Gil Kenan, who co-wrote and executive produced 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, will take over from Jason Reitman as director of the sequel. Over the summer, Sony Pictures dated the New York City-set sequel to open over the Christmas holiday in 2023. Kenan again co-wrote the script with Reitman, the son of late Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman, and will produce alongside the Afterlife director and Jason Blumenfeld. Afterlife stars Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon are reprising their roles and will lead the ensemble, which has been in development under the working title "Firehouse." Deadline first reported the news.
"It's an absolute honor to pick up the proton pack and step behind the camera for the next chapter of the Spengler family saga," said Kenan, director of the animated Monster House and the 2015 Poltergeist remake. "I just wish I could go back to 1984 and tell the kid in the sixth row of the Mann Valley West that one day he was going to get to direct a Ghostbusters film."
Said Reitman: "A few years ago, my father handed me the keys to Ecto-1 and together we made Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Words will never express how grateful I am to have made a film with my father by my side. It's now time to hand those keys to my creative partner and fellow Ghostbuster Gil Kenan, a brilliant director who will keep the Spengler spirit alive. I can only hope to provide him the same producorial care and support that my father showed me."
After Sony's female-led Ghostbusters reboot in 2016, last year's Afterlife returned to the original continuity established with 1984's original Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel. More than 30 years after Ghostbusters II, the founding Ghostbusters — Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) — returned to help bust a supernatural threat uncovered by the family of the late Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis).
Afterlife featured a new cast of characters that included Egon's estranged daughter, Callie (Coon), and her children, gearhead Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and science whiz Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). Along with seismologist Gary Grooberson (Rudd), the next generation of Ghostbusters included Trevor and Phoebe's friends Lucky (Celeste O'Connor) and Podcast (Logan Kim).
It's unclear if Murray, Aykroyd, and Hudson, who reprised their original roles alongside co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts, will return for what is effectively Ghostbusters 4.
While plot details remain under wraps, Deadline reports "the plan is to return to New York City and the iconic firehouse made famous in the original Ghostbusters films." Afterlife was set away from the hustle and bustle of spirit-infested NYC, taking place in the seemingly sleepy town of Summerville, Oklahoma.
The currently untitled Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel is scheduled to open in theaters on December 20th, 2023.