That Time Bill Murray Had Finn Wolfhard And The New Gozer Howling On Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s Set

Bill Murray in Ghostbusters II
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Spoilers are ahead for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, now playing in theaters. 

If there’s one thing you’d hope regarding Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson's return to the Ghostbusters franchise, it would be that the trio were able to flex their funny bones on set. The latest entry into the franchise, Afterlife, sees the original cast back at it alongside newcomers like Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd... among a few surprises. The set sounds like it was a ton of fun, and you may be able to thank Murray for a lot of that. 

There are surely a ton of fun stories from the set of the highly anticipated sequel, which sees Jason Reitman, the son of OG director Ivan Reitman, taking the helm. And while Vanity Fair was on set, the outlet observed an especially fun improv moment.

According to the account, there were a few “awkward” days early on. Finally, Bill Murray shook things up. In this particular scene, Murray’s Venkman is sprawled on the floor alongside the other original Ghostbusters. He was told by the director to distract Gozer, who is -- and major SPOILER -- played by Olivia Wilde this time around. In that moment, Murray got the chance to distract the god of destruction with some notable insults, including but not limited to:  

You know, you wasted a lot of time putting on that make up. It’s not going to work anymore. You’ve got a lot of nerve trying to crawl back.

Finn Wolfhard could also barely contain his laughter during the sequence, as he attempted to get in on the fun. Though director Jason Reitman asked him to keep the scene straight, before Olivia Wilde’s Gozer broke into laughter, reportedly telling Bill Murray, “TOO FAR!” as she tried to keep it together. It opened the floodgates for the film, and Murray later said of the scene:

The scene I just did now, it was fun. I got to just say what I wanted to say, and it was always that way. The script was just our jumping off point.

It sounds like Ghostbusters: Afterlife really found its groove during the sequence, and it’s great to hear the veteran star got to use his improv skills on set to elevate a big sequence and get his castmates laughing. While on set, Ernie Hudson also shared this tidbit about what it’s like to work with his old co-stars:

I’ve done, sheesh, I don’t know, probably 250 credits or something, but working with Bill Murray and seeing him and Danny trying to come up with something, trying to fill the space, and then something really magical comes out of it... that’s unusual.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the first movie in the franchise to bring back the original paranormal experts in character since the second installment in 1989. The movie has received positive responses from critics overall and has earned even better reviews from audiences, who gave it an A- on CinemaScore. So far, it has seen success at the box office, too. It's simply wonderful that the Ghostbusters franchise is back and Bill Murray is once again cracking A+ jokes. It's more enough to make one glad that Ivan Reitman didn't proceed with his initial plans to kill off Venkman.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.