A large audience of New York Comic Con attendees at the Ghostbusters: Afterlife panel were treated to a surprise one-month early screening on Friday night. The audience loudly cheered and applauded throughout the film and gave a standing ovation afterwards.
The preceding panel included stars Carrie Coon (The Leftovers, Fargo, Avengers: Infinity War), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, It), McKenna Grace (The Haunting of Hill House), Celeste O’Connor (Freaky), and Logan Kim as well as writer Gil Kenan (Poltergeist (2015)), Director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air) and his father Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Meatballs) who directed the first two Ghostbusters films and produced this new chapter.
“I knew I needed to tell this story,” Jason Reitman told the Comic-Con crowd. This was despite Ivan’s initial reticence to see his son revisit the world his father co-creator almost 40 years ago.
But the Reitmans weren’t the only ones with a deep personal affection for the original. “I am a Ghostbusters fan,” Kenan says. “It was the first Hollywood movie I saw when we came here to the states.” He left London at age three for Tel Aviv and then moved to Los Angeles at 8 years-old. “To me, it was just pure passion as a fan.”
“I was 3 years-old when the original came out,” Carrie Coon added. “We hadn’t really seen the kind of genre-blending before.”
Given how beloved the franchise is, the cast wasn’t told what project they were even auditioning for at first, and Ghostbusters certainly isn’t what you’d expect from Jason Reitman’s filmography. The Up in the Air director says the vague, though technically correct, plot description given to the actors was “a family inherits a farm — and that does sound a lot like one of my movies.”
This outing was different for the younger Reitman, not just because he’s making a genre film, but also because he’d be collaborating more closely with his father every step of the way. “If you want to know how it was on set, our directors’ chairs were closer than they are now,” the younger Reitman says. “You cannot say on set ‘DAD?!’”
“Jason had to be the captain of this huge enterprise,” Ivan Reitman added. “We tried not to fight. … we didn’t fight a lot but we’re passionate.”
Ghostbusters: Afterlife was originally scheduled to be realized on July 10th of last year and kept being pushed back due to Covid-19. Now the film is scheduled to at last hit theaters on November 11th.
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