Female Ghostbusters Actress Makes Surprising Return to Franchise as New Sequel Announced

in Movies & TV

'Ghostbusters: Answer the Call' character poster

Credit: Sony Pictures

This year, Ghostbusters (1984) celebrates its 40th anniversary, so the Ghostbusters Day celebrations, which took place last week on June 8, held extra meaning for fans.

While Sony Pictures didn’t release quite as many surprises from its Ecto Containment Unit as it has done in previous years, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of new Ghost-busting content on the horizon. In fact, there’s a whole lot of “something strange” coming up.

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) dressed as a Ghostbuster in 'Ghostbusters II'
Credit: Sony Pictures

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

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024) director Gil Kenan has already hinted that there will be more movie sequels in the future. And there’s also an animated television series in the works (and an animated movie), which got teased ahead of last week’s festivities.

On June 6, Sony Pictures Animation took to X (formerly Twitter) to tease the upcoming Netflix series, saying:

“There’s something strange in the neighborhood… Our supernatural comedy series, based on Ghostbusters, is coming soon to @Netflix. #NextOnNetflix

Of course, the franchise is no stranger to the world of animation, having given us The Real Ghostbusters (1986 — 1991) and Extreme Ghostbusters (1997). Now, an actress from the beloved ’80s cartoon has finally made her long-awaited return to the franchise.

In the films, the Ghostbusters’ sassy redhead secretary is played by Annie Potts, however, in The Real Ghostbusters Season 1 — 2, Laura Summer took on the secretarial duties (she was voiced by Kath Soucie in Season 3 — 7 and Pat Musick in the 1997 cartoon series).

Janine answering the phone in 'The Real Ghostbusters' intro
Credit: DIC Enterprises Columbia Pictures Television

Related: ‘Ghostbusters’ TV Series Geared Towards Adults Explained

Previously, Summers expressed a desire to reprise her role as Janine in the asymmetrical multiplayer video game Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed (2022). The game’s developer Illfonic even caught wind of this, but it looks like someone else has beat them to it.

That’s right — if you’re looking for the return of the animated version of Janine, who’s the first female Ghostbuster in the franchise, well, “We got one!” (Apologies to Abby Yates, Erin Gilbert, Jillian Holtzmann, and Patty Tolan of the 2016 reboot — you weren’t the first).

Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy looking disappointed in 'Ghostbusters: Answer the Call'
Credit: Sony Pictures

Though in an entirely unofficial capacity, Laura Summer has officially reprised her role as Janine Melnitz in Spirits Unleashed via a brand-new fan-made video from Ghostbusters: Cleanin’ Up The Town composer J-Mi. Check out the video below:

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

Spirits Unleashed is no stranger to reintroducing characters from the wider franchise using DLCs (downloadable content), especially The Real Ghostbusters. Last year, we saw the return of iconic villain Samhain, and more recently, the four Ghostbusters themselves became available in the game.

However, take note that the video’s description confirms that “this is NOT [a] planned DLC for Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed,” adding that it is “a fan made video that includes [The] Real Ghostbusters voice actor Laura Summer.”

Slimer in the new 'Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

Still, it’s fun to see Summer reprise her role. Whether or not there’s a chance she’ll ever play the character in live action remains to be seen. While many fans compared the latest sequel, Frozen Empire, to the ’80s cartoon series, Janine is played by Annie Potts in the films.

With that said, given the fact the franchise deals with things such as alternate dimensions, who knows — a future movie sequel may wind up dealing with the Ghostbusters Multiverse.

Like the IDW Publishing “Ghostbusters” comic book series, it could allow for characters from other corners of the franchise, whether it’s the ’80s cartoon or even the 2016 reboot Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016).

It would be a lot of fun to see them appear alongside legacy characters such as Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), and the Afterlife/Frozen Empire ensemble.

Watch Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Frozen Empire is now available to watch at home. Check out the trailer below, per Sony Pictures:

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the original 1984 classic from late director Ivan Reitman, the film is returning to theaters in front of a live orchestra.

Would you like to see Laura Summers return in an official capacity? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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