After holding a live panel for the cast and creators of Ghostbusters: Afterlife at New York Comic Con this evening, producer Ivan Reitman and director Jason Reitman took the energy on the Empire Stage at the Javits Center to a whole other level by giving fans a look at the entire film.
“My father and I think you’ve waited long enough,” said Jason Reitman.
“Please don’t spoil it in the end,” Jason Reitman asked the audience about the sequel which reportedly has cameos by Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and Dan Aykroyd from the original 1984 film.
This is the second prolific sneak peek Sony has fired off with the Ghostbusters sequel, the first being at CinemaCon in late August, which left exhibitors extremely excited about the big screen offerings for Q4. The Reitmans were also in attendance at CinemaCon to introduce the film for theater owners.
After Top Gun: Maverick moved out of the pre-Thanksgiving corridor, Sony, given their confidence in Ghostbusters: Afterlife coming out of CinemaCon, shifted the film to the new date from its Veterans Day frame. While Sony sent nine of their movies to streamers during the pandemic, they protected prized titles for a pure theatrical window, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and recent $100M-plus hit Venom: Let There Be Carnage being two of them.
“I want to thank you all for hanging in for 40 years,” said producer Ivan Reitman to the those in the hall. The Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 filmmaker regaled the crowd on how son Jason pitched him an idea for a story in the universe, one which knocked him out.
Jason had two images floating around in his head, but couldn’t nail down the characters: a girl picking up a proton pack, and a guy drifting along in a wheat field driving an Ecto-1.
“When Harold Ramis passed, I figured out who they were: They were the Spenglers,” said the Up in the Air filmmaker.
When Finn Wolfhard, who plays Trevor in the film, auditioned for the movie on the tape, he didn’t know it was Ghostbusters given Jason Reitman’s logline involving a farm field. McKenna Grace plays Phoebe “the girl who picks up the proton pack” where she “connects to the grandfather she never knew.” Celeste O’Connor plays a girl from the small town, whose life changes when she meets Trevor. She auditioned via tape from her dorm. “When I found it was Ghostbusters, I was like ‘Oh, my God’, I would have put more work into that tape.”
Also at today’s panel were scribe Gil Kenan who co-wrote the movie with Reitman, Carrie Coon, Logan Kim (Podcast), and Celeste O’Connor (Lucky). Paul Rudd was unfortunately a no-show.
Showing the movie for the big screen, “means everything to me” said Reitman. The last time he was at Comic-Con was with Jennifer’s Body.
“I love streaming as much as anybody else, it certainly got me through the pandemic. But I love movies, we wanted to make a movie that would be enjoyed like this with an incredible audience, popcorn and great sound,” added the filmmaker.
Said Jason Reitman, “I’m thrilled to be at Sony, the studio that is about theatrical films.”