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Ghostbusters: Afterlife Director Discusses How the Film’s Surprising Cameo Came to Be

Egon Spengler‘s appearance in Ghostbusters: Afterlife surprised many of us. Jason Reitman, the film’s director, decided to give us a glimpse into how it all came together.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the latest addition to the popular series. It’s the sequel to Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2. Chronologically, the events are taking place 32 years after the last installment. The story introduces us to the struggles of a single mom and her two kids living in the suburbs of Oklahoma. Shortly after that, we’re led on a path of discovery as we find out about their connection to Egon Spengler, their grandfather, initially portrayed by the now-deceased Harold Ramis. The new cast consists of Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, McKenna Grace. It features several notable appearances, such as Annie Potts, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, and Earnie Hudson.

The legacy of Ghostbusters goes a long way. You’ll find the iconic character cast appearing on several occasions, from popular entertainment to literature. The comic book lovers are sure to find the 2016’s The New Ghostbusters Paperback much to their liking, while video gaming enthusiasts are bound to fall in love with Ghostbusters – The Video Game Remastered, available on Steam and a plethora of gaming consoles. The franchise has also left a footprint in iGaming, leading to the development of Ghostbusters Plus, a popular slot game title available at widely-known Michigan online casino brands like Golden Nugget.

In the brand new sequel to the franchise, the return of Egon Spengler was far from anticipated. Unfortunately, Harold Ramis, the original actor who portrayed the character, passed away in 2014. To bring his spirit back into the movie, the makers used footage obtained while filming 1984’s original Ghostbusters. In the story, the character met his untimely demise at the hands of a spectral entity that crossed his way as he was out to capture Gozer, a malevolent ghost. In the movie’s finale, Spengler’s spirit comes back to traverse the earthly realms and help his former teammates defeat Gozer once and for all, right along with the rest of the evil spirits that plague their existence.

To shed some light on what’s behind the Egon Spengler cameo, Jason Reitman shared what inspired him to resurrect the legendary scientist once more. From his interviews, we learned that Ramis’ family members were the first to lay their eyes on the script for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. According to him, they were present during the shooting and editing alike. So not only were they entirely in the know regarding how the latest movie intended to honor the late actor, but they were also watching the idea come to life right from its very inception.

The real challenge, though, was executing it and making it believable in an environment where physical meets digital. There is a significant time gap between 1984’s footage and the filming of the latest movie, for starters. It’s well over 30 years. Moreover, Egon’s ghost was set to play a deciding role in the movie’s finale, so the execution has had to be impeccable. While anything goes in a humorous setting, the story concludes with a fair share of emotional moments, including the scene where a daughter waves her final goodbye to the ghost of her father as the two-part ways.

It can be said that Ghostbusters: Afterlife was massive fan service, and the majority of the audience has responded positively. While the critics viewed the addition of Egon Spengler as unnecessary, the rest received it as a heartfelt tribute to the late actor. Since Ramis’ family was the one to oversee it all the way through, this is all the support Reitman needed to go forward with his plans.

Either way, could this be a fresh and exciting new start for the series as a whole, with many sequels to follow? We’ll find out soon enough!

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