Ghostbusters: Afterlife released an international trailer recently and with it came a doubling down on the nostalgic feel that the movie brings as we were delivered deep into the Gozer mythology of the original 1984 comedy horror film that started the franchise. With an extended look at the return of the Terror Dogs, more clips of the mini Stay Puft Marshmallow men and some new images of the underground Temple of Gozer, the many comments saying that the film delivers in fan service seem to be pretty accurate so far. This latest trailer added one Easter egg that has created space for a theory about the part Paul Rudd plays in the proceedings, and again it all links back to events of the original Ghostbusters movie.
In the final moments of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife international trailer, we see a brief shot of Carrie Coon’s Callie, the mother of two of the movie’s young leads, Phoebe and Trevor – played by Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard respectively – and daughter of the late Dr. Egon Spengler. In the blink and you miss it moment, Callie is pictured on the floor, seemingly outside the old house left to the family by Egon, looking quite horrified at something. What is more important than what she is looking at, is what she is wearing, as the glittery, off-the-shoulder number is more than a little reminiscent of the dress worn by Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett when she becomes the servant of Gozer known as the Gatekeeper.
While the top or dress, whichever it turns out to be, could be nothing but a call back for the fun of it, its inclusion could well allude to something more sinister going on, which is where Rudd’s character comes into it. As was suggested vaguely in the first trailer, Paul Rudd’s Mr. Grooberson not only comes face to face with an army of mini Marshmallow Men, but also one of the Terror Dogs, which pursues him through a supermarket and out into the night. If the movie follows the rules of Ghostbusters, the Terror Dogs only track one person each; the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster. These two possessed hosts then play an important part in opening the portal which allows Gozer to enter the world. And now you see where this is going.
As the Terror Dog in the clips seems intent on catching Grooberson, this would suggest that it has a purpose for him and that purpose would be playing the part of the Keymaster as Rick Moranis’ Louis Tully did in the original. If you consider the two characters side by side, from what has been seen so far there are more than a few similarities which do not make this too much of a stretch to get on board with. It would give Rudd’s character a purpose other than just being a teacher with knowledge of the Ghostbusters, and potentially having Callie as his Gatekeeper would invoke some personal connection with the leading kids and the legacy of Egon.
It was recently confirmed that Olivia Wilde will be taking over the role of Gozer the Gozarian, and as we have already seen a brief flash of the iconic villain’s “flattop” emerging from a pit in the trailer, it would suggest that the Gatekeeper and Keymaster have been successfully been brought together again to allow her to once again break free from the spirit world. We have just under a month until Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives in movie theaters on November 17th, when all will finally be revealed and we will see the Ghostbusters old and new taking on their greatest villain in a final showdown over 35 years in the making.