If you want to see how much the 1980s-inspired Stranger Things has worked itself into the 21st century zeitgeist, you need only turn to the last three big studio trailers revealed over the past three days. Make no mistake, if Stranger Things isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread it’s pretty close, full of fun characters and great riffs on some of our favorite bits of nostalgia. So why shouldn’t everything and everyone try to get on the bandwagon?
The most exciting trailer comes from a film Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray have been interviewed about since Ghostbusters II. Taking a cue from Halloween, Predator, and Terminator, the franchise is doing some skipping of reboots and making Ghostbusters: Afterlife a direct sequel to Ghostbusters II. The lead role will be played by young (perfectly cast) Mckenna Grace, who has appeared in lots of genre films and shows (Ready Player One, Independence Day: Resurgence, Captain Marvel, and horror franchises: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Annabelle, Amityville, and Hill House). In a nice nod to the late Ghostbusters co-star and writer Harold Ramis, she and Stranger Things co-star Finn Wolfhard (who wore his own Ghostbusters suit in his series) will play the grandkids of Ramis’s character, Dr. Egon Spengler. Shifting to a prairie setting from the city, the tone feels more like the creepy and cool Netflix series in the first trailer, but it hints that slime-bearing apparitions we last saw in Manhattan will be showing their faces soon. And a bonus: Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) plays the grade school teacher, and the kids’ mom is played by Carrie Coon (Avengers: Infinity War). Plus Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts–everyone but Rick Moranis–have been confirmed for at least a cameo. And there’s an El Camino and the return of the Ecto-1. What more could you want?
Along with Ghostbusters: Afterlife are new trailers for Wonder Woman 1984 and Free Guy. As you’d guess from the title, Wonder Woman 1984 is also looking back to the 1980s, complete with a big shopping mall action scene like we saw this summer in Stranger Things. It looks like it’s trying to be a Marvel movie, complete with a World War-era soldier named Steve (Chris Pine) making his return from the past to co-star and Gal Gadot back in her title role, making an Iron Man entrance. The movie has a comedic actor starring as a kooky villain (Kristen Wiig), making it look like we’re going to get another Superman III–yet another 1980s thing. The third movie in our Stranger Things vibe is Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds in a spin on the lead character of the LEGO movies–here he is a video game character as in the 1980s nostalgia-filled Ready Player One, a non-player character who decides he wants to be the hero. The movie co-stars the guy who plays our favorite character in Stranger Things, Joe Keery. It doesn’t look like Tron, but we’ll take it.
Check out these trailers with a Stranger Things vibe for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Wonder Woman 1984, and Free Guy:
Look for all of these next summer, Wonder Woman 1984, June 5, 2020, and Free Guy in theaters July 3, 2020.
Sure to be the big hit of the summer, the long-awaited continuation of the original 1980s blockbuster films Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens July 10, 2010. Take all three movies as your Stranger Things fix–the series’ fourth season isn’t expected until 2021.