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The Ghostbusters franchise will live on beyond Afterlife.
At the end of its CinemaCon presentation on Monday, Sony Pictures dropped a sizzle reel that included peeks at a number of upcoming projects we already knew about, including the long-awaited Kraven the Hunter movie, as well as reveals of a couple of things we didn't know about just yet. Those reveals included a title card teasing a third Venom film, and confirmation that a new Ghostbusters installment is in the works.
Though the project is officially still untitled, and Sony offered no clues as to casting or story for the project, the announcement of a fifth Ghostbusters movie likely means a direct sequel to 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the legacy sequel from writer/director Jason Reitman (son of original Ghostbusters helmer Ivan Reitman) that launched a new generation of Ghostbusters and acted as a sequel to the events of Ghostbusters II.
After several pandemic delays, Afterlife arrived last fall to a relatively solid response and a box office of more than $200 million dollars against a budget of about $75 million, which meant there was enough juice left in the ol' proton pack to keep the series going. Ignoring the events and timeline of Paul Feig's 2016 reboot film, Afterlife created a world in which the surviving original Ghostbusters were allowed to reunite to stop an old supernatural threat, with help from the grandchildren of the late Egon Spengler and their new friends in a small Oklahoma town. The idea was to bridge the old and the new across 30 years of new continuity, and it seems to have worked well enough that Sony Pictures is interested in exploring more.
And while we don't yet know exactly what the new story will hold, Afterlife also laid out plenty of breadcrumbs pointing in the direction of a sequel. Though the film established that the Ghostbusters had been defunct for years, to the point that most of the world had essentially forgotten them, it also established where each of the original characters had gone since then.
In the case of Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), that meant the world of finance and tremendous wealth, and a post-credits scene in Afterlife established that the team's old office manager, Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), approached Winston with the goal of getting funding to start the old business up again. That, plus a shot of the ECTO-1 speeding towards Manhattan, suggests the Ghostbusters are about to be back in business.
Now we just have to wait for more details to see where that new adventure takes them.