Ghostbusters series star Dan Aykroyd opened up about how it felt to return to the role of Ray Stantz in the new sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Set to debut in theaters this month, Ghostbusters: Afterlife serves as a legacy sequel to the original two movies directed by Ivan Reitman. Ivan’s son Jason Reitman directs the new movie with a screenplay co-written with Gil Kenan.
The cast of Ghostbusters: Afterlife features mostly new names, but because it shares its universe with the original movies, several classic characters will return. This includes Dan Aykroyd as Ray, marking the third time on the big screen he will be seen in that role, though he also played a cab driver in Paul Feig’s reboot in 2016. Speaking with THR in a new interview, here’s how Aykroyd described suiting up as Ray Stantz once again after so many years.
“It was full joy, wall to wall. What a privilege to be asked back to do that. It was creative satisfaction working again with Ernie [Hudson], Bill [Murray] and Sigourney [Weaver]. If it weren’t for Jason and Ivan, I don’t know if we would have had the magnificent cast. To hang with brothers like that, family, it’s always fun – memories of good and maybe bad. Some [previous] friction came from how long we had to wear those proton packs and the level of complaint we issued.”
As Dan Aykroyd suggests, Ghostbusters: Afterlife also brings back Winston Zeddemore, Peter Venkman, and Dana Barrett, as well as Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz. They will be featured in a limited capacity as the story mostly follows a new cast of characters led by Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, and Paul Rudd. The original Ghostbusters team has not been shown in the trailers beyond old footage of the crew in the 80s.
Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, but Egon’s presence still is felt throughout the movie. The story follows Egon’s family moving into a farmhouse he’d left behind after his passing, where they discover the Ecto-1 and other old Ghostbusters equipment. When supernatural activity ramps up once again, it’s up to a new team of ‘busters to make Egon proud by picking up from where the original team left off.
This movie has undergone several delays, as the plan was to keep it a theatrical release without putting it out on a streaming service. Now it’s finally got its date set in stone and Aykroyd has previously predicted that there will be “lines around the multiplex” with fans coming out in droves to watch the sequel. It will be interesting to see how it ultimately performs but it’s clear that there’s a lot of fan excitement surrounding the release and it’s expected to do well.
You can catch Dan Aykroyd back in the role of Ray Stantz this month, as Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set to be released in movie theaters on Nov. 19, 2021. For more from the interview with Aykroyd, in which he also mentions that a sequel to The Great Outdoors is in development, you can check it out at The Hollywood Reporter.