Sony Pictures made some huge announcements on Ghostbusters Day this year (June 8), as director Jason Reitman took to the stage at the event to confirm a live-action follow-up to Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) and an animated movie from Netflix and Sony Pictures Animation.
There are also a few Ghostbusters video games on the horizon, such as Ghostbusters VR (2023) and Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed (2022), as well as a canonical limited edition comic book which, like Ghostbusters 4 (working title), will follow on from Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
New Ghostbusters Animated Series
But with all the news of sequels and videos games, it’s easy to forget that there’s also a Ghostbusters animated series in the works from Sony Pictures Animation and Netflix. It would appear that the project is unrelated to the Ghostbusters animated movie, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be connected canonically.
At the Ghostbusters Day event, Reitman and Ghostbusters: Afterlife co-writer Gil Kenan described the upcoming Ghostbusters animated series as “the next generation of Ghostbusters animated television” that will “reach into the future” of “an unexplored era and decade of Ghostbusters canon.”
Here’s what was said in full about the upcoming project:
“We’re going to create the next generation of Ghostbusters animated television,” Kenan announced, before Reitman said, “And just like the [upcoming] comic book, we’re going to be navigating an unexplored era and decade of Ghostbusters canon.” Kenan continued, “There is just so much of the story of Ghostbusters that has never been told in any medium.”
Reitman picked up the thread again, saying, “Frankly, look, there are entire decades that are critical to the story that have never been on screen.” In closing, Kenan said that they are “going to tell the untold story of Ghostbusters, while reaching into the future, with characters you’ve met, going to places you’ve never been.
Though it is likely to be told using CG animation (not confirmed) like Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), the show will be the third Ghostbusters animated series in the franchise, following The Real Ghostbusters (1986 — 1991) and Extreme Ghostbusters (1997).
The original ’80s show follows on from the movies, while the late ’90s follow-up features an all-new team. But based on Reitman’s comments during the announcement, it’s more than reasonable to assume that the upcoming series will, at least in part, take place in the future.
New Ghostbusters Animated Series Plot
In fact, it’s possible that the series will recycle a discarded concept that predates even the original Ghostbusters (1984). The untold version of Ghostbusters in question actually takes place in the future, with many groups of “intergalactic” Ghostbusters (one of many bizarre facts you probably didn’t know about the original film).
The studio, however, felt that the movie “would have cost something like $200 million to make”. The script, which was penned by Dan Aykroyd, was considered more serious in tone and was supposed to be a lot more scary than the 1984 classic (which is already quite scary, we think).
Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II (1989) director Ivan Reitman, who sadly passed away earlier this year, advised Aykroyd at the time that it would be impossible to translate his script to screen, and suggested setting the story on modern-day Earth, so that the supernatural elements would be more believable.
Harold Ramis was then brought in to help capture the right tone and feel for the new script, which, as we know, would focus on the origins of the Ghostbusters. Ramis would also later be cast as the beloved Ghostbuster Egon Spengler.
Whether or not the series will utilize that script remains to be seen, but there are many clues that suggest it will take place in the future. And maybe the past too, which will come as no surprise given how rich the Ghostbusters lore is. Could this be an anthology series like Star Wars: Visions (2021)?
New Ghostbusters Animated Series Characters
Kenan also confirmed that the series will introduce new characters and locations, so it’s fair to say that it won’t revolve around the more familiar Ghostbusters, whether it’s the original Ghostbusters or the younger ones from Ghostbusters: Afterlife (the 2016 reboot is also a no-go).
But here’s to hoping that some actors from the movies will lend their voices in some capacity, just like Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd will be in the upcoming video game Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, as they reprise their roles as Winston Zeddemore and Ray Stantz.
New Ghostbusters Animated Series Release Date
Ghostbusters 4 will be release on December 20, 2023. While it will be the fifth live-action Ghostbusters movie, it is unlikely feature characters from the reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016) as it will continue along the main timeline first established in the 1984 film.
With that said, the IDW “Ghostbusters” comic book series does feature a multiverse. As such, it’s entirely possible we’ll see other characters from the Ghostbusters extended universe. Both the Ghostbusters animated series and the Ghostbusters animated movie are yet to get release dates.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars McKenna Grace (Phoebe), Logan Kim (Podcast), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Carrie Coon (Callie), Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore).
Are you excited for the upcoming Ghostbusters animated series? Let us know in the comments below!