The arrival of Ghostbusters: Afterlife has heralded huge things for the beloved franchise. Not only do we have a taste of what’s next for the paranormal heroes, but the newest film also folds in an OG character who became a fan favorite antagonist from the Ghostbusters video game. So if you’ve got questions about Ivo Shandor and want to know more about the mysterious leader of the cult of Gozer, we’re here to answer all your questions and theorize about what it means for what comes next.

Who Is Ivo Shandor?
Finn Wolfhard drives the Ecto-1 with McKenna Grace and Logan Kim in the backseat in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Columbia Pictures

Remember the shocking and super cool reveal that J.K. Simmons was secretly in this movie? Well, he was playing none other than Ivo Shandor. When the kids enter the Shandor Mines they discover Ivo’s body in some kind of stasis. The leader of the Cult of Gozer is somehow still alive over a century since he was at his most powerful. Why was he down a mine in stasis? That would be because he was waiting for Gozer, the big bad from the original Ghostbusters movie. Shandor believed that the world was “too sick to survive” so tried multiple times to bring about the end of the world via Gozer.

In the new movie timeline he has utilized the selenium mines as a base for his cult. But, most importantly, also as a way to once again restore Gozer and finally destroy the world. Luckily for us, Egon Spengler realized this and moved to Summerville to stop the apocalypse after his Ghostbustin’ colleagues didn’t believe him. It’s what led to Egon’s separation from his family, and created the calamity that the new generation of heroes have to stop. While Ivo Shandor is only on screen for a few minutes, it’s a key moment in Ghostbusters movie history! Ivo Shandor lives…or does he?

Was Ivo Shandor in the Original Ghostbusters Movies?
The original Ghostbusters will play at AMC Theaters on reopening.
Columbia Pictures

While he didn’t feature prominently, Shandor was first introduced in 1984’s Ghostbusters. It’s there Shandor is revealed as the architect behind 550 Central Park West. That’s the building where Dana (Sigourney Weaver) lives. Something interesting, though, is that he constructed the block using “magnesium-tungsten alloy and cold riveted girders with cores of pure selenium.” The special metal was a conductor that encouraged paranormal activity. It’s also what Shandor Mining was digging up in Summerville. And it’s likely what makes the mine a hotspot for spooky, ghostly, and Gozerish appearances.

According to Egon, Shandor started his cult of Gozer worshippers in 1920. Over the years, he gained over 1000 followers dedicated to the strange spirit. As Spengler told his colleagues, “They conducted rituals up on the roof, bizarre rituals intended to bring about the end of the world.” And while the Ghostbusters stopped the return of Gozer in 1984, Egon later found out that was far from the last of Shandor’s plans for Gozer and the apocalypse.

What Was Ivo Shandor’s Role in Ghostbusters: The Video Game?
The cover for Ghostbusters: The Video Game shows the four Ghostbusters with their proton packs in front of a giant Stay Puft Marshmellow Man
Atari, Mad Dog Games

If you played the beloved 2009 video game then you’ll already be familiar with Shandor. He’s the big bad in the game which builds out the lore around him. During the game we learn he had actually done renovations on some famed haunted Ghostbusters movie locations like the New York Public Library and the Sedgewick Hotel where we first meet Slimer.

We also come to understand just how massive his reach was as the leader of the Cult of Gozer. Not only did Shandor have 1000+ followers but some were high up in New York society. He used those connections to leave powerful “Mandalas,” which a ghostly form of Shandor later used in the ’90s to unleash Gozer back onto the human plane. In the game, ultimately both Gozer and Shandor were once again defeated by the Ghostbusters. But as we know things are different in the movie timeline.

Spoiler Alert: Ivo Shandor Dies in Afterlife… So Why Does He Matter?
A still from Ghostbusters (1984) shows Gozer lounging in front of the four Ghostbusters
Columbia Pictures

Aside from it just being really interesting to see the movie bring in lore from the video game, there is more to Shandor’s relevance. While we see the (extremely) old man who has dedicated his life to Gozer get destroyed by the being when it arrives in small town Oklahoma, he could still play a key part going forward. Though we’d love to see J.K. Simmons return to the role, it seems more likely that we could see other members of the Cult of Gozer coming to the fore. If Winston is really starting a new era of the Ghostbusters, then the Gozerian followers may have a bone to pick. Not only did the original crew and their new recruits destroy their sacred Gozer, but they lost their leader in the process. So there could be revenge in their future…

Featured Image: Columbia Pictures

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