Ghostbusters: Afterlife to get sequel and there's not long to wait

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

It looks like fans won’t have to wait long for the sequel to 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Director Jason Reitman and writer Gil Kenan confirmed that a sequel was in the works on Ghostbusters Day on June 8, and now Variety reports that the rebooted franchise’s sophomore film will fly into theaters on December 20, 2023.

It wasn’t until November 2021 that Afterlife finally debuted after several pandemic-related delays. Even with fewer people flocking to theaters, the movie pulled in over $200 million worldwide, enough to give the franchise the green light to start back up again. 

Afterlife was toplined by Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Carrie Coon (The Gilded Age), but it was the movie’s younger stars who breathed life into the film. Mckenna Grace (The Haunting of Hill House) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) played siblings Phoebe and Trevor. They didn’t know their grandfather Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) was a Ghostbuster when they moved into his house after he died, but a series of paranormal events lead them on the adventure of a lifetime, one that ultimately brings the past and present on a collision course. 

Details about the sequel and its cast were understandably scarce but we can surmise that the story is about to return to the Ghostbusters’ roots in New York based on what happened at the end of Afterlife

Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) brought Ecto 1 from Egon’s farmhouse back to the fire station that housed the team of supernatural investigators in the original movies. Before the end credits scene faded out, we were treated to a look at the containment unit — the machine that Egon (Harold Ramis) and Ray (Dan Ackroyd) built to contain captured ghosts — suddenly coming back to life. 

Afterlife director Jason Reitman has been vocal in his praise for the fan response to the 2021 film that introduced a new generation of fans to the fold. His father, Ivan, produced and directed the first two Ghostbusters movies in addition to developing the script. He served as Afterlife’s producer while his son sat in the director’s chair. 

The Afterlife press tour was something to behold as father and son celebrated the Ghostbusters legacy by keeping it in the family. The senior Reitman passed away unexpectedly in February 2022, but just as the film pays tribute to Ramis, Ivan Reitman’s legacy will live on through as his son launches the franchise into brand new directions, including a new animated series being developed for Netflix.  

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.