Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire director talks Bill Murray suiting up again and bringing the franchise back to its NYC roots

 Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire director Gil Kenan explains why this sequel isn't just any ol' Ghostbusters sequel: it's the one where we see the original 1984 team suit up again in New York City.

"As a fan, it's what I wanted to see on the screen. Jason [Reitman] was the same. We were so excited to watch them suit up again and take a vital role in this new story, but part of it was actually sort of informed by a change of location," Kenan tells GamesRadar+. "I mean, we went back to New York City with this story. This is home turf for Ghostbusters and for the characters. And we knew that two years have elapsed since the fateful events of Somerville, Oklahoma. "

Frozen Empire sees the Spengler family relocate from Oklahoma to New York City and take up residency in the OG Ghostbusters headquarters. When an evil ancient force is accidentally let loose into the city, the Spenglers must team up with Venkman (Bill Murray), Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson), Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and even Melnitz (Annie Potts) in order to defeat it. While the OGs had more cameo-type roles in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the new film puts them back in the suits and at the forefront of the action.

"I like to think that moment sort of rekindled a flame in all of those characters as well. We kind of see a glimpse of that with Winston and the post-credit scene [in Afterlife] when he looks almost to the potential of the future of Ghostbusters. And so this movie created an irresistible opportunity to let those characters thrive." Kenan continues.

"We we went to Oklahoma to rekindle a flame. We had to move away from the noise, the energy, the ghosts of New York in order to find something pure. And that something pure was Phoebe Spengler and her family. And that was our sort of a building of a kind of thread that connected us back to 1984. That thread leads in the other direction to New York City where the events of Frozen Empire take place."

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Phoebe [McKenna Grace] takes the reigns in the latest sequel, with the film serving as a sort of coming-of-age story. After Phoebe is temporarily kicked out for a) destruction of public property and b) not following New York City child labor laws, her curiosity (and boredom) leads her down a bit of a dangerous path.

"She feels very isolated in this film, so, you know, it's, it's, I don't think that she's outwardly rebelling against her family more so just trying to prove herself and be like, guys, I saved the world. I'm a Ghostbuster," Grace tells GamesRadar+. "This is my calling. Why is nobody fighting for me? You know? So it's, it's just kind of her journey to prove herself and find her place and find her connections with her family and others."

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire hits theaters on March 22. For more, check out part of our interview with star Finn Wolfhard, or, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2024 and beyond.