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The Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Marks A Significant Tonal Shift For The Franchise

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BY December 9, 2019
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It has been 30 years since the last Ghostbusters movie came out, and now the original saga will continue with a surprising new chapter. The trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife dropped today, revealing a surprising tonal shift for the franchise. Instead of a straightforward comedy, this iteration appears to be far more serious. At moments the trailer seems to border on horror-movie scare tactics. But is this the Ghostbusters that fans want to see? Let’s take a look at the trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife and see what the new chapter will bring.

The Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer Makes The Franchise Serious

The trailer starts off like a coming-of-age story, before turning supernatural. At first glance, it almost appears to be a Stranger Things movie, since Finn Wolfhard is in this movie. But then the Ghostbusters easter eggs start popping up rapidly, letting us know that this is indeed a Ghostbusters sequel even though it does not feel like it. The tone of this film is very different from the original two movies. Not even Paul Rudd gets a laugh line in this trailer. It feels… odd.

Paul Rudd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife Paul Rudd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Image via Sony

This tonal shift may be due to director Jason Reitman, who takes over the franchise from his father Ivan. Reitman senior is known for his comedies (Stripes and Dave are two of his popular 80’s films alongside the Ghostbusters movies). However, Jason Reitman is a far more versatile filmmaker. His first film was the dark comedy Thank You For Smoking; he also directed Juno, and the drama Up In The Air. Although Jason Reitman has worked in the comedic realm, it is very different from his father’s work. So how does he approach a new Ghostbusters movie, and his father’s legacy? Apparently, by turning it into a serious drama about unfinished business and family legacies.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Is About Family Legacies (In More Ways Than One)

Outside of the genre shift, there are several other major changes going into this film. We have two kids as the leads of the movie; Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace star as the grandchildren of Harold Ramis’s character Egon Spengler, who was the leader and brains of the original Ghostbusters team. Carrie Coon plays Spengler’s daughter Callie, who moves her children into a creepy (and obviously haunted) old farmhouse that her late father left to her. This also takes the setting of the film from the urban center of New York City, to rural Oklahoma. (Sidenote: Why is Oklahoma so hot right now?) In this farmhouse are the remnants of the technology that Spengler developed for ghost-busting. Spengler’s grandchildren must pick up the torch (or the proton pack) that he left behind when they discover a supernatural mystery inhabiting their new town.

Jason Reitman spoke to Vanity Fair about the new film. “As the family arrives at an old farm, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters. Trevor and Phoebe are about to find out who their grandfather was and whether they’re ready to pick up the proton pack themselves.” Phoebe (McKenna Grace – who looks like the spitting image of Egon Spengler) is seen in the trailer utilizing the proton pack, as Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) drives the familiar Ghostmobile. There is a shot of a Slimer-like entity that they chase through the streets of their strange new neighborhood.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer McKenna Grace as Phoebe | Image via Sony

How Much Of The Original Cast Will We See?

Since Ramis died in 2014, he is the only cast member who cannot return for another Ghostbusters film. However, all of the other original cast members like Bill Murray; Sigourney Weaver, Dan Akroyd, and Ernie Hudson are listed in the cast for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. No sign of these actors appeared in the trailer however, outside of a clip from Ghostbusters II that Paul Rudd’s character plays for the kids. It will be interesting to see how much of a role the original team will play in the new film.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is due for release in Summer 2020. For more movie news and trailer breakdowns, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

(Featured Image via Sony Pictures)

MoviesPop CultureAfterlifeFinn WolfhardGhostbustersHarold RamisIvan ReitmanJason ReitmanMcKenna GracemoviesPaul RuddScience FictionTrailerTrailer Breakdown

Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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