'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' First Look Takes the Ecto-1 for a Joy Ride, Reveals New Details Before First Trailer Next Week

Next year brings the Ghostbusters sequel that many fans have been waiting for since Ghostbusters 2 in 1989. There have been rumblings for years of a Ghostbusters 3 getting off the ground, but they never came to fruition until now.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is coming to theaters in July 2020, and the sequel has Juno director Jason Reitman, son of the first film’s director Ivan Reitman, taking over the original franchise. But that’s not the only legacy at the center of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, as some new photos and story details from the sequel have teased a link to the original Ghostbusters team, whose heroics in New York back in 1984 may now be regarded only as myth.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife focuses on a single mother named Callie (Carrie Coon of Gone Girl) who inherits an Oklahoma farmhouse from a father that she didn’t know. Within that house lies plenty of curiosities for her science-loving daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and mechanically and technologically inclined son Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), both of whom are seen below in this photo from the set.

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The curiosities in the house would seem to indicate the presences of ghosts, both literally and figuratively. Phoebe finds a device that detects psychokinetic energy, and fans will easily remember this as the PKE meter that Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis) used to track ghosts. Surely that will kickstart this new adventure, and it just might confirm that the father Callie never knew was Egon himself. But what happened to Egon in the 25 years since Ghostbusters 2? And where are the rest of the characters from the original movie?

Jason Reitman isn’t ready to confirm any of those details, telling Vanity Fair, “As the family arrives at an old farm, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters. Trevor and Phoebe are about to find out who their grandfather was and whether they’re ready to pick up the proton pack themselves.”

But these kids probably don’t know what proton packs are, because they’re unfamiliar with the Ghostbusters entirely. In fact, the event referred to as the “Manhattan Crossrip,” where the Ghostbusters took on the Sumerian God known as Gozer the Gozerian and its destructive traveler manifested as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, seems to be largely regarded as a myth or a hoax, and Phoebe and Trevor have never really heard about it before.

That’s where Paul Rudd‘s character comes into play. Seemingly operating somewhat like Han Solo’s role in The Force Awakens, Rudd plays a summer school teacher named Mr. Grooberson who confirms the Manhattan Crossip was real. He just so happens to have been a kid when the Ghostbusters rose to fame in New York City, and he remembers everything about the events of the Manhattan Crossrip, telling anyone who will listen that it actually happened. You can see a photo of Rudd holding the trademark ghost trap in another photo at Vanity Fair.

Phoebe and Trevor will also stumble upon another classic piece of Ghostbusters gear in the form of the Ecto-1, the rundown ambulance turned paranormal pursuer. The discovery of these pieces of Ghostbusters history set in motion the story. Reitman says:

“The joy of cowriting a film like this is imagining the sound of Ecto-1’s engine revving back to life or the moment a PKE meter lights up for the first time and begins leading you toward your destiny.”

They certainly enjoy their newfound inheritance, as it seems Trevor fixes the car up enough to take it for a joyride through some wheatfields.

The story, which Reitman cracked with Monster House director Gil Kenan, has Phoebe discovering some “strange rumblings” in a nearby mine. Below, Phoebe stands in front of the mine, rusty warning signs doing their best to keep her and a friend played by Logan Kim out of the area.

What lies in this mine? How will it result in getting the original Ghostbusters characters involved in this story and how pivotal will their role be? Those are answers we might get when the first trailer arrives on Monday, December 9.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife starts haunting theaters on July 10, 2020.

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