It’s been nearly seven years since Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016) arrived in theaters, but now that the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) — the film that restored the original Ghostbusters timeline following the reboot’s disappointing performance at the box office — is just around the corner, we decided to take a closer look at the 2016 film.
And in doing so, we’ve spotted something that may actually suggest that the widely controversial reboot is connected to the main Ghostbusters timeline after all. Many will think nothing of the scenes in question, but there’s a surprising amount of evidence to back up the fact that both films are actually connected via the Ghostbusters Multiverse.
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Ghostbusters is no stranger to the multiverse concept — if you’re familiar with IDW Publishing’s long-running “Ghostbusters” comic book series, you’ll know that there have been many crossovers between different iterations of the Ghostbusters, including the original line-up and the female characters from the 2016 reboot.
With all that said, the comic books aren’t considered “primary canon” — that honor goes to the main series of films — Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and the upcoming sequel. But “what if” (see what we did there?) the Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is part of the Ghostbusters Multiverse?
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There are a few scenes in the film that suggest it takes place in an alternate dimension. For starters, the fact that original Ghostbusters actors Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson all make an appearance as different characters definitely support this theory (although the reality is they were brought back to sell tickets).
But then there’s the post-credits scene, which finds Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) listening to EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) and hearing the word “Zuul”, which may suggest they’ve tapped into the frequency of another Ghostbusters dimension.
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But there’s one scene in the film that stands out above the rest, and it’s the one that sees the return of everyone’s favorite green ghost, Slimer, from the original two films, and who has also made countless appearances across several other forms of media over the decades. Either way, Slimer is typically associated with the main Ghostbusters characters.
Obviously, the trailers for the reboot wanted to throw as much nostalgia at the audience as possible to put butts in seats, but is it possible that Slimer is visiting from another Ghostbusters dimension? This would make perfect sense considering that he, along with Lady Slimer (Robin Shelby) actually appears when several dimensions overlap in the film.
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We get it — it’s likely that none of these scenes or characters were put in the film to make a connection with the main continuity, but it does make it easier for Ghostbusters to open up the Multiverse, which may happen in the upcoming Ghostbusters 4 (2023).
Adding to this the fact that the multiverse concept has legitimized several previously non-canon films within the Marvel and DC franchises, the Ghostbusters reboot may now be 100% canon with the other films, after all.
Related: Is the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Getting a Sequel?
While having any of the female Ghostbusters show up in the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife would seem very unlikely, though, could you ever have imagined Andrew Garfield and Toby Maguire returning to play their own versions of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in a film alongside Tom Holland, or Michael Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman?
As per Sony Pictures, here’s the synopsis for Ghostbusters: Answer the Call:
Ghostbusters makes its long-awaited return with Director Paul Feig’s unique and hilarious take on the classic, supernatural comedy, led by the freshest minds in comedy today, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Together they team-up to save Manhattan from a sudden invasion of spirits, spooks and slime that engulfs the city. Robert Abele of TheWrap says, “This new A-team of ghostbusters are fresh and funny.”
Related: 5 Things Fans Expect From ‘Ghostbusters 4’
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call stars Kristen Wiig (Erin Gilbert), Melissa McCarthy (Abby Yates), Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan), Kate McKinnon (Jillian Holtzmann), Chris Hemsworth (Kevin Beckman), and cameos from original Ghostbusters icons Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, all of whom play new characters.
Related: All Upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies, TV Shows, Comic Books and More
Ghostbusters 4 will be released on December 20, 2023.
Do you think Ghostbusters: Answer the Call takes place in the Ghostbusters Multiverse? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!