return of most of the original cast, including Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. Aykroyd expressed his desire to appear in more Ghostbusters movies, suggesting the potential for future sequels.

The story of Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 will focus on the Spengler family and will be set in New York City. Director Jason Reitman has kept the plot details under wraps, even from the cast members. The movie’s setting in Manhattan and the Ghostbusters firehouse will provide a nostalgic trip down memory lane while maintaining a fresh metropolitan backdrop. The familiar Ghostbusters tone will be preserved, as the same creative team is behind the sequel.

Although an official trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 has not been released yet, it is expected to follow a similar pattern to Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The previous movie had a trailer released approximately four months before its November 2021 release date. With Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 slated for December 20, 2023, a trailer could be anticipated in August 2023. In the meantime, fans got a glimpse of the movie through McKenna Grace’s TikTok video showcasing the firehouse location.

The post-credits scene of Ghostbusters: Afterlife hinted at the setting for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2. Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) makes a return, suggesting that the classic Ghostbusters firehouse will play a significant role in the sequel. Although not confirmed, the icy logo on the new poster suggests that the story of Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 may take place during the holiday season.

In conclusion, fans of the Ghostbusters series have much to look forward to with the upcoming release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2. The success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife paved the way for a sequel that promises to continue the story of the Spenglers while delivering the nostalgic charm and exciting paranormal adventures that made the franchise a beloved classic.

Following the huge success of the soft reboot Ghostbusters: Afterlifethe sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 was fast-tracked by Sony — and the Ghostbusters 5 release date is surprisingly close. The Ghostbusters series started in 1984, and the classic fantasy comedy movie became a huge success thanks to its unique high concept, a hit theme song, and stellar chemistry between its comedic leads. However, following the beloved original film, the Ghostbusters series fell from grace, as Ghostbusters II was generally considered a disappointment when it was released (despite becoming a classic in its own right since). Ghostbusters III received a mixed-to-negative reception in 2016, but — decades after the original — there’s plenty of reason to be excited for the Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 release date in 2023.


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2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife saved the franchise and was considered a significant return to form for the Ghostbusters series. The movie was full of energy, excitement, and fantasy, and it was surprisingly emotional too, as it brought back original characters including Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. The refreshing take was mostly thanks to writer-director Jason Reitman, who was previously known for emotionally resonant indie films, and he injected some of that energy into the blockbuster Ghostbusters franchise. The 2021 movie is considered the official sequel to 1989’s Ghostbusters IIand its success ensured it will get a follow-up of its own with Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2.

Related: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ending & All Hidden Meanings Explained

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Recent News

New Ghostbusters logo with icicles.

The most recent Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 updates tease the aesthetic of the sequel, as a new poster has been revealed (via Twitter). The poster features the iconic Ghostbusters logo on a black background, but what’s significant about it is that the logo is frosted over. Along with the new poster, there have been more updates on the Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 cast (via Metro). It has been revealed that Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, two of the original Ghostbusters, are returning after their surprise appearances in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Annie Potts, who plays Janine Melnitz, will also return.

Other Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 updates give a glimpse at the nostalgic set for the movie, courtesy of cast member McKenna Grace. In a Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 set video that Grace shared on TikTok, the actor is seen dancing around the impressive practical set of the iconic firehouse location. There is even a glimpse of the Ecto-1, all polished and new for the sequel. The video further confirms the franchise’s return to New York City for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 while also promising more practical aspects of the sequel.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Release Date

Paul Rudd in front of a white board in Ghostbusters Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 will release on December 20, 2023. However, though the movie would fit a Christmas setting considering that it’ll be based around Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s much younger characters, that isn’t the case. Its holiday season release date is not reflective of the tone of the movie, as the film was originally slated for a summer release. But despite the delay, it’s still such a shockingly quick turnaround for the sequel, as the first movie was released in November 2021, making the release gap between the two films just over two years.

According to Aykroyd, the production on the new Ghostbusters movie is almost complete, and it seems way ahead of schedule given its December 20, 2023 release date. However, there’s still a long way to go even after principal photography is wrapped. Aykroyd explained, “We’re three-quarters through filming, which means it’s got to be edited and mixed and the CGI has to be put into it.” Nevertheless, the actor promises an exciting Ghostbusters: Afterlife follow-up, adding, “I’m excited about this one. It’s got a beautiful, heartfelt story, a great threat, some scary moments, some funny moments.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Cast

Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard in the Ghostbusters car in Ghostbusters Afterlife

Part of the success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife was the refreshingly young cast, as the children’s perspectives on the existence of ghosts and having access to all the Ghostbusters’ tech was such an exciting concept. Thankfully, Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 updates reveal it will continue that refreshing take on the series, as it’ll see Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, and Mckenna Grace return as Trevor, Callie, and Phoebe Spengler, respectively (via Deadline). The movie will also bring back Paul Rudd as Gary Grooberson, making 2023 a huge year for the actor with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania too.

Fans of the original movie won’t be disappointed either, as most of the original cast are returning. The Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 cast includes Dan Aykroyd returning as Ray Stantz and Bill Murray reprising his role as Peter Venkman. Additionally, Annie Potts will reprise her role as Janine Melnitz, the intimidating Ghostbusters receptionist, and Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore. Aykroyd wants to be in several Ghostbuster movies, as he explained, “Why not use the living Ghostbusters for four, five, and six?” While the original Ghostbusters are only in one Afterlife scene, that could change with the new Ghostbusters movie. One of the original antagonists from the first Ghostbusters movie is also back, as William Atherton was also seen filming alongside Hudson and Paul Rudd, meaning Walter Peck is back for the new movie.

Related: Ghostbusters 5 Cast Guide: Which Characters Are Returning For The Afterlife Sequel

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Story Details

Finn Wolfhard leaning against a wall in Ghostbusters: Afterlife

The Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 story will be focussed on the Spenglers. Along with being set in New York, Reitman confirmed that the movie will continue the Spengler family’s story, which is a relief given that the family was the beating heart of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. However, while Reitman knew the movie would focus on the Spenglers, according to Ghostbusters: Afterlife actor Mckenna Grace, the director kept the story close to his chest. Grace had no idea about the plot details even after she signed on to the sequel.

With the new Ghostbusters movie being set in Manhattan (as seen in the post-credits scene) and based in and around the Ghostbusters firehouse, making for a nostalgic trip down memory lane, it opens the door for the movie to revisit other original Ghostbusters locations. And even though the movie is revisiting old locations, it also keeps the series fresh, as the metropolitan setting will mark a stark difference from Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s mostly rural settings. But while the location is a drastic change, the quintessential Ghostbusters: Afterlife tone will remain given that the same creative team is behind it.

Despite the new Ghostbusters movie originally having a summer release date, it seems as if the sequel might actually have a winter setting. It isn’t clear whether the setting was changed to capitalize on the new December release date or not, but either way, the new frosty Ghostbusters logo heavily hints that the Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 story will take place over the holiday season. That isn’t confirmed and is just speculation based on the new Ghostbusters poster, but there isn’t much else the icey logo could be alluding to.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Trailer

Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard driving the car in Ghostbusters Afterlife

Though an official trailer for the new Ghostbusters movie has yet to be released, evidence points to it dropping in the summer of 2023 if it follows the same pattern as Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Though the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (after a trailer had already dropped), a second Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer came out in July 2019, approximately four months before the movie’s November 2021 release date. With the new Ghostbusters movie releasing on December 20, 2023, a trailer could come out in August 2023.

In the meantime, fans got a brief bit of footage related to the movie with McKenna Grace’s TikTok video from the firehouse location. Though it had already been confirmed the sequel was returning to New York City, as teased at the end of Ghostbusters: Afterlifeit is thrilling to see that the classic location is seemingly playing a big role in the sequel. Even from the brief video, it seems to be an expansive set, including a fake street front outside the firehouse.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Post-Credits Scene Teases Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Setting

Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters Afterlife.

In Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s post-credits scene, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) returns to the original Ghostbusters firehouse. It’s a spine-tingling moment when the character says he’ll “always be a Ghostbuster.” That moment did exactly what a post-credits scene should do — get audiences excited about the future. While it isn’t confirmed that Zeddemore will return for the sequeleven though Hudson claims to have read Ghostbusters 5’s script, Reitman has made it known that the movie will pick up where Ghostbusters: Afterlife left off, at the iconic firehouse in New York City (via Variety), which will more than make up for the lack of memorable locations in the 2021 movie.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Title

Mockup poster for Ghostbusters 5 entitled Firehouse

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 updates haven’t revealed a title yet, and it probably isn’t Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2as 2016’s Ghostbusters isn’t a direct sequel, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife wasn’t a numbered sequel. It will likely have another subtitle like Afterlife. Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2’s filming codename was Firehouseand if that’s anything to go by, it could potentially be called Ghostbusters: Firehouse. A movie codename is given to a film when it’s being shot, so the set doesn’t draw the attention of the press or public, but the new Ghostbusters movie’s codename was a sly nod to the movie’s main location. As the film’s setting is clearly an imperative part of Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2, Ghostbusters: Firehouse could be a perfect title.

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