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The new Ghostbusters: Afterlife will pick up following the events of Ghostbusters 2 over 30 years ago and while the focus of the film will be on a collection of brand new characters, almost everybody who appeared in the original films will be returning for the sequel. Almost. There are two notable exceptions to that. Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis will be missing.
While we still have no idea about how the original cast will be used in the movie, in a recent appearance on Ellen, Bill Murray, (wearing a giant panda mask for some reason) lamented the two missing cast members who we won't see when Ghostbusters: Afterlife comes to screens, saying...
We're missing two great people. We're missing Rick Moranis and we're missing Harold Ramis. And they're greatly missed for so many reasons. They were so much a part of the creation of it and the fun of it. But Harold is featured in the story of the movie, so it's going to be very interesting.
Both Harold Ramis and Rock Moranis will be missing, but for very different reasons. Ramis passed away in 2014. Moranis has simply stayed largely out of the limelight. His few professional appearances in recent years have been almost exclusively limited to voice over work.
As Bill Murray says, while Harold Ramis won't be in the movie itself, his character of Egon Spengler will still be a big part of the movie. The family that is at the heart of Ghostbusters: Afterlife is Egon's family. The action surrounds a farmhouse where Egon's daughter moves her two children, who will be the film's main characters.
Certainly, missing one of the main Ghostbusters, and one of the creative forces behind the franchise, is a big loss for the new film, and one expects Ramis to get a lot of mentions when talking about the new film, but it's nice that Bill Murray doesn't leave out Rick Moranis. It doesn't look like there are any hard feelings toward the actor for his decision to sit this one out.
Rick Moranis will be returning to the screen soon in the forthcoming reboot of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise, titled Shrunk!, and he also appeared in an episode of the Disney+ series Prop Culture, so Moranis isn't entirely against revisiting his old films. It's possible that whatever opportunity was offered in Ghostbusters: Afterlife just wasn't substantial enough to make it worthwhile for him. Moranis had previously given that explanation for the reason he didn't appear in the 2016 franchise reboot directed by Paul Feig.
Whatever the reason, for fans of the franchise Rick Moranis will be as missed as Harold Ramis. They were both big parts of the previous Ghostbusters movies. Hopefully, Afterlife will acknowledge Moranis in some way for that reason.