In 1984, Ghostbusters spooked its way into cinemas. The horror comedy, about a group of scientists turned spook-catchers, was a huge hit with audiences and kick-started a franchise, encompassing sequels, reboots, multiple animated shows, games, toys and more.

But how many Ghostbusters movies are there? And what is the best order to watch the Ghostbusters films?

In this post, I will provide the answers.

_____

The Ghostbusters films

Image: ©Sony Pictures Entertainment

To date, there are four Ghostbusters movies. The Ghostbusters movies – which were produced between 1984 and 2020 – include:

  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • Ghostbusters II (1989)
  • Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)
  • Ghostbusters Afterlife (2020)

_____

Are all of the Ghostbusters films part of the same series?

The Ghostbusters movies can be divided into two distinct groups: The original timeline order and the rebooted timeline order.

The original timeline began in 1984 with Ghostbusters, and continued in 1989 with Ghostbusters II. In 2020, Ghostbusters Afterlife continues the story.

Meanwhile, the rebooted timeline centres around just one movie: Ghostbusters 2016 (aka Ghostbusters: Answer the Call). This film is a standalone tale focusing on a new set of Ghostbusters.

_____

What is the best order to watch the Ghostbusters movies?

Image: ©Sony Pictures Entertainment

Depending on which collection of films you wish to watch, you should view the Ghostbusters movies as follows:

The original timeline:

  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • Ghostbusters II (1989)
  • Ghostbusters Afterlife (2020)

The rebooted timeline:

  • Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)

_____

Why are there different timelines for the Ghostbusters films?

When Ghostbusters was released, it was hugely successful and this led to a sequel, Ghostbusters II. However, despite various attempts over the years to get Ghostbusters III off the ground, the movie never materialised.

Keen to press ahead with the franchise in 2016, Sony/Columbia Pictures decided to reboot the series with an all-new cast. Yet despite good reviews, the film didn’t take off in the way the studio had hoped and it became a single entry.

In order to move forward with the Ghostbusters franchise once more, Sony/Columbia Pictures opted to green light a new film that would reconnect with the original timeline, thus ignoring the reboot. As such, there are now two different timelines for the Ghostbusters film series.

_____

Who are the cast of the Ghostbusters films?

Image: ©Sony Pictures Entertainment

The cast of the Ghostbusters films varies across the four movies; however, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver are consistent cast members.

Notable actors in the Ghostbusters series include Rick Moranis, William Atherton, David Margulies, Peter MacNicol, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, and Bokeem Woodbine.

_____

Is the Ghostbusters series the work of the same director?

The Ghostbusters films are the work of multiple directors. Ivan Reitman directed Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II, Paul Feig directed Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, and Jason Reitman directed Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

_____

I hope this information about the Ghostbusters film series has proved useful. Should you wish to know more about Ghostbusters, please check out one of the recommended reads below.

Read more: