- Bill Murray will return as Dr. Peter Venkman in this year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
- It’ll be Murray’s first time playing the character on screen since 1989, though he did make a cameo as a different character in the 2016 Ghostbusters movie.
- Afterlife is out on July 10, and stars Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace, Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd.
While there’s been a fair amount of excitement around this year’s reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, titled Ghostbusters: Afterlife, it’s also fair that audiences be at least a little skeptical. The latest trailer looks awfully like Stranger Things and not a ton like Ghostbusters—the iconic theme song doesn’t even play. But fans can calm their nerves at least a little bit with this latest bit of news: Bill Murray will be returning to the franchise as Dr. Peter Venkman, his lead character from the originals.
A new interview with Vanity Fair confirmed that Murray would be returning for Afterlife, along with his fellow original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. Their fourth friend, Harold Ramis, unfortunately died back in 2014. But the trailer has hinted that the absence of Ramis’ character, Dr. Egon Spengler, will figure into the plot of the new movie.
“Well, we are a man down. That’s the deal,” Murray said. “And that’s the story that we’re telling, that’s the story they’ve written.”
Murray made an appearance alongside Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, and Leslie Jones in the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters, but he was playing a different character named Martin Heiss. In Afterlife, he’ll be appearing as Venkman on screen for the first time since 1989.
It’ll actually be Murray’s fourth time playing Dr. Peter Venkman, following 1984’s original Ghostbusters, 1989’s Ghostbusters II, and the 2009 Ghostbusters video game. While it wasn’t a film, the 2009 video game was actually made up of several abandoned scripts for a Ghostbusters III and Murray provided voice work.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife is directed by Jason Reitman, who’s both an acclaimed director in his own right (Up in the Air, Juno) and the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the original two films.
In Afterlife, Murray will appear alongside the movie’s cast members which include Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, IT), McKenna Grace (Captain Marvel), Carrie Coon (The Leftovers), and Paul Rudd (you know him). The movie hits theaters on July 10.