Sony Releases Brand-New ‘Ghostbusters’ Short Film Online

in Movies & TV

The Ecto-1 racing through New York in the new Ghostbusters short film

Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment / Ghost Corps / Pixmondo / PlayStation Studios / Epic Games

A brand-new Ghostbusters short film has been released from the Ecto-Containment Unit.

Recently, we learned that the upcoming sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) had been delayed until next year amid the ongoing WGA (Writers Guild of America) strikes. While this news has disappointed many Ghostbusters fans hoping to see the sequel in theaters this Christmas, fortunately, we still don’t have very long to wait.

There’s also plenty going on in the franchise beyond the silver screen. Brand-new video games such as Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed (2022) and virtual reality installment Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (2023) continue to hit major gaming consoles, and there are even two Ghostbusters animated features heading to Netflix.

Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie Gets its First Official Trailer

And if Ghostbusters fan films are your thing, there are plenty of those for you to check out online. Speaking of short films, suddenly, there’s something a little bit more official in the neighborhood, because a brand-new Ghostbusters short film has found its way online.

But is it just another fan film? Actually, it comes directly from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Ecto-Containment Unit, as part of this year’s Sony Creators Conference.

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

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2’ Reveals First Teaser and Brand-New Logo

The film sees the iconic Ecto-1 tearing through the streets of Manhattan in an attempt to stop the equally-iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from wreaking havoc all over again, just like he did on Columbus Circle and Upper West Side way back in 1984.

However, the film isn’t live action — it was made using real-time game engine technology, and is described as a “proof-of-concept project.” The short film is a collaborative effort from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Ghost Corps, Pixmondo, PlayStation Studios, and Epic Games, and is powered by Unreal Engine, which has been used to create many conceptual video games and short films over the last couple of years.

Check out the new Ghostbusters short film below (as shared by the Michigan Ghostbusters YouTube channel), which includes the iconic “Ghostbusters” by Ray Park Jr, and some fascinating behind-the-scenes footage:

Related: A Guide to the ENTIRE ‘Ghostbusters’ Franchise

What’s particularly surprising about the film is that it’s directed by Jason Reitman, the son of the late Ivan Reitman (director of the first two Ghostbusters films), who helmed Ghostbusters: Afterlife and is co-writing and co-producing the upcoming sequel.

During the video, Reitman speaks to the impressive VFX capabilities of Unreal Engine, and the motion-capture performance technology behind the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man:

“As a director, there’s nothing more important to me than performance,” Reitman says. “Pixmondo gave me the opportunity to direct a real-life actor and get a performance out of a digital character that I would have never been able to do if I was standing over an artist’s shoulder. I mean, the benefit, you know, is really clear, you know, all we want as filmmakers is to have more time and more scope. It’s the idea that I could be on a stage and be able to set the time of day, direct my actor, and not worry about what time rush hour is going to be, what time the sun was going down. To have control of the environment like that really changed my view about what was possible.”

Could this new short film be foreshadowing an ambitious Ghostbusters video game that’s on the horizon? Or has it been made to drum up attention for the two Ghostbusters animated projects that Netflix and Sony are currently cooking up? Or even the upcoming sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife?

Muncher the ghost in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: New ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie and Live-Action Series Release Online

So, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man has made a triumphant return to the Ghostbusters franchise before Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 (2024) has even hit theaters. But what other villains might show up in the fifth installment in the Ghostbusters franchise?

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

While we don’t know whether the iconic, 112-and-a-half foot, anthropomorphic marshmallow-made sailor will show up in the new Ghostbusters film, he did make an appearance in the 2021 sequel in the form of the “Mini Pufts.” So there’s every chance he’ll return, perhaps in another shape or form (but still made of marshmallow).

In the original 1984 film, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is played in costume by the legendary special effects artist, William Bryan, who is believed to be on board for the new film. However, going by the new Ghostbusters short film, it’s possible Bryan will be providing the motion capture for the character this time around.

Gozer the Gozerian

Olivia Wilde as Gozer in Ghostbusters
Credit: Sony Pictures

Gozer is the Sumerian god who forces the Ghostbusters to “choose the form of the destructor” in Ghostbusters (1984). Though she was blasted into the next dimension when the Ghostbusters “crossed the streams”, she returned in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, in which she’s played by Olivia Wilde. Will she make yet another return in Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2?

Vigo the Carpathian

Vigo the Carpathian's painting in Ghostbusters II
Credit: Sony Pictures

Afterlife director Jason Reitman has already hinted that Vigo the Carpathian, the supernatural oil painting from Ghostbusters II (1989), may very well show up in the new Ghostbusters film. Vigo the Carpathian is arguably even more iconic than Gozer, and seeing as the new film will return to New York City, it’s possible he’ll return.

The Terror Dogs

The Terror Dogs on the rooftop of Spook Central in Ghostbusters (1984)
Credit: Sony Pictures

Where there’s a Gozer, there are always Terror Dogs. What’s interesting about these hellish hounds is that the name “Terror Dogs” is never actually used in the films. Nevertheless, the “minions of Gozer”, known individually as the Keymaster/Vinz Clortho and the Gatekeeper, may return for their third theatrical outing in the next Ghostbusters film.

Slimer

Slimer eating in Ghostbusters 2
Credit: Sony Pictures

Slimer was oddly absent from Ghostbusters: Afterlife. While the film takes place in Oklahoma and not New York City, it didn’t have any trouble regurgitating other ghosts and supernatural entities from previous films, such as the Stay Puft, the Terror Dogs, and Gozer the Gozerian. In the latest film, however, Slimer is replaced with the similarly shaped “Muncher.”

With Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 back in the Big Apple, here’s to hoping we’ll see the most iconic green ghost back in the fold. Perhaps he’ll even be part of the new Ghostbusters team this time around, echoing the direction the animated series The Real Ghostbusters (1986 — 1991) took with the “ugly little spud.”

Ray, Egon, and Slimer in The Real Ghostbusters
Credit: DIC Enterprises / Columbia Pictures Television

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

Earlier this year, a Production Weekly listing (via Ghostbusters News) revealed the following synopsis for the film:

“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).”

The Ecto-1 in the cornfield in Ghostbusters Afterlife
Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 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: Afterlife 2 will now be released on March 20, 2024.

What do you think of the new Ghostbusters short film? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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