Ernie Hudson, the first Ghostbuster, is crossing his fingers that he will be able to reprise his role as Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters 4. Winston was initially designed to act as an audience surrogate for his newfound friends’ paranormal world, as he was the only member of the original Ghostbusters team without prior knowledge in parapsychology or an advanced degree. Dan Akyroyd had intended to recruit Eddie Murphy for the part after previously working with him on Trading Places, but Murphy was unable to attend due to his work on Beverly Hills Cop.
With the first Ghostbusters film largely regarded as a classic of 1980s cinema, strives to extend and remake the series have met with different degrees of success throughout the years. In 2016, the highly publicized Ghostbusters: Answer the Call remake fell flat with crowds and was roundly panned by fans. However, towards the end of last year, Jason Reitman (son of original filmmaker Ivan Reitman) produced Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was a straight sequel to his father’s films, and eschewed 2016 revamp. Along with exposing spectators to Egon Spengler’s estranged grandkids, the film’s last act reunited original cast members Murray, Aykroyd, and Hudson with a CGI version of Harold Ramis’ Egon.
Most recently, in the heels of Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s digital release, Hudson sat down with Bossip to discuss his comeback to the franchise and his future plans. Given that the post-credits sequence in Afterlife implies that Hudson’s character is trying to fund and relaunch the Ghostbusters brand, fans are already speculating what the future may hold. When questioned about the possibility of a fourth picture, Hudson acknowledged that he “heard they’re scripting” one and wishes to feature, but quips that he may be replaced by Arsenio Hall. Take a look at his complete response below:
I heard they’re writing. Nobody’s come to me and said ‘hey’ or you know, ‘we want you to do whatever.’ Looking at that end scene, I’d like to think if they move forward, hopefully, Winston will be a part of it. But in Hollywood, I don’t take anything for granted. You know, I’ll look up and it’ll be Arsenio Hall being Winston, but anything is possible.
Hudson’s apprehension over a possible return makes perfect sense, considering the lengthy and winding journey that led to the release of Afterlife. Columbia Pictures has been attempting to launch another sequel for years before Paul Feig’s 2016 revamp. Aykroyd penned a script for a third Ghostbusters feature shortly after the 1989 debut of Ghostbusters II. The film would have seen the original Ghostbusters pass the torch to a new, younger squad. The film’s development, on the other hand, continued to lag, and suspicions about Murray’s involvement were repeatedly raised. Even after the decision to relaunch the series was taken, intentions to have Feig’s film serve as the catalyst for a new series were swiftly discarded following the film’s disastrous release.
Even Hudson’s casual remark about being replaced by Arsenio Hall (who portrayed Hudson in the animated Real Ghostbusters series) has precedence. Given Murray’s unwillingness to return for previous revival efforts, significant consideration was previously given to recasting the part of Peter Venkman or even turning him into a ghost. Fortunately, Murray finally agreed to return for Afterlife alongside his co-stars, completing the nostalgia-driven threequel. Fans will undoubtedly be crossing their hopes that Ghostbusters 4 will give further opportunities for the surviving team to reunite.