Original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson all returned to their roles for Ghostbusters: Afterlife (watch it HERE) – and they’re also back in the upcoming sequel, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, which is scheduled to reach theatres on March 29, 2024! Given how prominent they were in the trailer, it seems like the OG Ghostbusters may have bigger roles this time. Today, the folks at Empire have unveiled a new image from the film that shows Murray on the classic firehouse set, accompanied by Paul Rudd as his Afterlife character Gary Grooberson. You can check it out at the bottom of this article.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace are back for the sequel, reprising the roles of Trevor and Phoebe. In addition to Rudd and the OG Ghostbusters, they’re joined in the cast by Carrie Coon, playing Trevor and Phoebe’s mom Callie; William Atherton as Walter Peck, the antagonistic EPA inspector from the first Ghostbusters film; and new additions Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens), James Acaster (Hypothetical), and Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep).
At first, Afterlife director Jason Reitman was expected to take the helm of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, once again directing from a screenplay he was writing with Gil Kenan – but then it was revealed that Kenan will actually be directing the new film. He previously directed the animated movie Monster House, the live-action films City of Ember, A Boy Called Christmas, and the remake of Poltergeist, and an episode of the Scream TV series.
When he took the directing job, Kenan said, “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. 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.“
Reitman added, “A few years ago, my father (Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman) 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.“
While the iconic ghost Slimer will be back, since Frozen Empire is set on his home turf of New York, the new film is introducing a new villain – a relief, since Afterlife re-used the villain from the original film. Kenan told Empire, “Because the Spengler family story drove the narrative in Afterlife, bringing Gozer back to center stage was a natural way to close the book on the past. But we are now in the post-Gozerian era of the Ghostbusters saga, so that means we’re able to stretch out and create an entirely new mythology. And that’s thrilling as a storyteller, because there are all-new and terrifying stakes with fresh visual references to draw on.“
The director/co-writer added, “I remember there was a moment halfway through the first morning of directing one of the big scenes where I looked at the monitor, and just caught myself with the biggest grin ever. Finally, it dawned on me that I was calling ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ on some of my very favorite characters in movies, working on a big cinematic scale on something that I really cared about. I try to hold on to that feeling. I still have it now, finishing the film.“
Are you looking forward to Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, and are you glad to know the familiar characters will be facing off with a new threat? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below – but first, take a look of this image of Bill Murray and Paul Rudd on set: