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Jabba’s Movies: Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Sigourney Weaver join Paul Rudd in ‘Ghostbusters Afterlife’

One of the most iconic movies of all time is 1984’s Ghostbusters – a spectacular supernatural masterpiece about a team of parapsychologists running a unique ghost removal service in New York starring Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver.

2022 arrives with an almighty bang as the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe explodes on the big screen, with superstar Paul Rudd front and centre.

Watch Jabba’s interview with director Jason Reitman in the video above

In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a single mum and her two kids arrive in a small town to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters team and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

There’s even an appearance by the original Ghostbuster crew.

A family affair

Jason Reitman, who directed and co-wrote this new installment has a unique connection to the spooky series.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is an extraordinarily personal film for me because my father Ivan Reitman, back in 1984, directed the original Ghostbusters,” Jason says.

“I was six years old on the set of that film and never in my mind did I ever imagine directing this film.

“When I started directing movies, I came out of Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival – I made movies like Thank You For Smoking, Juno and Up In The Air – I was always more of an independent filmmaker.

Jason Reitman (left) with father Ivan Reitman at the ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ New York Premiere in November.
Jason Reitman (left) with father Ivan Reitman at the ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ New York Premiere in November. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

“When people would ask me, ‘are you ever going to make a Ghostbusters movie?’, I always thought they wanted to see my Ghostbusters movie, but really what they wanted was A Ghostbusters movie.

“They wanted one more ride in ‘Ecto-1’, and it’s an honour to been the person to finally direct that film.”

“I am the son of a Ghostbuster, so I guess it’s no surprise that this is a movie about the daughter and grandchildren,” Reitman continues.

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ leaves New York behind for middle America.
‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ leaves New York behind for middle America. Credit: Sony Pictures

“This is a movie that doesn’t take place in New York City – it takes place in the American west, and I wanted to make a family story.

“I wanted to make a movie about a family that needed to figure their relationships out, and simultaneously make a movie that handed the proton pack back to audiences, (along with) the ghost trap, the PKE meter, Ecto-1 and then finally, the original guys.”

The legacy continues

Mckenna Grace (The Handmaid’s Tale, Annabelle Comes Home) and Finn Wolfhard (It, It Chapter Two) play siblings Phoebe and Trevor Spengler in the film.

“It’s really funny watching the film now because I feel like I’ve grown a lot as an actor since then,” Grace says.

Mckenna Grace in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’.
Mckenna Grace in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’. Credit: Sony Pictures

“It’s been two years now (since filming), and it felt like it was like 10, it felt like forever.”

“I took a lot away from that set – I took away a lot of things from watching Ms. Carrie (Coon, who plays mum Callie Spengler) and watching Finn and the original Ghostbusters.

“Watching these incredible actors and having such a good director I learned a lot, I definitely took away a tonne and not only will that stay with me, but just the fact of being in a Ghostbusters film will probably stay with me for a while … I hope.”

Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard star on starring in Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Reitman says Mckenna’s performance as Phoebe is central to the film’s appeal.

“The first image that ever popped in my head was a 12-year-old girl with a proton pack in the middle of a field, and I knew her name was Phoebe,” he says.

“I didn’t know her last name, then I realized, she’s Phoebe Spengler – the granddaughter of Egon Spengler.

“And just like Egon, Phoebe struggles to communicate with the world and like any Ghostbuster, she’s an outsider who finds a way to become a hero by picking up the proton pack.”

So, what is it about Ghostbusters that makes people so fanatical about the series?

“I think if you saw Ghostbusters when you were seven years old, like me, then it was probably the scariest movie you ever saw,” says Reitman.

“If you saw it as a teenager, it was the funniest movie you ever saw.“

Paul Rudd and Mckenna Grace in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’.
Paul Rudd and Mckenna Grace in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’. Credit: Sony Pictures

“It’s a comedy, it’s a horror film, it’s a science fiction film – it is so many things to different people and that moment of the 80s, when there were all these great pieces of entertainment coming out, we’re talking about E.T., Gremlins, Goonies, It was just kind of the high watermark of American entertainment.

Ghostbusters was the number one film over the summer for two months in America.

“There’s something about it – it’s sense of humour, it’s a comedy, but the scares are real.”

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is in cinemas January 1.

Don’t miss an exclusive extended edition of Jabba’s School Holiday Movie Show streaming now on 7plus.

You can also catch Jabba’s Movies, streaming now on 7plus.

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