Hollywood

Bill Murray will return as Peter Venkman in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’

Bill Murray is not letting his Pete Venkman leave his Ghostbusters team shorthanded in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”

Murray will return as team leader Venkman, joining Dan Aykroyd’s Ray Stantz and Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, in the reboot directed and co-written by Jason Reitman.

Murray explains to Vanity Fair that the return is due to the fact that the fourth original Ghostbuster, Harold Ramis, who co-wrote and starred as Dr. Egon Spengler in the 1984 original, died in 2014.

“Well, we are a man down. That’s the deal,” Murray said. “And that’s the story that we’re telling, that’s the story they’ve written.”

All three returned for the all-female 2016 “Ghostbusters,” appearing as different characters.

Trailer for ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’:Check out Paul Rudd and a creepy farmhouse.

Harold Ramis, left, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson in a scene from 1984's Ghostbusters.

Filmmakers are keeping mum on the extent of the return roles, described as “meaningful.” But the characters are not the film’s central heroes.

Instead the new film takes place 36 years after the original in a beaten-down Oklahoma farmhouse where single mom Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two kids (Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace) discover strange appearances. Paul Rudd stars as a local teacher documenting the paranormal.

Skeptics might abound. But the enigmatic Murray is positive about the prospects of “Afterlife.”

“The script is good. It’s got lots of emotion in it,” he says. “It’s got lots of family in it, with through lines that are really interesting. It’s gonna work.”

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” opens July 10.

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