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'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' second trailer lets out the Terror Dogs and confirms a major fan theory

By Josh Weiss
Ghostbusters Afterlife #6

Everyone's favorite specter exterminators have finally answered the call. More than a year after Sony moved the film out of its summer 2020 release date over coronavirus concerns, we now have a second official trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Helmed by Jason Reitman (son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two movies in the franchise), the film is a follow-up to 1989's Ghostbusters II.

Mckenna Grace (Captain Marvel) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) lead the cast as Phoebe and Trevor, a pair of young newcomers who are finally confirmed to be the grandchildren of Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis). While Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) does show up in the trailer, Reitman clammed up when IGN asked the director if she and Egon got hitched.

"We get the sense that Janine is still connected to Egon Spengler," he answered. "In the '84 film, she was in love with him and clearly she still has a connection to him and that she was attempting to take care of him in his older age.”

When Phoebe, Trevor, and their mother (Carrie Coon) move to a small town in Oklahoma, they discover ghost-hunting equipment — including a new and improved Ecto-1 — at their grandfather's secluded farm. Egon set up shop there for a reason: the place is a troubling hotbed of spectral activity. To prevent the world from being overrun with malevolent spirits, our young heroes must team up with middle school teacher/seismologist Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd).

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As you can plainly see, this fresh batch of ectoplasmic footage leans heavily into nostalgia, referencing Terror Dogs and teasing the arrival of Dan Aykroyd as a crotchety Ray Stantz who still runs his occult bookshop from Ghostbusters II

“For any fans of the '89 film, they will recognize one of my favorite locations from that film that we recreated down to the detail, down to the smell, frankly," Reitman explained to IGN.

Callbacks to the first two movies should hardly come as a surprise, especially after Sony debuted a first look clip in which Grooberson comes across a chaotic army of mini Stay Puft Marshmallow men.

Like Paul Feig's all-female reboot of the franchise in 2016, Afterlife will bring back the original cast members. This time around, however, they'll be playing their established characters. In addition to Potts and Aykroyd, Bill Murray ("Peter Venkman"), Sigourney Weaver ("Dana Barrett), and Ernie Hudson ("Winston Zeddemore"), are also confirmed for cameo roles. Rick Moranis ("Louis Tully"), on the other hand, continues to remain elusive.

Appearing at Hasbro PulseCon in September 2020, Reitman (who co-wrote the sequel with Monster House director Gil Kenan) promised a bunch of surprises for the trademark Ghostbusters vehicle: Ecto-1.

"It's really cool," he said. "There's a lot of cool things, a lot of surprises you still don't know about this car. And it was so much fun to shoot because we put a crazy new engine in it and we have it doing things that you'd never believe Ecto-1 could do."

Bokeem Woodbine (In the Shadow of the Moon) and Oliver Cooper (Project X) co-star.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives in theaters on Thursday, Nov. 11.

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