Original Ghostbusters star Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, so when the 2016 reboot attempted to include cameos from all of the original cast, they had to get creative with a Ramis homage, with fellow original star Dan Aykroyd confirming that the late actor will "very well represented" in the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The 2016 film served as a reboot of the original concept so the cameos from the original stars weren't meant to honor the characters they played, with Ramis being honored in the form of a bronze bust at a university. Ghostbusters: Afterlife, however, is meant to serve as a direct sequel within the original timeline, with our first looks at the new film confirming a number of connections to its predecessors.
"To have that formation without that man standing right there on the line with us was a pretty serious adjustment," Aykroyd shared with Entertainment Weekly. "He will be very well represented in the new film, I can tell you that. He’s very honorably represented."
From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.
The first trailer for the film confirmed a familiar connection between the new heroes and Ramis' Egon Spengler, but what also makes the new film interesting is that it is directed and co-written by the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two films.
"He’s passing the DNA of the first two movies directly to the new generation," Aykroyd shared of Jason Reitman helming the film. "It’s just a lot of fun to see these terrific young actors slinging the old Cadillac around and having the equipment in their hands. The story that develops from that is scary and funny and heartfelt and also funny. And it feeds into the possibility of more follow-ups with this group and with others who want to join."
The actor went on to point out that, with the original films igniting an interest in the paranormal among audiences, it's possible that people can become the real-world versions of the fictional figures.
"Everyone can be a Ghostbuster, just start out by studying science and physics," Aykroyd admitted. "Every county in the United States has a paranormal society, and I don’t think before Ghostbusters that was true. No one back then knew what ectoplasm was, before Ghostbusters. We introduced that term to millions of people around the world where it was just a standard part of the vernacular in the research, which my family has been into for generations. We turned it into a joke [in the film], and I think that’s ok with everyone on the other side."
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is slated to hit theaters on March 5, 2021.
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