With the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, the narrative unfolded in a different universe from the first two films, resulting in fans being more surprised when there were cameos and references to those first two adventures. However, with Ghostbusters: Afterlife serving as the third film in the original narrative, the connections were much more blatant, obvious, and expected, yet director Jason Reitman still managed to find ways to surprise audiences. Of one of the more unexpected elements, Reitman recently confirmed that he wouldn't have moved forward with those elements had he not gotten family approval ahead of time. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Given that actor and writer Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, the film instead focused on the descendants of his Egon Spengler, with Reitman confirming the importance of him earning approval from Ramis' family.
"I was never going to make this movie unless they were comfortable with the portrayal of Harold," Reitman shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "Everyone has a favorite Beatle. And everyone has a favorite Ghostbuster. My favorite was always Egon."
Ahead of the film's release, audiences had become aware that original stars such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson would be making appearances in the film, while also knowing that Carrie Coon would be playing Egon's daughter. The narrative sees the daughter, and her children Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), inheriting Egon's farm.
More than Spengler offering a narrative presence in the film, he also appeared in the adventure, much to the surprise of audiences. The opening sequence depicts the character (albeit with his face obscured) outrunning and attempting to trap an otherworldly presence, only to meet his demise at the hands of the presence. Additionally, the film's finale sees the Spengler family and a number of allies attempting to vanquish Gozer, the villain from the original movie, as the ghost of Egon with Ramis' appearance shows up to lend a hand from the other side. Spengler doesn't talk in his spectral form, but other characters get to deliver last words to him before he vanishes.
Egon's appearance should serve as a final tribute to Ramis, with Reitman noting how he aimed to offer a new take on the beloved Ghostbuster's personality with the new film.
"When I came up with these kids, Phoebe and Trevor, I realized they were the grandchildren of Egon. And that was the reason to make the movie," Reitman pointed out. "There was something really lovely about the character of Egon, I think a lot of people can relate to, and that is Egon struggled to communicate with the world. And we wanted to create in Phoebe a character in just the same way: a 12-year-old girl, who, like all Ghostbusters, is an outsider who becomes a hero by putting on the proton pack."2comments
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in theaters now.
What did you think about Spengler's cameo? Let me know in the comments below!