Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel gets official release date

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson returned for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.Sony Pictures

Who you gonna call? Sony has announced an official release date for a sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife. 

It’s been 38 years since the release of Ivan Reitman’s original Ghostbusters, which has gone on to become one of the most beloved films of the ’80s and treasured by new generations even today. It led to a sequel five years later – which is underrated, by the way – and a female-led reboot directed by Paul Feig in 2016.

The latter film was received well by critics, but the audience response was deafening: after an almost-immediate backlash to the idea, it was review-bombed prior to the movie’s release and only grossed $229 million worldwide.

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Its negative reception was embarrassing – not for the stars or crew, but for the fans – and Columbia Pictures abandoned plans for a sequel. Instead, a legacy sequel was greenlit with Jason Reitman, the original director’s son, which continued the earlier canon.

Mckenna Grace with a proton pack in Ghostbusters: AfterlifeSony Pictures
It’s unclear whether Mckenna Grace will return.

Sony announces release date for Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel

The sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife will hit cinemas on December 20, 2023. The follow-up is set to leave the Oklahoma countryside and return to New York City – and more importantly, the iconic firehouse.

The film was announced during Ghostbusters Day on June 8, with Jason Reitman and co-writer Gil Kenan confirming that we’re set to return to the firehouse following Afterlife’s post-credits tease.

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Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Reitman said: “At the end of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the Ecto-1 is driving into Manhattan, returning to its home. And before anyone ever heard the title Afterlife, we called it Rust City. Which would not have made sense to anyone until they saw the movie. The code name for the next movie is Firehouse.”

Who will return for the Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel?

It’s unclear whether we can expect to see Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd’s original Ghostbusters back in action. However, Reitman confirmed the return of Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore, who also starred in the 1984 film alongside the late Harold Ramis.

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“The character of Winston Zeddemore and Zeddemore Industries figures strongly into the future of Ghostbusters,” Reitman said.

Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in the original Ghostbusters. Columbia Pictures
Ernie Hudson will return for the Ghostbusters sequel.

It’s also unclear whether we’ll see the return of Afterlife’s new characters: Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), and her kids Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), not to mention Paul Rudd’s scene-stealing Gary Grooberson.

Reitman worked on Afterlife with his father as a producer, who sadly passed away in February this year.