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Paul Rudd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The original Ghostbusters had their adventures in the ‘80s but, now, a new team of heroes will rise to deal with paranormal activity in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The highly anticipated sequel is set to expand on the universe established by the original two films, which has some veteran fans worried about just how closely Afterlife matches it predecessors. Well, never fear, because Afterlife star Finn Wolfhard thinks those fans will be pleasantly surprised.

Wolfhard tells NME that fans shouldn’t worry because Ghostbusters: Afterlife will faithfully build on the classic films. In addition, he also believes the movie will appeal to younger fans by employing some key themes:

Older Ghostbusters fans will find it’s a really, really faithful approach to the series. While young people, if not everyone, will find that, first and foremost, Ghostbusters is about family and the relationships that these people have made. It’s also really funny, so I’m really excited for people to see it.

From the moment fans got their first glimpse at the Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer, it was more than evident that it’s leaning into nostalgic aspects of the franchise. That humor and sense of family that Finn Wolfhard mentions are also present. These are elements that are far from unfamiliar to the young actor, as the TV show he stars in – Stranger Things – employs these very themes. In terms of Afterlife, the idea of family is especially important since the film focuses on an actual family.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife centers on a single mother who, with her two kids, moves to a farm in Oklahoma she inherited from the father she never knew. As time goes on, her children discover a connection between their family and the original Ghostbusters, which also illuminates the identity of their late grandfather.

Many have already speculated that the grandfather in question will be Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, who was portrayed by the late Harold Ramis. Although details are scarce on how he’ll play into the film, Egon’s fate will indeed be addressed.

Ramis’ absence will make the viewing experience somewhat bittersweet, but at least fans can still look forward to seeing the returning Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts.

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These links to the first two entries will be a sharp departure from the direction that Paul Feig’s 2016 reboot took. His film, which used elements from the originals and featured the veteran cast, didn’t take place in the continuity of the vintage installments. This proved to be a point of contention for a portion of the fanbase.

While both Finn Wolfhard’s statements and the first footage should be encouraging to fans, we’ll just have to wait and see how exactly it pays homage to what’s come before. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set to be released on July 10, 2020.

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