Ghostbusters: Afterlife: Jason Reitman Talks the Process of [SPOILERS]

We will be talking about one of the significant third act reveals of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. If you haven't seen the movie yet and you haven't been spoiled for one of the major reveals at the end, consider this your spoiler warning. Don't read beyond this image if you don't want to know what happens at the end.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife: Jason Reitman Talks the Process of [SPOILERS]
Director Jason Reitman with crew on the set of Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE. PHOTO BY: Kimberley French © 2021 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved
There were a lot of hurdles that another within canon Ghostbusters movie needed to jump to get made, and one of them was the sad passing of Harold Ramis. The question of how you approach that character not being there and how you explain it within the universe was at the forethought of everyone when it came to finally making Ghostbusters: Afterlife. A ghost kills Ramis's Egon at the movie's beginning, but shadows keep his face hidden. We see a ghostly version of Egon by the end of the film that helps everyone defeat Gozer. In an interview with director Jason Reitman, Empire asked about the lengthy process of bringing Ramis into the movie and keeping Ramis's family involved with the process.

We had this idea, which was that a family is introduced to their history and who they are. A teenage girl finds proton pack on a farm and a teenage boy finds ECTO-1 in a barn, and in so doing, learn who they really are, and what adventure lays ahead. We loved this concept. We wanted to make a movie about three generations of a family that needed to be repaired. And how do you repair a relationship when someone's no longer there? That was really important to us. It gets repaired eventually with an embrace, and that was the big conversation when we were talking to anybody on the phone about visual effects. This movie does not end with an explosion. It doesn't have a Death Star that blows up. It ends on a hug. And a hug has to work or we've got nothing.

The first person that ever read the script was my father, and after my father it was the Ramis family. It was Harold's widow, Erica, and daughter Violet, who I grew up knowing – we were both on the set of the original back in '83. I talked to them about what we wanted to do, how we were going to do it. They came to set, and they viewed visual effects that came to the editing room. They're the first people to ever actually see the movie. So they were part of this movie from start to finish and I think they were aware of how much I wanted to honour Harold. Egon was my favourite Ghostbuster. This is a Spengler story, and this movie is dedicated to him in every way.

So the real question was how do we pull this off? Anyone who enjoys movies has now seen examples of virtual characters that really work and virtual characters that are difficult to look at. It's one thing to see in the middle of a movie, where it kind of comes and goes. It's another thing if the whole climax of the movie will be decided on whether or not you believe these two people are hugging each other, that a daughter is forgiving her father and saying goodbye to him. And that these Ghostbusters, who have gone through this misunderstanding and been broken apart, get to stand next to each other one more time and bust a ghost.

Even as someone who doesn't have much invested in the Ghostbusters, the final scenes with Egon appearing really hit you right in the feels in a good way. They didn't have him speak, which was probably the best creative choice they could have made. It's a little weird when they put words into the mouth of a person that is no longer with us. It gives everyone in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, from Callie to the other Busters, some closure when it comes to Egon. It's a sweet moment, and it's good that Reitman made sure that it was handled with care and put a lot of thought behind it, not just from a fan perspective but from a story perspective and a human one.

Summary: From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Jason Reitman, stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Annie Potts, and Paul Rudd. It was released on November 19th.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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