This article originally appeared at Den of Geek UK.
As is becoming more and more commonplace, the new Ghostbusters movie from Paul Feig has a sneaky little scene waiting for you at the very end of its credits. Once you’ve seen the film, you may want to learn a little more about this scene and the intentions behind it. If so, scroll ye past Daphne, our spoiler squirrel…
You’ve just seen the Sigourney Weaver cameo, and a solid two minutes of Chris Hemsworth dancing. And then comes the post-credits scene.
Melissa McCarthy’s Abby Yates, Kristen Wiig’s Erin Gilbert, Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann, and Leslie Jones’ Patty Tolan are sat at some desks in their fancy new HQ at the iconic firehouse from the previous Ghostbusters movies.
Patty is listening to something on the recorder. The audience begins to wonder if we’ve waited all this time for a fart gag. But then Patty looks up and asks her colleagues, “What is Zuul?”
The other three Ghostbusters respond with shrugs, having never heard this name before.
What does it mean?
You probably don’t need me to tell you that Zuul was the main villain from Ivan Reitman’s original 1984 Ghostbusters movie, but heck, I’ll tell you anyway.
Zuul—later revealed to be a demonic demigod, and a minion of an even bigger baddie by the name of Gozer—first showed up in the apartment of Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett. Zuul yelled its own name at Dana from within her fridge, causing Dana to scream and flee the scene.
Later, Zuul possessed Dana just in time for her date with Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman. Zuul referred to itself as The Gatekeeper and explained that it needed to prepare for the coming of The Destructor (aka Gozer).
Later still, Zuul teamed up with Vinz Clortho (aka The Keymaster), another demigod, who had possessed Dana’s neighbor, Louis Tully (played by Rick Moranis). The two got frisky, before returning to their natural forms as Satanic Terror Dogs.
Zuul and Vinz opened a portal that brought Gozer to Earth. Cue a big confrontation between the original Ghostbusters and this trio of otherworldly entities, which was won by the good guys when they decided to cross the streams and cause a full protonic reversal. Zuul and Vinz both turned to stone. Gozer was sent back to the dark dimension from whence it came.
Grand. But what does it mean in this context?
Patty has heard a reference to Zuul on a recording, suggesting that this demigod and its chums could be heading to this alternate universe inhabited by the new Ghostbusters. This sounds like a readymade plot for a follow-up movie to the 2016 Ghostbusters flick, although director Paul Feig has been playing it a bit coy on that front.
Speaking to IGN, Feig explained that, “We wanted to say possibly there’s something you know from the first one can come in. Again it’s not about creating the cinematic universe where suddenly there’s a wormhole and the original Ghostbusters show up, although somebody might do that at some point. But I don’t know, it was kind of a little comfort food, Easter Egg, that gives us an opening if we wanted to do another movie.”
Feig also mentioned that he thinks Zuul is “such a great character,” and added that “we thought ‘well it would be fun if you could do a sequel,’ and who knows, to kind of have him in the mix?”
So, if the new Ghostbusters movie does well at the box office and a sequel is ordered by Sony, it seems fair to assume that Zuul will be in it. And, traditionally, with Zuul you’d also get Vinz Clortho and Gozer.
And as Feig touched upon in his IGN interview, these characters from another dimension could open up some interesting doors by turning up in the rebooted universe. Maybe, despite Feig playing it down, their big portal gateway thingy could be used to engineer a crossover between Ghostbusters old and new.
We’ll have to wait and see whether that happens, but it’s certainly an interesting prospect. Could crossing the franchises be just as dangerous as crossing the streams? Only time will tell…