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'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' sequel calls up writer Gil Kenan to direct; Paul Rudd and more returning

Ghosbusters, whaddya want?!

Gil Kenan; GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE (2021)

Ecto-1 is changing hands again. Deadline reports that Columbia Pictures' forthcoming sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife will now be directed by co-screenwriter Gil Kenan instead of Jason Reitman. The latter — who is the son of original Ghostbusters director, Ivan Reitman — is set to remain on board as a writer and producer. It's also been confirmed that most, if not all, of the Afterlife cast members are expected to return, including Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, and Celeste O'Connor.

No plot details are available at this time, although it's probably safe to assume that the story takes place in Manhattan and revolves around Phoebe and Trevor Spengler (played by Grace and Wolfhard, respectively) as they restart the spirit-hunting business their grandfather helped found decades before. Given how Winston (Ernie Hudson) bought back the firehouse headquarters at the end of the last movie, we wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Zeddemore plays a pivotal supporting role, mentoring the next generation of Ghostbusters.

“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,” Kenan (whose previous credits include Monster House and the 2015 remake of Poltergeist) said in a statement to Deadline. “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” added 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."

Serving as a direct sequel to the first two films in the beloved franchise, Afterlife garnered rave reviews from critics and general audiences alike, going on to make over $200 million at the worldwide box office. Appearing at New York Comic Con last year, Reitman stated that the goal was to "make a movie that opened the universe to all kinds of stories." He continued: "I want to see Ghostbusters movies from all of my favorite directors and we hope that this movie sets the table for that.”

The currently-untitled Afterlife sequel (code-named Firehouse) is slated to hit the big screen on Dec. 20, 2023. In addition to this film, Kenan and Reitman are also in the midst of developing a Ghostbusters animated series for Netflix.

Looking for more supernatural thrills? IT: Chapter Two is now streaming on Peacock.

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