‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Trailer Breakdown

in Movies & TV

(L to R) James Acaster, Finn Wolfhard, and Celeste O'Connor in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer

Credit: Sony Pictures

The first trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) has been released from the Ecto Containment Unit at Sony Pictures. And it looks like someone has left the refrigerator door open, too, because it comes packed with a lot of ice, as a new specter plunges New York City into a perpetual winter!

The film has a huge cast, as it blends the Afterlife ensemble with several returning characters from the original Ghostbusters films.

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

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

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire stars McKenna Grace (Phoebe Spengler), Logan Kim (Podcast), Celeste O’Connor (Lucky Domingo), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor Spengler), Carrie Coon (Callie Spengler), Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), William Atherton (Walter Peck), Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore).

Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Alyn Lind, Patton Oswalt, and James Acaster also star in the film in undisclosed roles.

(L to R) Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Podcast (Logan Kim) in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

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

The trailer for the Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) sequel has been a long time coming. And if Sony hadn’t pushed the release date from this December to March next year, we’d have seen it a lot sooner.

But never mind, because it’s finally here, which means we need to break it down into the five most important parts: title, plot, characters, villains, and setting. These sounds like pretty standard things for any film, but when it comes to the new trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, each also happens to be a major reveal.

Before we dive in, here’s the trailer for Frozen Empire, per Sony Pictures:

5 Major Reveals From Frozen Empire Trailer


Title screen from the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

The upcoming sequel is officially titled Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, which obviously relates to the icy paranormal grip New York, otherwise known as the “Empire” state, finds itself in during a hot summer. As film titles tend to have double-meaning, “Empire” likely also refers to the new villain; perhaps an “empire” of supernatural beings.

Either way, subtitles are relatively new to the Ghostbusters franchise. The first sequel is simply titled Ghostbusters II (1989), and even the 2016 reboot, during its theatrical run at least, was called Ghostbusters (2016) — it wasn’t until it was released on home media that it was given the subtitle Answer the Call. And then, Ghostbusters: Afterlife sealed the deal.

Related: All 4 ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Plot

The firehouse being frozen over in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

Naturally, Sony Pictures and the filmmakers are keeping plot specifics for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire under wraps, but as soon as the trailer dropped, so did the official synopsis for the film, which reads as follows (per Sony Pictures):

In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler family returns to where it all started – the iconic New York City firehouse – to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age.

Earlier this year, Dan Aykroyd revealed that his character Ray Stantz, along with fellow legacy characters Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), will be training the Afterlife ensemble — Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace), Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucky Domingo (Celeste O’Connor), and Podcast (Logan Kim) — to become the next generation of Ghostbusters.

However, the trailer also reveals that Phoebe and Trevor’s mother, Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), and Summerville summer school science teacher/seismologist Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), will also suit up and join the new team. The new team is also sporting some pretty “cool” gear in the form of red winter coat-themed Ghostbuster outfits.

Related: “Unforgivable”: ‘Ghostbusters’ Star Slams ‘Afterlife’ Director

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Villains

The new horned villain in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

We don’t see much in the way of villains in the trailer, but we do get two shots of a sentient being known as “the Death Chill.” We see it “fixing” its enormous horns to its head, and later in the trailer the creature appears as an eerie silhouette.

The being in question has icy blue skin — between that and the fact it appears to freeze New York City, we could be looking at the Ghostbusters franchise’s answer to Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Batman and Robin (1997)!

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

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Characters

(L to R) Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, and McKenna Grace in 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire'
Credit: Sony Pictures

We now know that all the characters introduced in Afterlife returning in Frozen Empire will be suiting up as Ghostbusters, along with Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore. But what about any of the new characters?

While we see Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, and James Acaster in the trailer, we’ve still no idea who their characters are. Oswalt appears to be some sort of paranormal enthusiast working at Ray’s Occult Bookstore, but we learn nothing about Nanjiani and Acaster.

Doctor Sleep (2019) star Emily Alyn Lind is also nowhere to be seen in the trailer, however, earlier this year she shared a selfie via Instagram sporting Ghostbusters gear.

Walter Peck (William Atherton) doesn’t appear in the trailer, either, though it’s likely he’ll show up in the next one.

As for other legacy characters, sadly, Sigourney Weaver won’t be reprising her role as Dana Barrett in the new film, and it’s unlikely we’ll see Rick Moranis return as Louis Tully, who hasn’t appeared in the franchise since Ghostbusters II (although the character has appeared in the IDW Publishing comic book series).

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

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Setting

New York City being frozen in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: ‘Ghostbusters’ Finally Makes Unpopular Installment Canon With Main Film Series

We’ve known from the start that Frozen Empire will bring the franchise home to Manhattan, New York. Afterlife shifted the setting to a backwater town in Oklahoma, so you’d have thought this geographical shake-up would have expanded the franchise in new ways, but while the film vacated the usual local haunts, it still brought back villains from the 1984 film.

Afterlife was praised by fans and critics, although many agree that it relies far too much on nostalgia, whether it’s those overused villains, cameos from legacy characters, or the countless nods and winks to the 1984 film. As such, fans have been worried that, by bringing Ghostbusters back to New York City, history is set to repeat itself.

The trailer also doesn’t reveal how London might factor into the new film. If you’re familiar with both London and NYC, for a second, you might think the lion statue that comes roaring to life in the trailer is in Trafalgar Square, but it’s one of the two that bookend the New York Public Library — an iconic location from the original Ghostbusters film.

It’s likely the film will lean into a storyline explored in the long-running IDW Publishing Ghostbusters comic book series titled Ghostbusters: International, which sees Ghostbusters headquarters being set up all around the world.

A lion statue at the New York Public library coming to life in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Sony Releases Brand-New ‘Ghostbusters’ Short Film Online

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire stars McKenna Grace (Phoebe), Logan Kim (Podcast), Celeste O’Connor (Lucky), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor), Carrie Coon (Callie), and Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), all of whom first appeared in the 2021 film.

Several original actors who have appeared in all four films so far are also returning: 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). Franchise newcomers Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt, James Acaster, and Emily Alyn Lind have been cast in undisclosed roles.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire releases on March 29, 2024.

What do you think of the trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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