‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’: Original Star Teases ‘Spiritual Experience’ of Returning for New Movie, Reveals Why the 2016 Reboot Failed

Audiences didn’t answer the call for the 2016 reboot. But things are very different — or at least the studio hopes so — for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. For starters, the movie takes place in the original continuity. And it is directed by Jason Reitman, son of the original movies’ Ivan Reitman. Now one of the original Ghostbusters stars weighs in on how the new film sets itself apart.

Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Bill Murray
Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Bill Murray | Randy Holmes/Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ is the sequel to 1989’s ‘Ghostbusters 2’

1984’s Ghostbusters was the highest-grossing movie that year. The sci-fi comedy even defeated hits like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Ghostbusters 2 followed five years later, to lesser but still notable success. And for decades, that sequel was the end of the franchise.

Ghostbusters 3 rumors swirled for years, with Bill Murray often cited as the primary hold-out. Following the passing of Harold Ramis in 2014, the project faded away quickly. And Sony opted instead for a Paul Feig-directed reboot led by Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.

But that 2016 film didn’t recapture the magic in the way some fans had hoped. Enter Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which sees the series’ original cast return decades later. The movie has been pushed to a March 5, 2021 release date, leaving fans to wait a bit more for the long-awaited cast reunion.

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Ernie Hudson returns as Winston Zeddemore after more than 30 years

Ernie Hudson — who plays Winston Zeddemore in both original Ghostbusters films — is among the actors to reprise their roles in the new movie. And in a recent interview with Dewey’s Movies, Hudson discussed what it felt like to return to the role decades later.

Everybody came back to be a part of [Ghostbusters: Afterlife]. It’s an amazing new cast that moves the franchise into the future. … It was almost a spiritual experience. … The story is bigger than us though. We’re not the center of it. What Jason Reitman, who wrote the movie, came up with is just amazing. … I could not have imagined a better situation.

Indeed, Ghostbusters fans have been waiting to see what became of the original quartet. Reitman’s movie doesn’t focus on the original players, as Hudson said. But hopefully, it can finally satisfy those who have been waiting so long for a follow-up to Ghostbusters 2.

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Ernie Hudson also shares why the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot failed

Speaking of the franchise’s long history, Hudson opened up about why some fans rejected the 2016 reboot. In that film, the actor and many of his former castmates — including Murray — made cameos as entirely new characters. And Hudson told Dewey’s Movies this disconnect was at the center of the movie’s shortcomings.

You follow up with the characters, and you want to see them do their thing. … I think Paul Feig wanted to do his sort of interpretation, which is fine. I like the movie. I’m a fan of all the girls. I just think that it was not the same as the original Ghostbusters. I think that’s what fans are looking for. So I don’t think it was just the fact that it was women.

We’ll find out if Ghostbusters: Afterlife is able to revive the franchise or at least give it one last hurrah when it hits theaters in 2021.