NYCC 2021: Ghostbusters: Afterlife gets a surprise early screening


After waiting for what seemed like an eternity to get into the Ghostbusters: Afterlife panel, I was confused. All of the programming said that the panel would last for an hour, but the NYCC brochure claimed that the panel would last for two and a half hours. I thought it was a printing error, so I dropped my very heavy bags and waited for the panel to begin.

Most of the cast for Ghostbusters: Afterlife was in attendance, including directors Jason and Ivan Reitman. They talked about the secretive nature of the production, like how no one auditioning, including Carrie Coon and Finn Wolfhard, were even aware that they were auditioning for a Ghostbusters sequel. Everything was under tight wraps given the importance of the franchise. Indeed, Ghostbusters was one of those major pop culture moments of the 1980s. It was one of the first major blendings of genres in a Hollywood movie, combining horror, action, and comedy into one accessible package and made absolute bank at the box office and through merchandising.

When asked about why Jason Reitman decided to follow in his father’s footsteps with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, he talked about how he was there for the franchise since the beginning, even cameoing in the second movie. So of course, there were expectations to deliver on what his father did. But he said that he felt like he didn’t want to make HIS Ghostbusters movie, he wanted to make A Ghostbusters movie for the fans who had waited for so long. The 2016 reboot is somewhere crying now, forgotten and alone.

He also said he had two shots for the film that were always in his head but had no idea how to implement; a girl picking up a proton pack and a guy driving around a cornfield in Ecto-1. The concept lingered in his head until the death of Harold Ramis, the actor who played Egon Spengler, when it crystalized (or when the 2016 film flopped at the box office). Those two people would be Egon’s grandchildren. This would be a movie about the new Spenglers.

But just as they were about to show a clip of the movie, Jason Reitman said “my father and I think you’ve waited long enough.” He then revealed that the film, ahead of its November 19 release, would be screened in its entirety at New York Comic Con. This is the second time that the film has been screened early for fans since it was also screened back at CinemaCon in August. But Jason Reitman asked specifically for audience members to “please don’t spoil it in the end.”

So as much I would love to share my thoughts on the film and let you know whether this lives up to the Ghostbusters name, I can’t say it. And it sucks cause I have thoughts about it that I really, REALLY want to share. So as much of a shameless plug as this may be, you’ll just have to wait until our review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife runs in the near future to see if this lives up to the legacy of the franchise.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife premieres exclusively in movie theaters November 19, 2021.

Jesse Lab
The strange one. The one born and raised in New Jersey. The one who raves about anime. The one who will go to bat for DC Comics, animation, and every kind of dog. The one who is more than a tad bit odd. The Features Editor.