Ghostbusters 3 (titled Ghostbusters: Legacy or Ghostbusters: From Beyond in some markets) is an upcoming American supernatural comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Reitman and Gil Kenan. It stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd, while Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts reprise their roles from the original films.

It is the direct sequel to Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989) and the fourth film overall in the Ghostbusters franchise. Set thirty years after the second film, a family moves to a small town, where they discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and their grandfather’s secret legacy.

A third Ghostbusters film had been in various stages of development since Ghostbusters II in 1989. After Murray refused to commit to the project, and after the death of cast member Harold Ramis in 2014, Sony instead produced a reboot. After the film underperformed at the box office, Reitman began developing a direct sequel to the original films. The new cast members were announced by July 2019, while the original cast signed on two months later.

Ghostbusters 3 was originally scheduled to be released in the United States on July 10, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been delayed to March 5, 2021. Ghostbusters 3 will be released in IMAX, RealD 3D, and Dolby Cinema.

Ghostbusters 3 Premise

After being evicted from their home, two children and their single mother move to a farm in Summerville, Oklahoma, inherited from their late grandfather. When the town experiences a series of unexplained earthquakes, the children discover their family’s link to the original Ghostbusters, who have become something of a myth as many have long since forgotten the events of the “Manhattan Crossrip of 1984”, and the secret legacy that their grandfather left behind.

Ghostbusters 3 Cast

  • Mckenna Grace as Phoebe
  • Finn Wolfhard as Trevor
  • Carrie Coon as Callie
  • Paul Rudd as Mr. Grooberson
  • Logan Kim as Phoebe’s classmate
  • Celeste O’Connor as Trevor’s classmate
  • Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman
  • Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond “Ray” Stantz
  • Ernie Hudson as Dr. Winston Zeddemore
  • Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett
  • Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz
  • Oliver Cooper as Elton
  • Bokeem Woodbine as Sheriff Domingo
  • Marlon Kazadi as Thickneck
  • Sydney Mae Diaz as Swayze
  • Tracy Letts as Jack
  • J.K. Simmons

Ghostbusters 3 Production

Development

During the 1990s, following the release of Ghostbusters II, Dan Aykroyd wrote a script for a third film tentatively titled Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent. The concept had the characters transported to an alternate universe version of Manhattan called Manhellton, where the people and places are “hellish” versions of Earth, with the Ghostbusters meeting and confronting the devil. At the time, Aykroyd stated that the studio was interested, though the principal actors (especially Bill Murray) were not.

It featured a new, younger group of Ghostbusters 3, while Ray, Egon, and Winston struggle to keep the business going upon Peter’s relationship becoming serious with Dana. Much of this concept was recycled years later, for Ghostbusters: The Video Game in 2009.

By 2004, movement on a sequel was revisited by the studio, though Bill Murray again expressed his disinterest in the project, stating that he dislikes sequels. The following year, Ramis confirmed plans to introduce Ben Stiller into the principal cast. By 2009, however development of the project had stalled. By January 2010, Reitman confirmed that he would be directing the film. In March, Murray discussed development of the film, and his intentions to reprise his role.

A release was scheduled for Christmas 2012. In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Aykroyd commented on the screenplay written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, stating that he was particularly impressed with how Murray’s character had been written, and the implementation of the new team with the original team, while he and Ramis would work on a second draft of the script.

By August 2011, Aykroyd stated that the plan was for filming to begin later that year, with the story of the mantle being assumed by the younger generation. Later, when Murray decided to pass on reprising the starring role of Peter Venkman, Aykroyd announced the possibility that another actor might replace him. Aykroyd also mentioned that he wanted Moranis to return as Louis Tully.

By February 2012, the film was placed on hold as the production team reevaluated the project. Without Murray, the studio searched for replacement actors and considered featuring his character as a CGI-rendered ghost. In June, Murray again acknowledged that all involved were attempting to develop the third film once more before dropping out of the film the following month. In July, Aykroyd confirmed that the film was back in development, with a script re-write from Etan Cohen. Aykroyd said of the script that “It’s got to be perfect. That’s the whole thing. There’s no point in doing it unless it’s perfect. So that’s what we’re up to now.”

By September 2012, Reitman announced the developments of a remake. In May 2013, Aykroyd discussed plot points including real-life experiments being done by college students at Columbia University being source for inspiration. The plot will revolve around research being done by the university, which brings about threats from other dimensions with a new team of Ghostbusters forming to save Earth’s plane of existence from supernatural threats. The script reportedly wrote Murray’s character in, with hopes that the actor would decide to join the production.

After the death of Harold Ramis on February 24, 2014, Sony Pictures stated that Ramis would appear in the film through use of a cameo. With the script needing to be reworked following Ramis’ passing, the project was delayed once again. By March 2015, it was confirmed that Reitman would not be directing the third film, but would remain as producer with plans to begin principal photography by early-2015. Sigourney Weaver later revealed that her character’s son will feature as a member of the team. Again, the project delayed as the studio searched for a new director.

A new film connected to the original two films, tentatively titled Ghostbusters 3, was revealed in January 2019. Jason Reitman, son of original director Ivan Reitman, was announced to direct from a script he co-wrote with Gil Kenan, while Ivan Reitman will serve as a producer. According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit, the film will feature teenagers, two boys and two girls, as the new recruits for the titular team. The film was scheduled to be released on July 10, 2020, but was delayed to March 5, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Principal photography began in July 2019 in Calgary and ended in October of that same year.

Director Jason Reitman has stated the film will ignore the events of 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot directed by Paul Feig. Later, in February 2019, Reitman stated on a podcast that this film will “hand the movie back to the fans”. Reitman clarified that he did not mean to snub the 2016 film, and that he had “nothing but admiration” for Feig. Feig himself stated that Reitman had been a supporter of his film, and that he “can’t wait to see his take on the Ghostbusters universe”.

Reitman later explained the origins of his film, that the idea of a young teenage girl wanting to be a Ghostbuster had come to him, and with positive reaction from Feig’s film, proved out that the idea that anyone could be a Ghostbuster would work.

Reitman continued that the Ghostbusters franchise could readily expand on this idea with all types of people becoming Ghostbusters, personally thanking Feig for making this possible. Aykroyd, of Reitman’s script, stated, “Jason Reitman wrote a beautiful, heartfelt script that takes the real DNA from the first two movies and transfers that directly to the third, the next generation. It hands the legacy off to a new generation of stars, and players, and actors, and characters.” Bill Murray, also confirmed to be returning to reprise Peter Venkman, said of the script, “The script is good. It’s got lots of emotion in it. It’s got lots of family in it, with through lines that are really interesting.”

Casting

Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, and Carrie Coon were announced in March 2019, cast as the sister and brother with their single mother, respectively. Reitman described Grace as an avid fan of the series and a perfect fit for his teenaged-girl Ghostbuster concept.

Wolfhard was unsure if he would get the role as he had already dressed up as a Ghostbuster during the second season of Stranger Things and that “Jason Reitman is probably not even going to look at my tape” because of that. On June 27, 2019, Paul Rudd shared a video on the official Ghostbusters 3 social media accounts revealing that he had been cast in the film, later confirmed to be Mr. Grooberson, the children’s new teacher that knows of the Ghostbusters’ legacy. Newcomers Celeste O’Connor and Logan Kim were announced as cast in July 2019.

In addition, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts have been confirmed to be reprising their roles from the first two Ghostbusters films.

Filming

Under the working title “Rust City”, principal photography began on July 12, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta and area, and lasted until October. Location shooting in surrounding communities such as Crossfield, Beiseker, and Drumheller took place during July and August 2019. Additional locations around Alberta were also used. On October 18, 2019, Reitman posted a photo on his Instagram account confirming that filming had wrapped after 68 days.

Ghostbusters 3 Marketing

On August 22, 2019, toy manufacturer and multimedia company Hasbro announced that they have obtained the master toy license for the Ghostbusters 3 franchise, with the new products (including action figures and role play items) set to be released in stores in April.

Ghostbusters 3 Release

Ghostbusters 3 was originally scheduled to be released in the United States on July 10, 2020 by Sony Pictures Releasing, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been delayed to March 5, 2021, taking the release date of Uncharted. The film will be released in RealD 3D, IMAX and Dolby Cinema.

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