'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Trailer Teases Egon Spengler Followed Cult of Gozer to Oklahoma

The first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife is stuffed with connections to the original 1984 comedy directed by Ivan Reitman—appropriate, since Afterlife is directed by his son, Jason Reitman. But while many of the props and hints embedded in the new trailer are little more than easter eggs for Ghostbusters fans, several well-hidden teases seem to reveal significant aspects of the movie's plot, suggesting Egon Spengler died while still holding at bay the Sumerian cult who unleashed Gozer on New York City more than 30 years before.

Unlike the 2016 remake, Afterlife follows directly in the original Ghostbusters' footsteps, if not its form: there's almost no indication in the first footage that Afterlife is a loose comedy, preferring reverence to the original's essential irreverence. It seems even the plot may be a direct sequel to events from decades prior.

All that's explicitly indicated in the first Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer is that siblings Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) move with their mother (Carrie Coon) to Summerville, Oklahoma to "pick through the rubble" of their grandfather's life.

But even if a "Spengler" nametag popping up on screen at the moment Paul Rudd (as ghost-nostalgic teacher Mr. Grooberson) asks Phoebe "Who are you?" isn't enough of a hint, Afterlife also shows an extensive collection of spores, molds and fungus—suggesting Trevor and Phoebe are the grandchildren of the Ghostbusters' most brilliant scientist, Egon Spengler, originally played by the late Harold Ramis.

Egon enjoying a Twinkie in the original "Ghostbusters." Columbia Pictures

But why would Spengler be in Oklahoma? The Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer offers a plausible explanation in a shot of the entrance to the Shandor Mining Co., whose defunct shafts seem to have something to do with the town's daily tremors and the return of ghosts to the world of the living.

The Shandor Mining Co. makes a brief appearance in the first trailer for "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." Sony Pictures Releasing

The name Shandor is a big one in the mythology of Ghostbusters, which revolves around a building on Central Park West, designed by the architect Ivo Shandor.

"Something terrible is about to enter our world and this building is obviously the door," Spengler explains in the original movie. "He was also a doctor, performed a lot of unnecessary surgery. And then in 1920 he started a secret society..."

Egon explaining the history of Ivo Shandor in the original "Ghostbusters." Columbia Pictures

"Let me guess: Gozer worshippers," Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) interrupts. In the mythology of Ghostbusters, Gozer the Gozerian is a Sumerian god, who will reappear on Earth in a new form, having previously manifested as a large "Torg" and a giant "Slor." In 1984, Gozer returned, this time as a woman, then a giant marshmallow man.

Spengler continues: "After the First World War, Shandor decided that society was too sick to survive. And he wasn't alone: he had close to a 1,000 followers when he died. They conducted rituals up on the roof—bizarre rituals intended to bring about the end of the world."

Will Gozer return in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." Columbia Pictures

The plot of the original Ghostbusters suggests two distinct scenarios for what's happening in Oklahoma in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The first possibility is that the Shandor Mining Co. is another doorway between our world and Gozer's realm. The other is that Shandor used the local mines to source the "cores of pure selenium" that went into his New York building.

Either way, whether Oklahoma is a new center of Gozer worship or the origin of the raw materials used to summon the evil god, for some reason Spengler felt it necessary to spend the end of his life nearby, likely to ensure the Cult of Gozer wouldn't once again imperil the living realm. So while the first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife may be short on plot, the combined hints seeded throughout reveal major aspects of the upcoming movie's premise.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife will be out in theatres on July 10, 2020.