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For a franchise that only has one universally beloved film, it's more than a little shocking that Ghostbusters is as popular as it is. For a long time, there were only two films at all and we can all agree the sequel wasn't great. But the popularity of Ghostubsters being what it was, it lead to a reboot of the franchise, that had some good points, but tended to upset diehard fans because of the way the main characters were changed and that it wasn't connected at all to the original films.
This meant that a lot of fans got very excited when it was announced that Jason Reitman, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, would write and direct a new film set in the same timeline as the first two movies. This led to a strong expectation that the original Ghostbusters cast members would return, playing their original characters, and the more we hear, the more that gets confirmed.
However, while several cast members will be returning there will, of course, also be some conspicuous by their absence. Harold Ramis, whose character Egon Spengler is key to the new movie, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, passed away in 2014, but he won't be the only one that won't be back, as it has now also been confirmed that Rick Moranis won't be reprising his role as Louis Tully.
While the news from Vanity Fair that Rick Moranis apparently won't be appearing in Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a shame, it's not exactly a surprise. the actor has appearing sparingly on screen over the last couple of decades, and he doesn't seem to be nearly as invested in Ghostbusters himself as many of the fans are.
Rick Moranis Has Been Keeping A Low Profile In Hollywood
Rick Moranis has largely been out of the limelight since the mid-1990s. His wife Ann passed away from cancer in 1991, leaving Moranis with a couple of kids to raise on his own. This led to him largely withdrawing from Hollywood. After 1997's Honey We Shrunk Ourselves, a direct-to-video sequel to his popular Disney series, Moranis' career has been almost entirely voice over work. He played the role of Rutt the Moose in Disney's Brother Bear alongside Dave Thomas, his longtime comic partner who together created the classic duo of Bob & Doug McKenzie for SCTV in the early 1980s. And he has reprised the role a few times for direct-to-video sequels, video games, and other associated material.
The only in-person appearance Moranis has made on screen in the last 20 years, was in the Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary retrospective, though he also appeared with Thomas in a Bob & Doug concert event as part of a fundraiser. While he provided the voice for Dark Helmet, in a 2018 episode of The Goldbergs, it appears somebody else was actually in the costume.
Rick Moranis Didn't Appear In The 2016 Ghostbusters Reboot Either
When the new Ghostbusters movie reboot came out in 2016, the film had no direct connection to the original franchise, but that doesn't mean the movie didn't pay homage to those that came before. All the main stars of the original pair of films appeared in 2016's Ghostbusters. Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver all showed up, though as entirely different characters. Even Harold Ramis made an appearance of a sort, as a bust on display in one scene was in the likeness of the former Egon.
However, Rick Moranis did not use one of his rare appearances to join his former castmates. As he said at the time, he simply didn't see a point. Doing such a cameo would have been a lot of time and travel for not a lot of actual result.
I hope it's terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?
While Rick Moranis almost certainly would have been given a cameo if he'd wanted it, the fact is that the actor just didn't see much reason to bother to show up for what would have only been a cameo. Maybe if the role had been more than that, it would have been worth more consideration.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Reportedly Won't Contain A Rick Moranis Appearance
However, we find ourselves in almost certainly what is a very similar situation with Ghostbusters: Afterlife. While we don't know exactly what the plan is for the the returning Ghostbusters cast, what's clear from the one trailer we've seen is that the movie will focus on new characters, specifically, the grandchildren of Egon Spengler.
With that being the focus, the returning cast members might have more to do than simple cameos, but we could just be looking at another movie where Bill Murray and company each show up for one scene, and then make way for the new cast. If that's the case, then one expects Rick Moranis probably had a similar reaction to this movie as he did the last one. It just wasn't worth the trouble.
It seems like the only thing people want Rick Moranis for these days is cameos, but he doesn't seem much interested in that. It's perhaps the reason that we haven't seen the former Wayne Salinsky show up in the Ant-Man franchise, which another film series that has expressed interest in a Rick Moranis appearance
It's possible that Moranis won't actually be the only one not reprising his role in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. While Vanity Fair confirmed that Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson would be back in their Ghostbusters roles, the story technically only says that actors Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver visited the set. While it seems likely they were there to shoot scenes, it's possible they were literally only visiting.
Rick Moranis is an amazing comic talent and, as fans, it's unfortunate that we don't get to see him more often. But, at the end of the day, you can't really be too upset. He has his reasons for not being in the public eye more, and he absolutely has his priorities in order.
At the same time, maybe somebody will actually offer Rick Moranis the right role and we'll get to see him again in something big. The actor has made it clear that he's not retired, he's just being very choosy about his projects, and if somebody finds a role that appeals to him, he'll take it.