Love it or hate it, any addition to the Ghostbusters franchise is bound to make a few heads turn, particularly after the polarizing reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016). The 2021 production Ghostbusters: Afterlife that is going to hit our screens later in the year seems like a promising addition to the franchise if the trailers are any indication, but this is not to say that the forthcoming project won’t be faced with some questions. In this article, we explain whether Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a reboot, like the 2016 film, or a sequel to the original film.
Undoubtedly, the 80s and the 90s were the truly glorious days for Ghostbusters, and only relatively recently did Ghostbusters: Answer the Call introduced the films to younger generations, for better or for worse. But whatever your opinion about the 2016 film, it is a reboot, rather than a sequel as such. This means that, while quite enjoyable in its own right, it is not even considered canon.
This is not going to be the case with the forthcoming film. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a sequel to the first two films, or, to be precise, a threequel. The film is going to introduce us to a new generation of ghostbusters, who are descendants of characters from the previous films. Watching the trailers carefully suggests that Egon Spengler, who was played by the late Harold Ramis, is the grandfather of the main characters Phoebe and Trevor. Phoebe even looks a lot like him, and Egon’s ghostbuster suit is seen in the closet of Phoebe’s grandfather’s house.
Believe it or not, the idea of a Ghostbusters sequel isn’t new. Since Ghostbusters II was released in 1989, a third movie never stopped being in the cards but Bill Murray wasn’t pleased with any script so no new third installment came through until the now highly anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Does the status of the forthcoming film as a sequel rather than a reboot tell us anything solid about its quality? To be fair, probably not, and there will always be those who argue that absolutely nothing can compare to the original Ghostbuster films from the 80s. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the film will be bad either; it may well be fun, weird and all in all worth watching – plus, many fans will be excited to see the descendants of a beloved ghostbuster.