‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Reveals Connection to 2016 Reboot, and Some Fans Won’t be Happy

in Movies & TV

'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' and 'Ghostbusters: Answer the Call' poster mashup

Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) has revealed a major connection with the 2016 reboot and some fans won’t be happy.

With the release date for the Ghostbusters sequel having just been moved up by one week, naturally, marketing is suddenly being ramped up, and the fact that this month’s issue of Empire magazine has been given a very frosty makeover is no coincidence.

A series of exclusive covers celebrating the upcoming film conceals “a major deep-dive on what Frozen Empire has in store,” which includes interviews with director/co-writer Gil Kenan and producer/co-writer Jason Reitman, and many cast members.

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

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Finally Unmasks Its Brand-New Main Villain

One cover shows Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) characters Phoebe (McKenna Grace), Callie (Carrie Coon), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) in their Ghostbusters gear. While Callie and Gary didn’t partake in any ghost-busting action in the 2021 sequel, this time they’ll officially suit up. The other two young Ghostbusters, Podcast (Logan Kim) and Lucky Domingo (Celeste O’Connor), have also returned.

But a second cover comes with a big surprise as it depicts the OG team, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), who are joined by a new Ghostbuster (but not a new character): Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts).

Check out the covers below per the official Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) X (formerly Twitter) account:

Who you gonna call? #Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire hits the world-exclusive new issue of Empire, gathering the cast old and new for an epic shoot with the Ecto-1 – with two glow-in-the-dark covers to collect!

Related: The 2016 ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot May Be 100% Canon, After All

Frozen Empire has now formed a major connection with Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016) where its paranormal eliminators are concerned, as there are now four new female Ghostbusters (that we know about). But this isn’t the first time Janine has donned the flight suit, and as for female Ghostbusters in general, they existed long before the 2016 film.

Even before Answer the Call came along, the two animated shows, The Real Ghostbusters (1986 — 1991) and Extreme Ghostbusters (1997), and the long-running IDW Publishing comic book series, had plenty of female Ghostbusters between them: Kylie Griffin, Melanie Ortiz, and Janine Melnitz, to name a few.

Kylie Griffin (Tara Strong) in 'Extreme Ghostbusters' 1997
Credit: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution / Bohbot Entertainment

Related: Did You Miss This Epic Crossover Between the Original ‘Ghostbusters’ and the 2016 Reboot?

Answer the Call‘s lineup, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), and Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), were just the latest ones at the time. But the reboot, which was a critical and financial bomb, led to many fans being accused of sexism simply for not liking the film.

That said, there were, of course, plenty of genuine trolls among the masses who probably won’t be happy with Frozen Empire for its female Ghostbuster symmetry.

However, some may take the viewpoint that Janine Melnitz is standing in for Egon Spengler, who was played in the original two Ghostbusters films by the late Harold Ramis. With the actor having passed away in 2014, his character was killed off in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, in which his living and ghost versions were played by Bob Gunton and Ivan Reitman.

'Ghostbusters: Answer the Call' character poster
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Sequel Gets New Trailer, Puts ‘Frozen Empire’ to Shame

But we’re excited to see Frozen Empire‘s new female quartet in action — although there are at least ten Ghostbusters in total when you include the male characters: Trevor Spengler, Gary Grooberson, Podcast, Winston Zeddemore, Peter Venkman, and Ray Stantz.

That’s a lot of crossing the streams…

Check out the trailer for Frozen Empire below, per Sony Pictures:

Related: ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Trailer Breakdown

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

The film will now be released on March 22, 2024.

The upcoming tie-in comic book series Ghostbusters: Back in Town issue #1 will be released on March 27, 2024. Issue #2 goes on sale on April 24.

What do you think about the new trailer for Frozen Empire? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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