‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Co-Writer Gil Kenan to Direct the Sequel
Kenan, who has previously made movies such as ‘Monster House’ and ‘City of Ember’, will take the reins from Jason Reitman who directed the 2021 return of the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise.
Following on from Paul Feig’s reboot in 2016, the ‘Ghostbusters’ cinematic (sprit) world continued in more direct fashion via last year’s ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’, co-written and directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan, who made the first two movies in 1984 and 1989.
‘Afterlife’ did well enough to have Sony put a sequel in development, and a release slot for the follow-up in December 2023 was confirmed back in June. Now, according to Deadline, Gil Kenan is aboard to direct.
Kenan, of course, is no stranger to ‘Afterlife’––he co-wrote the first film with Reitman and produced it, which means that for the sequel, the two filmmakers are effectively swapping roles. They’ve worked on the script together again, and now Reitman will produce the sequel.
‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ picked up the story of the Spengler family––that would be Egon Spengler, played by the late Harold Ramis in the original two movies––decades later. After Egon dies attempting to stop a resurgence of supernatural power in Summerville, Oklahoma, his estranged daughter Callie (Carrie Coon), her daughter Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) move to the small town to pack up his ramshackle house.
There, they discover his research into the potential return of Gozer (the big bad from the 1984 movie) and Phoebe in particular shows an interest in Ghostbusting, encouraged by local teacher Gary (Paul Rudd). Together the family has to face this new threat while dealing with the legacy of the past, which––spoiler alert––also shows up physically in the form of surviving Ghostbusters Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson).
An end credits seen sees Winston, who has gone on to become a successful businessman, bringing the restored Ecto-1 vehicle back to its original New York firehouse home. Reitman has said that that’s where the story for the sequel will take place, though there are no other details just.
We do know that the core ensemble, including Coon, Rudd, Grace and Wolfhard, should return.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
“A few years ago, my father handed me the keys to Ecto-1, and together we made ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ ” said Reitman. “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.”