Don’t Worry, Ghostbusters: Afterlife Will Have Plenty of Comedy

It’ll have plenty of nostalgia, yes, but Ghostbusters: Afterlife will have comedy too.
It’ll have plenty of nostalgia, yes, but Ghostbusters: Afterlife will have comedy too.
Photo: Sony Pictures

When the first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife was released, there was no doubt that it would contain high levels of nostalgia. From the dialogue to the music and set dressing, it was plainly obvious this direct sequel to Ghostbusters 2 was going to satisfy fans who love all things Ghostbusters.

The bigger question was, would it understand what made Ghostbusters great in the first place? Those first two films were revered not just because of their memorable iconography, but because their mythic, grand adventures unfolded within the structures of goofball 1980s comedies. And the first trailer for Afterlife was very, very light on anything resembling comedy.


Well, fret not, fans of Ghostbusters. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Afterlife co-star Finn Wolfhard made a point to explain that the trailer doesn’t quite do the movie justice. “The trailer only showed some of it, but it’s a Ghostbusters movie. So, it’s a really funny film,” he said. “Every scene has comedy in it. I’m excited for people to see more of the humor in the movie.”

In Afterlife, Wolfhard (best known for Stranger Things and It) plays Trevor, the son of Callie (Carrie Coon) and brother of Phoebe (McKenna Grace), who are probably all related to original Ghostbusters character Egon Spengler. Wolfhard’s description of his character gives us a hint as to where some of that humor comes from.

“Yeah, he’s a pretty dumb character,” Wolfhard joked. It’s not that he’s written dumb, he’s just a dumb teenager and totally naive. Everything is way over his head. He’s obsessed with cars and girls. So, it’s really fun to play him.”

With many trailers, TV spots, interviews, and more to come before the July release of Afterlife, eventually it’s bound to become very clear what tone this movie is going to take, as well as more hints about its narrative. For now, though, we’ll have to take Wolfhard’s word that co-writer and director Jason Reitman really nails what makes Ghostbusters “Ghostbusters.”


Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which also stars Paul Rudd and the returning Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver, opens July 10.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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I mean, it’s got Paul Rudd prominently involved. He’s not really someone you see in a trailer and think “this is going to be a dark, sombre experience.” :)

Ultimately, one of the things that made the first GB film such a success was the way it straddled the horror and comedy lines so effortlessly, and I think a huge part of that was the fact it was - in many ways - shot like a bona fide horror movie, and the comedians played much of it straight, letting the script do the funny. 

(This is also why the 2016 version left me cold. It felt more like it was just trying to be an overt “LOOK! COMEDY!” sort of film, with lots of mugging for the camera and while I can understand why some people loved it, it just didn’t hit my humour button.)