Who remembers the amazing Ghostbusters movie from 1984? Slime, marshmallows, and three guys battling ghosts all over the city. This was a well-loved movie for a reason. Now, 32 years later, it’s coming back! This July, get ready to run to the theaters and watch comedic masters Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and more take on the role as New York’s premier ghost fighters.
We can’t wait for July, so we’ve put together some of our favorite stories about the original movie, plus whatever we could find out about the new one! Starting with…
When Walter Peck (played by William Atherton) got “gooed” by the marshmallow, he almost got knocked to the ground as the props department dumped about fifty gallons of “goo” – shaving cream – on him!
What was the original plot of the movie going to be?
The movie went through a whole bunch of rewrites! It was originally going to be set in the future and focus on a worldwide network of ghost-busters. It was the director, Ivan Reitman, who decided to concentrate the group to three New York based fighters.
Another original plot was going to focus on three ghostbusters, played by John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, and Dan Aykroyd. They would have gone on their ghost hunting exploits in S.W.A.T outfits, with wands instead of their guns. At the end of the movie, Ghostbuster franchises would have spread all over the United States!
Ever notice any mistakes in the movie?
Ever noticed the unfinished special effects? They’re there because the creators were on a super tight schedule to get the movie into theaters – so tight that director Ivan Reitman had to send a final print with some unfinished special effects! Remarkably, people didn’t care much. Probably because the movie was so good….in fact, until the release of Home Alone, it was the highest-grossing comedy release ever!
How long did they film in New York for?
The movie takes place in New York. However, it was only filmed on location in New York for three weeks!
Was the movie scripted? The answer will surprise you!
Bill Murray played Dr. Peter Venkman, a former professor who has his PhD in paranormal studies. His role was originally written for John Belushi. Sadly, Belushi died before filming. Before Murray confirmed, Michael Keaton and Chevy Chase were considered for the role.
Where did the cast and crew say they felt the spirit of John Belushi?
In homage to John Belushi, the main ghost, Slimer, was referred to as “the ghost of John Belushi” by Dan Aykroyd. We like to imagine that Belushi was watching the filming and approving what was going on!
Did you know you can call the Ghostbusters number?
To keep people excited, during the films theater run, a trailer ran which was basically the same commercial that was shown in the movie. The 555 number was replaced with a real 1-800 number. If you called, you were answered by a recording of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd letting you know that they were unable to answer as they were busy fighting ghosts. The number received 1,000 calls per hour, 24 hours a day, for six weeks.
What famous scene was highly ad-libbed?
A movie that features so many comedic masters obviously has many amazing improvised moments. Almost all the scenes featured some excellent ad-libbing, and most of Bill Murray’s lines were improvised. The scene where Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) is chatting with his guests at a party was actually filmed in one continuous take, and almost entirely ad-libbed!
Why did that bookcase fall over?
Remember the scene where the bookcase fell over and Venkman asks Ray “Has this ever happened to you before?” That was improvised as well! The bookcase fell over – unscripted, probably someone in the props department caused the fall – and the rest of the lines were ad-libbed. That part was kept, because it added to the mysterious atmosphere.
How hard was it to make the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man?
The huge marshmallow was really expensive to make! Each costume cost $20,000, and three were made. All of them were destroyed during filming. Making a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was a big endeavor!
In order to show how huge Stay-Puft was, he was originally supposed to emerge out of the water near the Statue of Liberty, but that idea was scrapped due to the difficulty of filming it.
Where did Dan Aykroyd feel like he was being haunted?
Aside from joking that John Belushi’s ghost was on-set, Dan Aykroyd was convinced that ghosts were real. They filmed one scene in a real prison, and he was convinced that it was actually haunted!
What was Slimer originally named?
Slimer was referred to as “Onionhead” on set due to the horrible stench the costume emitted. We feel bad for whoever had to wear it! The name “Slimer” was chosen by audiences.
Who sued the production?
We bet you’re going to have the theme song in your head all day after reading this. Did you know that it spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard singles chart?
The music video never made it to the home video release, because Huey Lewis claimed the tune was identical to his song, “I Want a New Drug”, released six months before the Ghostbusters theme song was. Funnily enough, he’d been approached to record a theme song and turned down the offer!
How did production avoid a different lawsuit?
The movie was unnamed for most of production! The Ghostbusters were going to be called Ghost Smashers, and a possible title for the movie was Ghoststoppers. After they settled on Ghostbusters, they proceeded. A while later, they discovered that a short-lived children’s show had been called The Ghost Busters. The studio, Columbia, quickly negotiated with the owners of the series and secured the rights to the name avoid any legal issues later on!
Who was supposed to play Dr. Spengler?
The role of Dr. Egon Spengler was offered to a host of stars, including Christopher Walken, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Goldblum. However, it was played by Harold Ramis, who also wrote the part! He originally had no interest, but after the time he invested in writing the role, he felt that he was the best person to play the doctor. We agree!
Where did the idea for the movie come from, anyway?
Dan Aykroyd was the original inspiration for the film! Already inclined to believe in the paranormal, he conceived the idea as a way for him and fellow SNL alum, John Belushi, to star in a movie.
It was inspired by his family, who were all very interested in the “other side”. His great-grandfather was a noted spirtualist who held seances in his farmhouse, his grandfather tried to build a crystal radio to communicate with ghosts, and his father kept a large collection of books that dealt with that topic!
How did Sigourney Weaver seal the deal and get the role?
Sigourney Weaver made a dramatic case for her as Dana Barrett! During auditions, she decided to do something no one had ever done before, and acted out one of the scenes where Gozer makes some dogs do his bidding – as the dog! Her audition, then, involved her growling at director Ivan Reitman. He was impressed (and probably a bit scared) and she got the role.
Why did we never see that car again?
The Ectomobile, the amazingly iconic old car the Ghostbusters used, was one of a kind. Production of the film was kind of rushed (more on that, next!) so the props committee only put together one car. In a film shoot, there are usually backups to make sure filming doesn’t get held up if something breaks. Everyone was understandably cautious while using the car. It broke down, but thankfully once filming had finished!
Why did they need to rush production so much, anyway?
Production was super rushed! The movie was released before everything was finished, as we mentioned earlier. The reason for this is because while the studio liked the pitch – which sounded insane – (and mainly because of the amazing actors in it), they agreed to the $30 million budget on the condition that it be released for the summer season. That gave only 12 months to finish the script, shoot, and finish special effects.
Find out more about the re-make, next!
So far, we know that the re-make looks AMAZING. (Don’t miss the trailer at the end!) The all-male cast has been replaced with an all-star group of women. Kristen Wiig plays a brilliant quantum physicist, Kate McKinnon is an engineer, and Leslie Jones plays the street-smart New Yorker who helps the team.
Predictably, the all-female cast drew a bit of ire with the standard internet misogynists. Leslie Jones’s character also drew criticism with those who felt her character was an unfortunate stereotype of the “sassy black woman”, and that in this day and age, all the scientists didn’t need to be white women, with the black woman playing the “helper.”
Finally, check out the trailer, next!
Get excited for July 15 with this hilarious trailer! We can’t wait…what about you?
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