Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be "absolutely magnificent," according to star Mckenna Grace, who says the new movie from writer-director Jason Reitman is "pretty good" — even when compared to Ivan Reitman's 1984 original Ghostbusters that teamed Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray. A 30-years-later sequel to Ghostbusters II, this third movie in the original continuity follows a family — mom Callie (Carrie Coon) and children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Grace) — who relocate to the sleepy town of Summerville, Oklahoma, where they'll uncover a mysterious connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy the late Egon Spengler left behind.
"I’m still pinching myself, like how? How did I end up doing this? How did I end up here?!" the 13-year-old Grace told Hollywood Life. "I can’t even put it into words how thankful I am that I got to experience that and that I got to be in Ghostbusters and that I got to work with Finn and Miss Carrie [Coon] and Mr. Paul Rudd and Jason Reitman."
Rudd plays Mr. Grooberson, a seismologist and school teacher who investigates strange rumblings occurring throughout the otherwise quiet town. When he meets science whiz Phoebe, Grooberson is surprised to learn she possesses a real-life ghost trap — an artifact found among her grandfather's long-forgotten belongings.
The Ghostbusters have been mostly forgotten, but not by Grooberson: the Ghostbusters fanboy remembers the "Manhattan Crossrip of 1984." But in Afterlife, the legacy of the original Ghostbusters will be felt throughout.
This new movie is "absolutely magnificent," but "nothing compares to the original," Grace said. She added, "But then again… our film is pretty good."
Appearing in a Ghostbusters movie is the biggest "pinch me" moment of her career, said Grace, who has appeared in Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel as well as I, Tonya, and Gifted, where she appeared opposite Chris Evans.
"Just having that experience as a whole — the entire things — I mean, it’s Ghostbusters!" she said. "It’s absolutely insane."
Grace previously admitted winning the role was "surreal," telling Entertainment Tonight she broke out in sobs when Reitman informed her she would be cast as the character the filmmaker first envisioned when developing the project.
"Mckenna Grace, I had seen her in I, Tonya — Mckenna Grace played little Tonya Harding in I, Tonya — and was just extraordinary," Reitman revealed during Ghostbusters Fan Fest in summer 2019. "She was little Captain Marvel. And she came and read, [and] was spectacular."
Reitman also noted Grace is a super-fan who "loves Ghostbusters," adding of the young star, "She has all these photos of her in Ghostbusters gear throughout her childhood, and she met my father and she cried." Coon, who plays Grace's on-screen mother, also described Afterlife as a love letter to the original movie.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens July 10.