"There is no Dana, only Zuul!"
Turns out that quote is truer than ever in the Ghostbusters reboot, where Dana doesn't exist -- though Sigourney Weaver turns up for a cameo -- but Zuul is very much in the mix, if the post-credits scene is to be believed. (So, yes, stick around even after Chris Hemsworth's dance number ends.)
In the bonus scene, the Conductors of the Metaphysical Examination -- er, Ghostbusters -- have saved New York City and are settling into their new HQ at that iconic firehouse. Patty (Leslie Jones) listens to white noise and the audience expects another fart joke, but instead, she asks, "What is Zuul?"
So, what *is* Zuul? While Ghostbusters 2016 features a number of O.G. phantoms and spooks -- both Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man appear in bit roles -- it didn't touch on any of the big bads from the original movie. At least not until after the credits rolled.
Zuul is the Gatekeeper of Gozer, an evil minion who appeared in Dana's refrigerator in the 1984 film and then possessed her, prompting a glamorous makeover and the line up top. There's another demigod flunkey, Vinz Clortho the Keymaster, and when the two unite in the earthly realm, they are able to unleash Gozer the Destructor to, well, destroy the world.
Now, the real question: What does the Zuul namedrop mean for the inevitable Ghostbuters II? (When a movie makes $46 million on opening weekend, there's going to be a sequel.)
If you ask director Paul Feig, he plays coy. "It's such a great character we thought, 'Well, it would be fun if you could do a sequel,' and who knows, to kind of have him in the mix?" he explained to IGN.
"We wanted to say possibly there's something you know from the first one [that] can come in," Feig elaborated. "But it's not about creating the cinematic universe where suddenly there's a worm-hole and the original Ghostbusters show up, although somebody might do that at some point...It was kind of a little comfort food, Easter egg, that gives us an opening if we wanted to do another movie."
Perhaps the sequel will hew even closer to the original franchise than expected. That said, we have a feeling that should Zuul -- and Vinz and Gozer -- show up in the next installment, it will be in new and unexpected ways. No Ziggy Stardust. No Rick Moranis. Fingers crossed for terror dogs.
Especially because Zuul's ~thing~ is possessing women, and they kind of already did that in this one, with big bad Rowan (Neil Casey) inhabiting Melissa McCarthy's Abby Yates and then Kevin (Hemsworth). Then again, the first Ghostbusters II didn't bother coming up with a new plot...
But back to the reboot, McCarthy recently hit back at haters saying the movie is ruining their childhood, joking, "I just hope they find a friend." Check out her response in the video below.