With the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters, audiences were given a number of unexpected and welcome references to the original film series, taking audiences by surprise given that the film unfolded in a different universe from the original two films. However, with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, audiences were expecting a number of familiar faces to drop by, with some of these moments even being revealed in marketing materials for the latest adventure, yet director Jason Reitman still found ways to deliver entirely unexpected cameos, which were largely kept a secret up until release. Now that the film is finally in theaters, audiences have been able to witness all of the surprises Ghostbusters: Afterlife had to offer, including shocking cameos.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Star and co-writer of the original Ghostbusters Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, with the 2016 film choosing to honor him with a bust in his likeness appearing at a university. In Afterlife, however, audiences witness Ramis' Egon Spengler attempting to outrun and ultimately trap a ghost in the opening sequence, all while his face is obscured, allowing the character to have a presence in the film without recasting him. Many audiences thought this would be the extent of Spengler's appearance, only for the final battle in the film to see original stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson appear to lend assistance, as well as the CGI ghost of Spengler in Ramis' image.
Spengler doesn't speak in the film, instead allowing other characters to deliver a final message to him, before he disappears. With the film only having just landed in theaters, it's unknown at this point how much of the CGI appearance was crafted using original footage of Ramis vs. whether a CGI model was created to "perform" in the film.
Ramis isn't the only unexpected cameo, as a few other famous faces drop by.
In the 1984 film, audiences learned that a figure named Ivo Shandor was the head of the Cult of Gozer, who designed a building that would serve as a conduit to open a gateway for the otherworldly entity Gozer, with Gozer being the villain featured at the end of that movie. In Afterlife, we learn that Shandor has been "sleeping" in an undisturbed mine until Gozer could finally be brought to Earth, with J.K. Simmons playing the character in the film. Since director Jason Reitman's debut, Simmons has had an appearance or cameo in nearly all of Reitman's projects.
Speaking of Gozer, the character was originally played by Slavitza Jovan in the figure's debut appearance, while this film sees Olivia Wilde playing the part in an uncredited role. While it's easy to see how Simmons ended up in the film, it's unknown exactly what led to Wilde's casting, with it being possible that it was at least in part due to physical similarities to Gozer's original appearance.
These references are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to references to other parts of the Ghostbusters lore, with fans likely to discover even more Easter eggs as more audiences get to check out the film. Also worth noting is that original star Annie Potts also has a cameo in the film, as does Sigourney Weaver, though Weaver's return as Dana is in the film's mid-credits sequence.0comments
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.
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