‘Ghostbusters’ Legend Gives His Thoughts on Original Two Films

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Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore in the New York sewers in Ghostbusters II

Credit: Sony Pictures

For decades, many Ghostbusters fans have debated whether or not Ghostbusters II (1989) is a good sequel. For the vast majority, the favorite of the two is a no-brainer, as the original 1984 film is a bonafide classic, but the sequel remains quite divisive among fans.

We think Ghostbusters II is a great sequel, however, many fans feel that it doesn’t quite capture the same charm and magic of its predecessor, which is a near-impossible feat for many movie sequels. With that said, there are many who believe it is actually better than the original!

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

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Regarding the future of the Ghostbusters franchise, recently, Sony Pictures announced on Ghostbusters Day (June 8) that a number of exciting projects are in the works, including a live-action follow-up to last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021).

However, in an interview with BET, Ernie Hudson, who plays Winston Zeddemore in the three main Ghostbusters movies, and also has a cameo as a new character in the 2016 reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016), was asked about his thoughts on the two first installments.

First, here’s what he had to say about the original Ghostbusters movie:

“With Ghostbusters one, I thought it was really quite original, and I think there was nothing of that sort of humor and it was scary and a little bit of all that, but Ghostbusters II, by the time it came out, it was five years after, and they had the cartoon show that was playing, and it had become part of the cultural psyche.”

Ghostbusters II
Credit: Sony Pictures

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The 76-year-old actor (who looks incredible for his age) then went on to discuss the sequel, explaining that it had a “different audience” at the time, largely because of the animated series The Real Ghostbusters (1986), which was already airing at the time of the sequel’s release:

“So when new people were introduced to that one, it was a different audience. A lot of kids grew up with the cartoons and the second movie. I think the second movie is more family-friendly. In the first movie, that librarian is scary enough so it’s a little bit more hard-cutting edge and I think the second one is more family-friendly and I think a lot more young people embrace that movie. It’s a lot easier to digest.”

Winston Zeddemore Ghostbusters
Credit: Sony Pictures

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So it seems that Hudson doesn’t necessarily have a favorite, and that he simply views each of the first two Ghostbusters movies as a different entity (no pun intended). Nevertheless, he acknowledges that the original is what launched the franchise into pop culture:

“But older audiences tend to like the first one because it created that whole Ghostbusters phenomenon, and there was the song that was also a huge part of it and 40 years later, there are studios still building on that momentum so I think it depends on how you were introduced to the movie.”

Ghostbusters 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

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While there has been no casting news for Ghostbusters 4 (working title), it’s very likely that Ernie Hudson will be reprising his role as Winston Zeddemore in the upcoming sequel, especially considering Ghostbusters: Afterlife‘s very interesting post-credits scene.

In fact, it was refreshing to see Hudson/Zeddemore under the spotlight for once. That’s not to suggest he isn’t an equal part of the original line up in the first two movies, but it’s no mystery to fans that his screen time in the original film is a lot less than it should have been.

Ghostbusters 2016
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: All Upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies, TV Shows, Comic Books and More

The reason for this is because the filmmakers originally wanted Eddie Murphy in the role of Winston Zeddemore. But when he turned it down, Bill Murray was given a bigger role as Dr. Peter Venkman, while major rewrites saw Winston being omitted from many scenes.

Now, we can’t imagine Ghostbusters without Ernie Hudson and his equally lovable on-screen counterpart. Hudson also reprised his role in Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009), and will be doing the same in this year’s multiplayer game Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed (2022).

Ghostbusters The Video Game
Credit: IGN

Related: The 2016 Reboot Wasn’t the First Female-Led ‘Ghostbusters’

All we need now is for him to provide some thought-provoking analysis on the comparisons between Ghostbusters II and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Personally, we think the 1989 film is a better sequel, largely because Ghostbusters: Afterlife relies on fan service a bit too much.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife also misses some great opportunities at world-building, but here’s to hoping Ghostbusters 5 won’t rely on the same old Ghostbusters villains and storylines. We’d also love to know how Ernie Hudson would rank all four Ghostbusters movies!

Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed
Credit: IllFonic (via IllFonic YouTube)

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It has certainly been a busy year for the Ghostbusters franchise. 2022 came in hot on the heels of the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which impressed critics and grossed over $204 million worldwide. And then of course there were all the announcements on Ghostbusters Day.

However, there was also some very sad news, as Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II  director Ivan Reitman sadly passed away in February. Ivan Reitman was the father of Jason Reitman, the director of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

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As per the Ghostbusters/Sony Pictures website, here’s the synopsis for Ghostbusters: Afterlife:

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.

Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: What Will ‘Ghostbusters 4’ Be About?

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).

Ghostbusters 4 will be released on December 20, 2023. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed will be released on October 18, while Ghostbusters VR (TBA) is expected some time next year.

A Ghostbusters animated series and a Ghostbusters animated movie are also in the works, as well as a limited edition comic book that will follow on from Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

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Which do you prefer between Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II? Let us know in the comments below!

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