After many a pandemic delay (precisely four times), Jason Reitman’s entrance into the “Ghostbusters” universe is here with “Afterlife.” The film has so far scared up an impressive box office to the tune of $44 million-plus. It’s the fourth film in the franchise, but it also serves as a direct sequel to “Ghostbusters II,” directed by Jason’s father Ivan. Set 32 years after the events of the second film, the movie centers on a single mother and her two children who move to a small town in Oklahoma, where they discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and their grandfather’s secret legacy.
Of course, the metric of any film’s success these days is whether or not a sequel can be greenlit — and according to a cagey but slightly revealing Reitman in a recent interview with Uproxx, a follow-up is most likely already in the works.
In “Ghostbusters II,” the logo on the iconic Ecto-1 vehicle is pictured as a ghost holding up two fingers instead of one (as seen in the first film). In “Afterlife,” the logo is back to just one, which implies some sort of shift in the timeline of events. Reitman was asked, “At what point before the events of this movie, when Egon’s living in Oklahoma, did he look at the Ecto-1 and decided he needed to remove the ‘Ghostbusters II’ logo with the ghost holding the two up and go back to the original logo?”
Reitman said, “I wish I could talk to you about that.” He added, “Well, I’m just saying that’s a plot that is not in this film and we have ideas moving forward.” He also stressed that “Ghostbusters II” is “canon. … There are references to ‘Ghostbusters II’ in ‘Afterlife.’ We meet Ray working at Ray’s Occult. The toaster from ‘Ghostbusters II’ is in the kitchen in the farmhouse. There’s actually lots of lost of ‘Ghostbusters II’ details but nobody knows ‘Ghostbusters II’ outside of Vigo the Carpathian and the ‘Ghostbusters II’ logo. So there’s this assumption that it is not canon but it is definitely canon.”
Jason’s father Ivan Reitman serves as a producer on “Afterlife,” with a screenplay co-written by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan (director on the 2015 “Poltergeist” remake and the TV series “Scream”).