Returning ‘Ghostbusters’ Actor Slammed by Fans After Appearing in New Trailer

in Movies & TV

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

Credit: Sony Pictures

After months of waiting, the first official trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) has finally arrived, and it gives a whole new meaning to the word “chilling,” as New York City is set to go on ice during one of its hottest summers when a new villain known as the “Death Chill” brings about an early and deadly winter.

The fifth film in the series (fourth in the canon series) unites the Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) ensemble — Carrie Coon (Callie Spengler), Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace), Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucky Domingo (Celeste O’Connor), and Podcast (Logan Kim) — with several legacy characters, Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), Walter Peck (William Atherton), Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray).

Per Sony Pictures, here’s the trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire:

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

The film looks like a ton of fun, especially for fans of Afterlife. But it isn’t the only sequel to Afterlife that’s being released in March — Ghostbusters: Back in Town (2024) begins just two days before Frozen Empire hits theaters, which bridges the gap between both films.

Some fans may end up preferring that follow up to Afterlife instead of Frozen Empire, as it turns out some people aren’t keen on actor Patton Oswalt, who’s known for films such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2014), 22 Jump Street (2014), and The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019).

While we know next to nothing about his Ghostbusters character, whose name is Hubert according to the captions on the trailer, Oswalt is no stranger to the franchise, having played the iconic logo ghost Mooglie in the virtual reality mobile game Ghostbusters VR — Now Hiring (2016).

Mooglie (Patton Oswalt) in 'Ghostbusters VR -- Now Hiring' mobile game
Credit: Sony Pictures

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Patton Oswalt joins Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Alyn Lind, and James Acaster in the new film, however, the four roles remain undisclosed, and the trailer gives very little away where their respective characters are concerned.

Nanjiani and Acaster appear to have escaped the wrath of some fans (Lind doesn’t appear in the trailer), but Oswalt is “put on ice,” for lack of a better pun-tastic term.

Patton Oswalt in the 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

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The following tweets are just a handful of examples from X (formerly known as Twitter) where people have expressed their disappointment and, in some cases, outrage, at seeing the 54-year-old American actor pop up in the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire trailer.

YouTuber @TheQuartering said they “loved the look and feel” of the trailer but “HATED” Patton Oswalt, as well as the young characters such as Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Podcast (Logan Kim), and the fact that Callie (Carrie Soon) is also a Ghostbuster in the new film:

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire Trailer Review: LOVED the look & feel, the dark ominous tone and even what looked like maybe a named baddie. With original cast, even minus Harold Ramis would have been an EPIC. HATED- Patton Oswalt, The kids, & moms a ghostbuster now?

@ranger_spidey is also excited for the upcoming sequel, but adds that they “don’t care for Patton Oswalt” while suggesting the film has been given the “Disney treatment,” which is presumably another criticism of the children in the film:

Who’s excited for #GhostbustersFrozenEmpire ? I don’t care for Patton Oswalt in it but I just wanna see a good Ghostbusters film with the old crew in it and not getting the Disney treatment.

Going slightly off topic, another user appears to take issue with the fact that there are several female characters in the new film. @Psych_Studios cites the latest South Park special, South Park: Joining the Panderverse (2023), which pokes fun at Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy for allegedly making the Star Wars franchise “woke” by inserting gender politics:

Are we sure that Kathleen Kennedy didn’t influence “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire?” A lame @pattonoswalt appears at the height of “Put a chick in it, and make her gay!”

Going back to the actor in question, things take a darker turn when @The_BobbysWorld says they’re “ready to jump” to their “doom” after hearing that Patton Oswalt stars in the new film:

I’m on a balancing pole about the new #GhostbustersFrozenEmpire. I enjoyed Afterlife, but hearing Patton Oswalt is in it; I’m ready to jump off to my doom. Hopefully his screen time is brief…

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

The reasons for this apparent disliking of Patton Oswalt vary from his political beliefs to his acting style. However, several other tweets criticizing the actor for appearing in the trailer feature highly inappropriate and deeply offensive content.

Per Sony Pictures, here’s the official synopsis for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire:

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.

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

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

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), 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.

Are you a fan of Patton Oswalt? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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