Ghost Has Teased An Upcoming Movie and Fans Are Going Wild

On April 4, 2024, Swedish band Ghost posted a 30-second video to their YouTube channel with just a popcorn emoji for a title. In the short video, we hear the intro to their song “Pro Memoria” off the Prequelle album and see the band’s current frontman Papa Emeritus IV (formerly known as Cardinal Copia (who was introduced with the same theme in 2018 and played by lead vocalist Tobias Forge- as all four “Papas” are) take a bow, then move elegantly in slow motion across the stage. The sequence is briefly interrupted for less than a second by a still of Sister Imperator standing in a subway stairway. The video ends with the message: “COMING SOON TO CINEMAS WORLDWIDE” followed by the band’s logo. Though cryptic, the message is clear: Ghost is releasing a movie.

While this announcement may seem like it came out of nowhere, Tobias Forge actually dropped the news that a Ghost movie was in progress in October 2023. In early September of that same year, Ghost wrapped up the U.S. leg of their tour with back-to-back shows at the massive Kia Forum in Los Angeles. These were the only shows on the tour with a strict no-device policy (all phones and smart watches were secured in Yondr pouches, and anyone found in violation of this policy was immediately removed from the venue), but the reason for this special rule wasn’t made clear at the time. However, Forge provided an explanation in an interview with Metal Hammer for their Halloween issue the following month. When discussing the LA shows, he said, “We were essentially shooting a film. […] It’s going to be a film with a concert element. So a lot of what you experienced [at the two LA shows] is going to be part of this project.” Although he hasn’t directly come out and said that the popcorn emoji video is a teaser for this same “project,” that would be the logical conclusion.

Since recording was strictly prohibited, the audiences from the LA shows currently have nothing but their own memories to document the unique experience. However, X user @YourFavGhestie did fans a massive favor by recording what they remembered from the show in the following thread:

Metal Hammer’s Spooky Season special issue, in which Tobias Forge first referenced making this movie.

Some of the things they describe that did not occur at other shows on the tour (I personally attended their Camden show) include, to name just a few, a piano on the B-stage, a performance of the song “If You Have Ghosts” from the 2013 EP If You Have Ghost, Papa changing into a boxing robe and boxing gloves, and a group of dancers dressed as skeletons doing choreography such as picking up Papa and spinning him around. 

Other than the high likelihood that the film will feature footage from the LA shows, all other details have been left up to fan speculation—and speculate they have! A prediction that has fans divided is whether or not Copia (Papa Emeritus IV) is going to die, just as the previous three Papas were killed off at once when he took the lead. X user YearCirice argues that this is what Forge wants us to think and if anyone is going to die it might be Sister Imperator; however, the fear that this film will feature Copia’s death isn’t totally unwarranted. Firstly, according to the above thread, Copia said at the LA shows that “his time is coming to an end,” which strongly implies (if not outwardly confirms) that the era of Papa Emeritus IV is almost over. This would be in line with the pattern that Ghost has followed since 2013, which Metal Hammer outlines as “album, tour, EP, big reveal, new Papa.” The first three elements are obvious: IMPERA, the Re-Imperatour, and Phantomime. If we consider the upcoming movie to be a “big reveal,” then that means we’re due for a new Papa, and the only way that can happen is if Papa IV either kicks the bucket or steps down as the previous eras’ Papas used to when transferring power to their successors.

Papa IV during Re-Imperatour | Photo credit Maeden Photo

When asked in the Halloween Metal Hammer interview if Papa Emeritus IV was going to be killed off at the final show of the Re-Imperatour in Brisbane on October 7, Forge’s answer was, “I can’t tell you that. […] But at some point between now and when the next album comes, there will have to be a change.” As the Papa with the most developed story and personality, Copia is a popular fan favorite and his death will no doubt be a devastating blow for many fans. 

But not all discussions surrounding the movie are about whether or not Copia will die. hxcfairy suspects that a major contributing factor towards the untitled Ghost film being greenlit for cinema showings is that so many Ghesties (one of the names for Ghost fans) came out to see Insidious: The Red Door because Ghost performed the end credits song, citing the fact that The Red Door was “the highest earner of the entire franchise.” I myself am one of said fans who watched the latest Insidious movie in theaters almost exclusively because of Ghost’s song.

While some fans were confused and/or entertained by the brief clip of Sister Imperator in the teaser video, others quickly recognized it as a reference to a scene from The Exorcist when Father Karras has a nightmare about not being able to help his mother. While never explicitly stated, Imperator seemed to slip up and nearly call herself Copia’s mother in their “Chapter Nine” video on YouTube, fueling speculation that something will happen to her instead of Papa.

There is currently no release date for the film. In the meantime, enjoy some of these hilarious fan reactions to the movie’s announcement!

Special thanks to Mae Vanders, our resident Ghost expert, for all her help in creating this article!

About Gabby Bibus

Gabby has been obsessed with anime since she was just 9 years old, and is proud to say she has watched over 200 different series. But that’s not even her biggest claim to fame: she also lives on a farm with over 80 goats! Although anime and animals are her two favorite things in the world, she also loves music, books, and movies. Her day job is a middle school ESL teacher, and she is also a staff member at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

View all posts by Gabby Bibus

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