Why Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver Did Not Reprise Their Ghostbusters Roles in Frozen Empire


Summary

  • Certain beloved Ghostbusters characters were omitted from
    Frozen Empire
    due to an already overcrowded castlist for the new movie.
  • Director Gil Kenan explained that there simply wasn’t room or a narrative purpose to include Louis Tully and Dana Barrett this time around.
  • Kenan hinted at potential sequels to continue the Ghostbusters saga, focusing on the character of Phoebe Spengler in future films.



Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire has delivered a fan-pleasing addition to the spooky saga, but despite a hefty cast-list, there are two notable franchise absentees – Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett and Rick Moranis’ Louis Tully. Director Gil Kenan recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter why Moranis and Weaver do not appear in the new movie.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

3.5/5

Release Date
March 22, 2024

Cast
Mckenna Grace , Carrie Coon , Annie Potts , Paul Rudd , Emily Alyn Lind , Bill Murray , Finn Wolfhard , Ernie Hudson , Dan Aykroyd , Patton Oswalt , William Atherton , Kumail Nanjiani

Studio
BRON Studios, Columbia Pictures, Ghostcorps

Audiences have been delighted to see Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire making good on the promise of 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and bring back both the OG team of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts, and the new recruits including Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and McKenna Grace. However, the extended character roster has caused some problems for critics, who have called the sequel “overstuffed” with faces looking for screen time.


In a way, this complaint is partly the reason neither Moranis nor Weaver appear in Frozen Empire; there was just not room or a purpose for them this time around. Questioned first about Moranis, Kenan explained:

“That would be a [co-writer and Afterlife director] Jason Reitman question. That was more of an Afterlife story. We never wrote a role for Louis Tully in Frozen Empire. We’ve got enough characters in this story. I love Tully by the way. I’m a huge Rick Moranis fan. Louis Tully was an indelible element of Ghostbusters. Dana Barrett is also one of my favorite characters in these films, but there was no story for Dana Barrett in Frozen Empire. But if we’re lucky enough to make more of these films, I would love for Dana to have more to do in these stories.”


Previously, Weaver revealed that despite making a cameo appearance in the mid-credits scene of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, she was not asked to return for Frozen Empire. Following Kenan’s comments, it is clear that her character just didn’t fit into the narrative.


Ghostbusters Could Get More Sequels

The original Ghostbusters team suited up looking off camera
Empire

There are some franchises that churn out multiple sequels in very quick succession, year after year. Ghostbusters fans had to wait more than 30 years to see a third movie arrive (in the same continuity of the original, so discounting the 2016 reboot), so getting Frozen Empire just three years later is nothing short of a miracle. However, that may still not be the end, as Kenan has already discussed potential ideas for the next sequel.


During the same interview, Kenan told THR that the next movie would definitely continue the same saga that Afterlife and Frozen Empire started, with Mckenna Grace’s Phoebe Spengler being the heart of the movie. He said:

“If we’re lucky enough to get to tell another one of these films, Jason and I are primed and ready to continue the Phoebe Spengler saga. We agree that the single most important decision we had to make at the start of this process was to take this from something that was a group of people who came together with a shared purpose, which was starting a business, to making it about a family saga with one character at the center of it. And that was Phoebe Spangler.”

Related

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Review | A Predictable but Cool Sequel

The Spengler family and Gary (Paul Rudd) have trouble acclimating to life in New York City while a new threat emerges.


Whether Ghostbusters will be raising spirits again in future really depends on the success of Frozen Empire. So far, things seem to be heading in the right direction, with the film tracking for a $45 million domestic opening this weekend.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
is out now in cinemas.



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