Afterlife Credits Promise Justice For Worst Treated Original Ghostbuster

Warning: SPOILERS for Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife sets up a potential sequel in its post-credits scene that could finally do justice to the character of the original Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore. Ernie Hudson played Winston in both the original 1984 Ghostbusters and, 1989’s Ghostbusters 2. Winston pops up mid-way through the second act of Ghostbusters to provide additional help for the team, but originally he was meant to do more.

Ernie Hudson has stated that Winston was supposed to be an Air Force demolitions expert before joining the Ghostbusters, and had an elaborate backstory that would have deepened his character. On the strength of the script and his character, Hudson was so eager to play Winston in the original Ghostbusters that he ended up agreeing to the role for half his usual salary. However just before shooting began his role was greatly reduced, in order to give Bill Murray more screentime. In the finished film, he really doesn't have much to do except drive the Ecto-1 and stand next to the other Ghostbusters. He didn't fare much better in Ghostbusters 2 either, disappearing for most of the first half of the sequel. Winston Zeddemore has always been presented as the outsider compared to Peter, Ray, and Egon’s trio. He’s never been given the opportunity to be a true equal member of the group, but the sequel setup in Ghostbusters: Afterlife's post-credit scene could finally fix this.

Related: Ghostbusters: Afterlife's Revelation 6:12 Explained

Ghostbusters: Afterlife post-credits sequence has Winston restore the Ecto-1, and return it to the Ghostbuster’s old headquarters in New York. The warning light of the ecto-containment unit is blinking in the final shot, setting up a potential sequel that now seems more likely given Ghostbusters: Afterlife's higher-than-expected box office. Peter and Ray have always been center stage, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife was Egon’s story, leaving Winston still without a meaningful character arc three movies in. This could be fixed in a sequel by having Winston mentor a younger group of Ghostbusters (be it Egon’s grandkids or a new team). Dan Aykroyd's Ray stated in Ghostbusters: Afterlife that Winston has made his fortune, and so he would have the resources to start up the Ghostbusters business once again.

Ernie Hudson has always displayed an eagerness to return to the Ghostbusters world and is a charismatic actor that could easily fulfill the role of mentor. He's been underused and shortchanged in the Ghostbusters franchise since the beginning and is long overdue his moment at the forefront of the franchise. He's the only Ghostbuster not to get his name on the Ghostbusters 2 poster and was even denied voicing Winston in The Real Ghostbusters 80's animated show, despite auditioning. Ghostbusters: Afterlife managed to find the right balance between a nostalgic tone, and expanding the world. Having original Ghostbusters in any sequel is essential to maintain that balance. As another Ghostbusters sequel would be unlikely to persuade Bill Murray to return again, there would be room as a legacy actor for Hudson to flourish.

The sidelining of Winston Zeddemore’s character is an unfortunate aspect of the original Ghostbusters movies, made all the more awkward by Winston being the only person of color in the group. While the decision to reduce his character was a by-product of elevating Bill Murray’s iconic performance, its still something the franchise needs to fix. Ghostbusters: Afterlife has reinvigorated the dormant franchise after the misstep of Paul Feig's 2016 reboot GhostbustersIf the sequel set up by the post-credits scene finally allows Winston to be integral to the story, then the once worst treated Ghostbuster could have justice at last.

Next: Ghostbusters: Why Rick Moranis Didn't Return In Afterlife

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