'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Story "Feeds Into The Possibility" Of More Sequels, According To Dan Aykroyd

When the Ghostbusters cast and filmmakers reunited on Josh Gad's web series Reunited Apart, there was a little confusion about something Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman said during their chat. Many thought the filmmaker was revealing another sequel was already in development, but it was just an out of context quote that got misconstrued. However, Ghostbusters is still a franchise, and obviously Sony Pictures would like to see Afterlife reinvigorate the brand. That's why we're not surprised to hear franchise star and co-creator Dan Aykroyd say the new movie "feeds into the possibility" of more sequels.

Entertainment Weekly recently spoke with Dan Aykroyd in support of his new Travel Channel series Hotel Paranormal premiering on July 11. The series gives Aykroyd the chance to tap into the real beliefs he has about paranormal activity by focusing on terrifying true stories of those who have come face-to-face with otherworldly hotel guests. But Aykroyd is still very much focused on fictional stories of the paranormal with Ghostbusters: Afterlife slated to arrive in March 2021. However, it wasn't easy returning to Ghostbusters without co-star and co-writer Harold Ramis. Aykroyd recalled:

"To have that formation without that man standing right there on the line with us was a pretty serious adjustment. He will be very well represented in the new film, I can tell you that. He's very honorably represented."

We're not sure if that means Ghostbusters: Afterlife has some kind of tribute to the character of Egon Spengler, or if Aykroyd is just speaking generally about the story. Though this hasn't been officially confirmed, based on the trailer, Afterlife appears to focus on the estranged daughter and grandchildren of Egon as they stumble upon all of his Ghostbusters gear and encounter a new paranormal threat in a small Oklahoma town.

Though Aykroyd didn't write the upcoming sequel that picks up decades after Ghostbusters II, he still has a vested interest in the franchise's future. In the hands of director Jason Reitman, son of original franchise director Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters: Afterlife truly brings us the next generation of Ghostbusters. Aykroyd said:

"[Jason Reitman is] passing the DNA of the first two movies directly to the new generation. It's just a lot of fun to see these terrific young actors slinging the old Cadillac around and having the equipment in their hands. The story that develops from that is scary and funny and heartfelt and also funny. And it feeds into the possibility of more follow-ups with this group and with others who want to join."

Again, it should be noted that this doesn't mean that a Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel is in active development. But the fact that this movie paves the way for a new franchise with the young cast at the center of the story isn't unexpected. His note about "others who want to join" is interesting too, making it seem like there's an open invitation to anyone who believes in spooks, spectres, or ghosts to become part of the Ghostbusters team.

One of Dan Aykroyd's earliest ideas for Ghostbusters was that it wouldn't just be a small business, but rather a massive corporation that took care of paranormal activity all over the world, even venturing into space. Perhaps Ghostbusters: Afterlife will finally make that idea a reality and we'll see the next generation of Ghostbusters expand into something massive. After all, Dr. Peter Venkman once said, "The franchise rights alone will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams."