Cast your mind back to 2016 and remember the initial reaction to Paul Feig’s female-driven Ghostbusters reboot. At the time, the film’s trailer swiftly earned a record-setting amount of dislikes on Youtube, and cranky sexist nerds brigaded its IMDB page to drive down the user rating of a film none of them had seen yet.
Now, in 2019, the first trailer has been released for a re-reboot, directed by Jason Reitman, the son of original series director Ivan Reitman. Whether or not it’s in reaction to that earlier attempt at revitalising the art of Ghostbusting, this trailer looks like something completely different – and judging from the first reactions, fans are eating it up faster than Slimer demolishing a hotel buffet.
The first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife seems to suggest that the movie will crib from recent horror success stories such as Stranger Things and It, with some of the wistful, sweet tone of other Jason Reitman movies like Juno and Young Adult. Enough of the 1984 movie’s trademarks are there to satisfy angsty Ghostbusters traditionalists – namely the Ecto 1, those fabulous grey jumpsuits, and some supernatural book stacking – but all in all, the trailer’s nostalgic feel is totally different to the outright comedy of every other Ghostbusters movie.
Centring around siblings McKenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard (see? I told you it has Stranger Things vibes), Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set in a sun-dappled rural town, not the classic New York City firehouse of the original. When Grace’s Phoebe discovers that she is Egon Spengler’s granddaughter, she presumably needs the help of three friends (and foxy science teacher Paul Rudd!) to bring an end to something strange in her neighbourhood.
The film’s cast and surprising change of location and tone is mostly working for the trailer’s first commenters, who admire Reitman’s reverent indie imagery, despite some minor quibbles about timeline logic.
It’s impressive, too, that the trailer has excited audiences so much without giving away the part that surviving Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd and Ernie Hudson will play in the new film. Most of the original cast also appeared in the 2016 reboot, but it clearly wasn’t enough to sate audiences. Still, Feig’s earlier film does have its defenders, with some viewers pointing out fanboy hypocrisy on Twitter.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives in cinemas in July 2020.