The Ghostbusters franchise is still trying to find solid footing while rebooting itself. So, why not go back to the basics? The new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife features new characters but plenty of throwbacks to the first film from 1984. This even includes a short shot that may be referencing the return of Gozer, the Sumerian shape-shifting God of destruction whose plans to destroy the world were thwarted by the original ghostbusters crew.
The 2016 Ghostbusters film starring an all-female crew with Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy served as a full reboot for the franchise. This new film looks to be a direct sequel to the original two films. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is directed by Jason Reitman, whose father, Ivan Reitman, directed the original Ghostbusters so this new film is a passing of the torch from father to son.
The new trailer shows that Jason is recreating what many fans love about these movies while also providing something new. We do see the Ecto-1, proton-packs, ghost traps, and P.K.E. meters, however, it takes place in an entirely new environment, Summerville, Oklahoma. This new setting certainly adds a new aesthetic that is entirely unique in this franchise.
In the trailer, we see a family who move into a creepy, old house in this small town. The house was left to them by their grandfather, Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). Of course, Spengler had many items from his ghost-busting days buried away in the house. Once they are discovered, it seems that it awakens ghosts in this town and our new heroes go out to defeat them.
One specific shot in the trailer showed a hand emerging from the grave. The hand appears to belong to Gozer with a statue of Gozer appearing in the background. Another hint that points towards Gozer’s return is a shot in the first trailer which showed a sign for the Shandor Mining Co. as in Ivo Shandor. Shandor is the architect behind Dana’s apartment building (“Spook Central”), however, he was also a leader of the cult of Gozer and used the building to connect with the afterlife.
In the new trailer, we see the interior of the mine, which shows a large statue of Gozer. This mine appears to be another location Shandor used to worship Gozer and possibly open up another portal. We also see a bunch of hell hounds in a cloud-like formation and another chasing Paul Rudd’s character out of a WalMart. This could be Zuul, the dogs that guard Gozer, but it’s not confirmed.
Some other nostalgic nods include marshmallows that have transformed into Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men and are causing havoc in a grocery store, along with a quick appearance of Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), the secretary for the original crew. The final shot of the trailer shows someone picking up a phone, saying “we’re closed.” many believe this voice is none another than Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd).
The new cast includes Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, and Carrie Coon. Afterlife is set to debut in theaters this Thanksgiving so we’ll have to wait and see if Gozer is returning to finish the job it started almost 40 years ago.