New ‘Ghostbusters’ Film Ditches One Legacy Actor, but Brings Back Another

in Movies & TV

Walter Peck (William Atherton) with Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) in Ghostbusters 1984

Credit: Sony Pictures

There must be something strange on the streets of London, because a number of Ghostbusters have been spotted during the filming of the new Ghostbusters film, including one we never thought we’d ever see again…

The last few months have seen a number of casting announcements for the upcoming sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), which releases in theaters later this year. They’ve included returning cast members from the 2021 sequel, new cast members such as Marvel actors Kumail Nanjiani and Patton Oswalt, and James Acaster and Emily Alyn Lind, in undisclosed roles, and also several actors from the original films, some of whom made brief appearances in Afterlife.

Kumail Nanjiani as King in Eternals
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Is the 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Getting a Sequel?

Now, Bill Murray, who plays Peter Venkman in the Ghostbusters films, has also been spotted, which follows sightings of Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), and William Atherton (Walter Peck).

Apparently, there were also some actual ghost sighting on the London Underground during a shoot, but we’ll leave that one to the real Ghostbusters (whoever they are)!

Bill Murray as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: All 13 Ghostbuster Characters (Including a Guest of Honor!) Ranked Worst to Best

London-based cab driver @londonsfinestdrive shared a picture of himself and Murray via Instagram, with a caption that reads, “Look who interrupted my lunch.”

“Look who interrupted my lunch.”

If that isn’t enough to convince you of Murray’s return, recently, in an interview with The Film CollectiveGhostbusters legend Ernie Hudson, who plays Winston Zeddemore in the films, seemingly confirmed the return of both Murray and Annie Potts, who plays secretary Janine Melnitz in the films. He said:

“It’s great to be back with Danny and Bill and Annie Potts and the new cast. It’s been forty years, it just feels like family.”

It should be noted, though, that Hudson could be referring to William Atherton, who is reprising his role as Walter Peck in the new film.

(L to R) Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) in Ghostbusters II
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Missed a HUGE Opportunity at World-Building

Unfortunately, though, while Murray is back on board, Sigourney Weaver, who plays Venkman’s love interest Dana Barrett, won’t be. In a recent interview with Collider, Weaver was asked she’ll be returning for the sequel, to which she responded, “No, I mean, I wasn’t asked to be in this Ghostbusters, and I think, you know, a little of us goes a long way.”

Weaver enjoys nothing more than a mid-credits scene in Afterlife, opposite Murray, much to the disappointment of fans who were expecting the Aliens (1986) star to have a bigger role in the film. Now, it seems that the new Ghostbusters film has separated the iconic ’80s couple.

Luckily, though, there are several actors from previous films making a comeback…

Who’s returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2?

Here are all the actors confirmed to be returning for the new Ghostbusters film.

Bill Murray as Peter Venkman

(L to R) Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) in Ghostbusters 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

Bill Murray will be reprising his role as Peter Venkman in the upcoming Ghostbusters: film. Despite reportedly being the reason a third Ghostbusters film didn’t happen for decades, the upcoming installment will be the actors’ fifth appearance in the film franchise, as he also has a cameo in the reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016).

Murray has been spotted in London alongside Dan Aykroyd, however, the film’s synopsis doesn’t list Venkman as being one of the leaders of the new Ghostbusters team, so his role in the film currently remains a bit of a mystery.

Related: ‘Ghostbusters 4’ Could Wipe One of the Sequels From Canon

Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz

Ray Stantz possessed in Ghostbusters II
Credit: Sony Pictures

Dan Aykroyd will also be returning to the fold as Ray Stantz, one of the four original Ghostbusters. Aykroyd made a brief appearance in Ghostbusters: Afterlife alongside Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson, in which he’s shown to still be running “Ray’s Occult Books” in New York City, a rich source of knowledge for all things relating to paranormal history.

As the synopsis for the new film says, Ray will be leading the new Ghostbusters team alongside Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), most likely from his store, which also appears in the tie-in video game Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed (2022).

Related: 5 Things Fans Expect From ‘Ghostbusters 4’

Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore

Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz (L), Bill Murray as Peter Venkman (M), and Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore (R) saving the day in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Despite a lot of back and forth over the past several months, we now know for certain that beloved actor Ernie Hudson will be stepping into the shoes of Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore once more, which, like Murray and Aykroyd, will also be his fifth outing in the franchise (or seventh if you include the two video games he’s appeared in).

As revealed in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, following the events of Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989), Winston went on to build a successful career in finance, and as the post-credits scene suggests, he’s going to use his fortune to rebuild the Ghostbusters.

Related: Brand-New ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie Is Now Available to Watch!

Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz

Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) and Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) in Ghostbusters II
Credit: Sony Pictures

Though she only had a small role in Ghostbusters: Afterlife at the start, it’s great to hear that Annie Potts will be returning to play the Ghostbusters’ former secretary Janine Melnitz. The beloved character appears in the 2021 sequel’s post-credits scene alongside Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, and in a deleted scene opposite the late Harold Ramis.

Related: “I Wasn’t Asked,” Beloved ‘Ghostbusters’ Icon Not Returning for Upcoming Sequel

William Atherton as Walter Peck

Walter Peck (William Atherton) in Ghostbusters 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

William Atherton will be reprising his role as the slimy Walter Peck (no pun intended), who hasn’t been seen in the franchise since the original 1984 film — at least not in live action. Peck returned in the long-running IDW Publishing comic book series, in which he’s the Ghostbusters’ boss, which could explain his return in the new Ghostbusters film.

Related: Brand-New ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie Is Now Available to Watch!

Paul Rudd as Gary Grooberson

Paul Rudd encounters Stay Puft in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Paul Rudd is one of the many Ghostbusters: Afterlife characters who’s back on board. He’ll be reprising his role as Summerville summer school teacher Gary Grooberson, although his days in Oklahoma are seemingly over, with many fans suspecting that he’ll be donning the flight suit and proton pack, with recent pictures of him in London fuelling that fire.

Related: New ‘Ghostbusters 4’ Image Confirms “Crossover” Plot That Will Likely Divide Fans

Carrie Coon as Callie Spengler

Ghostbusters Afterlife character ensemble poster
Credit: Sony Pictures

Carrie Coon plays Callie Spengler, the daughter of the late Egon Spengler, who was portrayed by late actor Harold Ramis in the first two Ghostbusters films. There’s really no telling what purpose Callie will play in the new Ghostbusters film, but as it’s said to “continue the Spengler family storyline”, her return makes enough sense.

Related: 5 Things Fans Expect From ‘Ghostbusters 4’

Celeste O’Connor as Lucky Domingo

(L to R) Celeste O'Conner (Lucky), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Logan Kim (Podcast), and McKenna Grace (Phoebe) in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Celeste O’Connor didn’t really have all that much to do in Ghostbusters: Afterlife as Lucky Domingo. Despite being a Summerville local, it was Logan Kim’s Podcast who served as the self-made municipal historian where all things paranormal are concerned. But here’s to hoping she’ll have a more central role in the new Ghostbusters film.

Related: 5 Huge Updates From ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2’

McKenna Grace as Phoebe Spengler

Phoebe using the proton pack in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

It’s fair to say that McKenna Grace stole the show as Phoebe Spengler in the 2021 sequel, even alongside legacy actors Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and Dan Aykroyd. Whether or not Phoebe will remain center stage in the upcoming film remains to be seen, but it’s more than likely. Either way, we’re sure she’ll continue to make her grandfather proud.

Related: ‘Ghostbusters 2’ Is a Better Sequel Than ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ — Here’s Why!

Logan Kim as Podcast

Finn Wolfhard as Trevor (L), McKenna Grace as Phoebe (M), and Logan Kim as Podcast (R) in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Logan Kim brought a ton of levity to Afterlife as Podcast, which ran the risk of feeling like a semi-serious indie-drama at times. Exactly how he’ll factor into the new Ghostbusters film is unknown, but it’s reasonable to assume that the four young Ghostbusters — Phoebe, Trevor, Lucky, and Podcast — will be relocating to New York City to deal with a new threat.

Related: All the Main Villains in the ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Finn Wolfhard as Trevor Spengler

Finn Wolfhard as Trevor at the Shandor mines in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Before returning to the town of Hawkins for the fifth and final season of Stranger Things (2016), Finn Wolfhard will be busting ghosts in New York City. There’s no doubt whatsoever that the star will have a bigger role this time around, though — like Celeste O’Conn0r, we can’t help but feel that he was underused in the 2021 film.

Though plot specifics are being kept under wraps, a Production Weekly listing (via Ghostbusters News) revealed the current synopsis for Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2:

“After the events in Oklahoma, the Ghostbusters team returns to where it all started; New York City! The Spengler family story continues with a new group of Ghostbusters led by Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd).”

Muncher the ghost in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Will ‘Ghostbusters 4’ Be a Christmas Movie?

Ghostbusters 4 sees the return of Ghostbusters stars McKenna Grace (Phoebe), Logan Kim (Podcast), Celeste O’Connor (Lucky), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Carrie Coon (Callie), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), William Atherton (Walter Peck), Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), and Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, James Acaster, and Emily Alyn Lind in undisclosed roles.

Ghostbusters 4 (2023) will be released on December 20, 2023.

Do you think Sigourney Weaver should return alongside Bill Murray? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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