Beloved ‘Ghostbusters’ Actor Discusses Louis Tully’s Long-Awaited Return

in Movies & TV

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) dressed as a Ghostbuster in 'Ghostbusters II'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) is still haunting movie theaters worldwide. Unlike its predecessor, Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), the film doesn’t lean quite so heavily into nostalgia, but it’s still bursting at the seams with familiar faces from previous movies.

But despite the fact the latest sequel is teeming with legacy characters — Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), and Walter Peck (William Atherton) — there’s one who’s oddly absent. In fact, he didn’t even appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was so nostalgic that it’s a surprise a river of pink nostalgia slime didn’t form underground while it was in theaters.

Bumbling accountant Louis Tully (played by Rick Moranis), who appears in the first two films in the series, Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989) — and briefly in other Ghostbusters media — is among the most beloved characters in the entire franchise.

Even against then-comedy giants Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, Moranis delivers a truly hilarious performance as Dana Barrett’s down-the-hall apartment neighbor who winds up becoming the Keymaster/Vinz Clortho, the other half of her eventual demonic possession.

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) possessed by the Keymaster in 'Ghostbusters' 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: ‘Ghostbusters’: Louis Tully’s Return Explained

While all the legacy characters who’ve returned — plus Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) — appeared in Afterlife, Louis Tully did not. And unfortunately, the same can now be said about Frozen Empire. As with the 2021 sequel, fans pinned their hopes on seeing Spaceballs (1987) actor Rick Moranis reprising his role, however, it wasn’t meant to be. But why?

Moranis, 71, took a long hiatus from acting in 1997 after the passing of his wife, choosing to focus on raising his two children. But while he’s expected to return in the Disney+ Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) spinoff series Shrunk (TBA) — although there haven’t been any updates lately — he’s unlikely to return to Ghostbusters. So, did he simply not get the call?

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

Related: ‘Ghostbusters’ Cinematic Universe Will Include New Sequels, TV Shows, and More

Well, we finally have an answer. In a recent interview with Screen Rant, actor Ernie Hudson, 78, who plays iconic Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore in all four films in the series, revealed that Moranis was offered a part in the latest sequel, Frozen Empire, which he turned down:

“Yeah, because Rick [Moranis] is such an important part of the success of all of this. I think everybody understands that and agrees with that. I don’t know why. I haven’t had a personal conversation. I talked to Ivan Reitman before he transitioned, who I know had spent a lot of time trying to convince Rick. I know that the other guys have talked to him, and I’m not sure why. He just said no.”

Hudson went on to explain that Moranis was offered more money than he was, adding that if he thought visiting his former co-star at his house could persuade him to return to Ghostbusters, he’d “be there” and that he’d “love to see him” back in the franchise:

“I know they offered him more money than they offered me. And if I thought going to his house would make a difference, I’d be there. Because I’d love to see [him]. And not just in Ghostbusters, but I just think he’s an amazing talent. I would love to see him working, but obviously, it was a personal choice. [Maybe] if they did a country western album or something, but I don’t know. I’d love to see him back if there was any possible way, you know?”

Louis Tully isn’t the only legacy character absent in the new film. Dana Barrett, played by Sigourney Weaver, is nowhere to be seen, either. While she has a mid-credits scene in Afterlife, last year, Weaver told Collider she “wasn’t asked” to come back for the latest film.

Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett AKA Zuul the Gatekeeper in 'Ghostbusters' 1984
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: All 9 ‘Ghostbusters’ Installments Ranked, Including ‘Frozen Empire’

However, the two may reprise their roles in a future film. Frozen Empire director Gil Kenan has already discussed the possibility of seeing other legacy actors in addition to Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts, and William Atherton. In an interview with Screen Rant earlier this year, he said:

“We never wrote a role for Louis Tully in Frozen Empire. We’ve got enough characters in this story. I love Tully by the way. I’m a huge Rick Moranis fan. Louis Tully was an indelible element of Ghostbusters. Dana Barrett is also one of my favorite characters in these films, but there was no story for Dana Barrett in Frozen Empire. But if we’re lucky enough to make more of these films, I would love for Dana to have more to do in these stories.”

So far, Frozen Empire has captured $195.3M in its streams. Hardly a huge leap from its $100M budget (Afterlife did slightly better, grossing $204.3M over $75M), but it’s a respectable performance at the box office, nonetheless. As such, another sequel is likely.

Frozen Empire is now available to watch at home.

Check out the trailer below, per Sony Pictures:

Related: ‘Ghostbusters’ TV Series Geared Towards Adults Explained

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), Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), James Acaster (Lars Pinfield), Patton Oswalt (Dr. Hubert Wartzki), Kumail Nanjiani (Nadeem Razmaadi), and Emily Alyn Lind (Melody).

More Ghostbusters Media

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) wearing the colander in 'Ghostbusters' (1984)
Credit: Sony Pictures

Maybe Louis Tully will return one day. He doesn’t appear in the new comic book series, “Ghostbusters: Back in Town” (2024), but there are some new projects in development, including a Ghostbusters animated movie and an animated series for Netflix.

In addition to movies, animated shows, and comic books, there are also plenty of Ghostbusters video games to enjoy, from “Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed” (2022) to the virtual reality (VR) experience “Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord” (2023).

Ghostbusters is also expected to return to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights 2024, having last appeared for the event at Hollywood and Orlando in 2019.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1984 film, which, in celebration, is returning to theaters in front of a live orchestra.

Do you hope to see Rick Moranis reprise his role as Louis Tully in a future Ghostbusters sequel? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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