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Sony Boss Explains How Ghostbusters: Afterlife Saved The Beloved Franchise

Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Logan Kim stand in front of Ecto-1 in a field in Ghostbusters Afterlife.
(Image credit: Columbia/Ghost Corps)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a rebirth of a beloved franchise that had been mostly dormant for decades. The sequel came at a time when discussions of Ghostbusters 3 had been swirling around for years. Although first came Paul Feig's 2016 attempted reboot, which failed to resonate with audiences. Luckily, Afterlife was well-received, becoming a commercial success. After the reboot’s enormous success, Sony’s boss explained how it helped to save the franchise.

Premiering during the COVID pandemic, the 2021 sci-fi comedy was a surprise hit for the studio. Sony CEO Tom Rothman spilled to Deadline how the industry has questioned the franchise’s strength after an extended period between sequels. This surprised him after the success of recent franchises, including the MCU Spider-Man and Jumanji films. He spoke on the ever-expanding Spider-verse before opening up about the reboot’s connection leading to its success.

When I took over Sony, it was said, oh, Sony has no IP. Not true. We actually had fantastic IP. We just needed to focus on it. We had Jumanji, Bad Boys, Uncharted. Ghostbusters, another example. Just before I got here, they took a turn down a road that didn’t work out that well. But because of Jason Reitman and his relationship with Ivan, may he rest in peace, we were able to resuscitate that into a tremendous success, both theatrically and in home entertainment.

Acknowledging the passing of the torch from father to son made the reboot an even bigger feat. Of course, Ivan Reitman’s passing put that in perspective as seen in Jason Reitman’s touching Twitter post. The younger Reitman grew up on the set of the first two Ghostbusters films. Watching his dad on set embedded the franchise’s lore and characters into his mind. That came through as Gen X and Millennials were able to relive the franchise with their children.

Rothman mentioned an Afterlife follow-up is currently in the works. Of course, his words followed the sequel’s official confirmation at this year’s CinemaCon. But words of a sequel sparked when news came out about Reitman and co-writer Gil Kenan inking an overall deal with the studio following the film’s box office success. While the duo work on a new script, OG Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd already has some ideas about what should happen with the surviving Ghostbusters. Given the film’s ending, the next movie could go off in multiple directions.

It is currently unknown when the sequel will arrive in theaters. In the meantime, you can watch Ghostbusters: Afterlife alongside the first two Ghostbusters film by getting an Amazon Prime subscription. As you wait for the sequel, there are multiple upcoming movies are premiering in 2022. You can check back with CinemaBlend to get more updates on the Afterlife sequel and the Ghostbusters franchise in general.

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).