In the fall of 2021, Ghostbusters Afterlife will finally debut in theaters. It’ll star Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd…the latter of whom is featured in a clip released by Sony to the world this morning.
Rudd’s character is shopping at the grocery when he hears noises coming from one of the Stay-Puft Marshmallows packages. As he cranes in for a closer look, the bag bursts and out comes a miniature, living Stay-Puft. Rudd thinks the thing is adorable and holds out a finger — which the Stay-Puft immediately bites, revealing its true colors. Then a ton of other Stay-Pufts burst out of the other bags and start doing crazy things, both destructive to their environment as well as each other…very much like Warner Bros’ Gremlins.
The obvious question that comes to mind is this: how can these exist? In the context of the original film, Gozer took the form of Stay-Puft because Ray Stantz was unable to keep his mind blank and drifted to a pleasant memory from his past — specifically a product he enjoyed with a marshmallow-man mascot on the bag. Gozer turned into a 100-foot-tall version of that mascot in one of the film’s most memorable scenes. Stay-Puft isn’t a ghost himself.
The cartoon The Real Ghostbusters would come around two years later and choose to ignore this fact, portraying Stay-Puft on several occasions as his own entity. He was even in the title sequence, implying the Ghostbusters had to deal with him well more than one time. Is Ghostbusters Afterlife doing the same thing, and warping the original film’s canon for the sake of fan demand?
At this point, there’s no real way to know. For what it’s worth, we like the Gremlin Stay-Pufts and with Gremlins 3 in perpetual limbo, this may be the closest thing we can ever get. Ghostbusters Afterlife opens November 11.