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Is Vigo The Carpathian Canon In Ghostbuster: Afterlife?

Although the original "Ghostbusters" is still considered to be one of the greatest films of the 1980s (and indeed, one of the most iconic and beloved films of all time) it's safe to say that the sequel "Ghostbusters II" ultimately fell short of expectations. The film's failure to live up to the immense cultural impact of its predecessor provoked the ire of critics and fans alike — and currently the film is certified "Rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes with just a 55% critical rating.

The film itself takes place around five years after the end of the original "Ghostbusters," which saw the eponymous team of supernatural investigators disbanding after being sued for the destruction of New York City. Despite their numerous years apart the team is forced to reunite once again to take on a new supernatural foe named Vigo the Carpathian (voiced by Max Von Sydow and played by Wilhelm von Homburg). Vigo the Carpathian is a tyrannical sorcerer who haunts a painting of himself within the Manhattan Museum of Art, and who tries to enter the physical world by possessing a child. Not only is Vigo soundly defeated at the hands of the re-assembled Ghostbusters, though — oddly enough, it seemed for a time as if he was wiped from "Ghostbusters" canon entirely. 

Indeed, the sequel to that film, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," seemed to make almost no reference whatsoever to "Ghostbusters II" or Vigo himself, despite making countless references to the original film –- leading plenty of fans to wonder whether or not Vigo is even canon within the movie at all.

Vigo the Carpathian is canon in Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Thankfully, director Jason Reitman has come out to clear the air once and for all on the canon-status of both "Ghostbusters II" and Vigo the Carpathian in the world of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

"'Ghostbusters II,' definitely canon," the director explained during an interview with Uproxx. He added, "But nobody knows 'Ghostbusters II' outside of Vigo the Carpathian and the 'Ghostbusters II' logo. So there's this assumption that it is not canon but it is definitely canon." Reitman also addressed the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, there are actually plenty of references to "Ghostbusters II" hidden throughout the film, and although Vigo himself wasn't referenced in this movie it certainly seems like the director has some plans for the character in the future.

In a separate interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Reitman hinted at Vigo's possible return in future sequel to "Ghostbusters" projects, saying: "Look, are you saying that's the only painting of Vigo the Carpathian? Maybe he's riding a horse in another one, maybe impaling someone in another one." 

So, even though it's still unclear whether or not Vigo the Carpathian will actually factor into the story of the next "Ghostbusters" film, it is nice to finally get some confirmation that the character (and thus, the film he features in) is still canon within "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."