Sony has officially set a release date for the sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Per Deadline, the film is scheduled to hit movie theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. This news follows a recent announcement from director Jason Reitman and writer Gil Kenan on Ghostbusters Day earlier this month that a sequel is now in the works. The filmmakers also teased that the movie will take the story back to Manhattan and that the film is currently in development under the working title Firehouse, suggesting a return to a certain iconic location from the earlier movies.
“At the end of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the Ecto-1 is driving into Manhattan, returning to its home,” Reitman said, per THR. “And before anyone ever heard the title Afterlife, we called it Rust City. Which would not have made sense to anyone until they saw the movie. The code name for the next movie is Firehouse.”
Of the screenplay they’re co-writing, Kenan added, “We’re writing as quickly as we can. We had the story before we finished Afterlife. And we have been crafting this with as much care as it took to build Afterlife into a worthy sequel.”
The two also confirmed their plans to have Ernie Hudson’s Winston play a big part in the story. That’s something Hudson had been hoping for as he had previously spoken about how much he wanted Winston to return and help pass the torch on to the new team.
“Clearly it’s a new family’s movie so I don’t know if any of the old Ghostbusters can be major players – but being involved as mentors in some way would be a lot of fun,” Hudson had expressed to Yahoo. “[Winston] certainly seems set up to be a part of it. He understands the Ghostbusters better than anyone. He’s almost like Sam Jackson’s character [Nick Fury] in the Marvel Universe. Whatever comes out of it, I’d love to see Winston connected to it.”
Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman Spoke About Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2 Before Ivan’s Passing
Ivan Reitman directed the original two Ghostbusters films and served as a producer on Ghostbusters: Afterlife with son Jason Reitman taking over directing duties. While Ivan has since passed away, Jason says he had spoken with his father about story ideas for Afterlife 2. While Ivan will sadly not be here to see the sequel come to fruition, Jason says the support and enthusiasm he had showed for the franchise’s future helps fuel where they’re going with the upcoming film.
“We talked about what we wanted to see happen to the Spengler family and even outside the Spengler family,” Jason explained. “And he was so excited. He was just thrilled about where we wanted to go. And sitting there, telling him what we wanted to do with the story was a daunting responsibility, but his enthusiasm for it is what fuels us today.”
Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be released in movie theaters on Dec. 20, 2023.