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Things We Saw Today: The First Trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife Is Light on Humor and Ghosts

Jason Reitman, son of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, is here with his own spin on the franchise. Focusing on a younger generation of Ghostbusters, the first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife plays up suspense and familial drama.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife looks beautifully shot, but I was surprised to find the trailer giving more of a Stranger Things vibe (complete with star Finn Wolfhard) than anything reminiscent of the elder Reitman’s tongue-in-cheek films. Maybe this trailer is only showing more of the thriller perspective, or maybe Jason Reitman is working to distinguish himself from his father’s tone. Either way, I think this is intentionally playing the plot reveals very close to the vest—we hardly see any real glimpse of a ghost.

The trailer at first seems like more of a set-up for a horror movie, wherein a displaced family moves to a small town with scary secrets. If you didn’t know what you were watching, you might not get any hint of Ghostbusters until young Mckenna Grace uncovers a basement full of her grandfather’s ghostbusting past.

We can say for sure that the cast is absolutely fantastic. Grace and Wolfhard are two of the most talented young actors working today, and Carrie Coon (as their mother) and Paul Rudd (as their teacher) are perennial favorites. We know from press reports and IMDb that original castmembers from Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver will be returning in some capacity—whether in substantial roles, or as passing cameo appearances, has yet to be seen. It appears that Afterlife follows the grandkids of Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis, who sadly passed in 2014); it’s a nice tribute to Ramis, who also co-wrote the first two Ghostbusters films.

Considering the involvement of the original castmembers, it stands to reason that the movie may kick into some high comedy gear, and we also see hints of comedy in some of the exchanges and action scenes. Overall I was intrigued by the trailer, and I’m curious to see more as we head toward Afterlife‘s release in summer 2020.

(image: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

What else was out there today?

  • Soccer phenom Megan Rapinoe was named Sports Illustrated sportsperson of the year. (via Sports Illustrated)
  • Finland’s Sanna Marin, 34, becomes the youngest Prime Minister in the world. (via NY Times)
  • Headline of the decade: “‘Let it snow’: Walmart apologizes for sweater appearing to show Santa with cocaine lines” (via News 12 New Jersey)
  • Star Rachel Brosnahan stopped a romance between Midge and Lenny Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel but WE COULD’VE HAD IT ALL. (via Bustle)
  • “Get Ready For The Women of The Witcher” (via
  • Uhhh … this couldn’t possibly go wrong:

  • Russia has been banned for four years from all major sporting events (including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics) by the World Anti-Doping Agency. (via BBC News )
  • Holy crap.

What did you see out there today?

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.