Who you gonna call? Who else but Ghostbusters! Ghostbusters fans around the world have been waiting for another installment in this franchise for the past 30 years. Despite it being an oldie, the original series is definitely a goodie and it will continue to be one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time.
The original film opened in the United States on June 8, 1984 and was the highest grossing film during that week. It stayed at the number 1 spot for eight more weeks and even re-opened on the big screen for two weeks in August 1985. Now, that’s what I call success!
Ghostbusters had a $32 million budget but ended up earning a $200 million return on the investment with a franchise whose popularity has lasted decades. It is easy to see how it has stood the test of time when you look at how it had the right combination of comedy, actors and special effects.
Recently, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, one of the original stars of the film Bill Murray mentioned that there is a lot of expectation on all of four of the new actresses to pull it off and make this movie great, and one of the stars Melissa McCarthy has admitted that she will be extremely disappointed if the movie flops. Let’s hope that the new cast will have what it takes to bring fans from the original movie to flood theaters on July 15, 2016.
Before you head to the movie theater, here are 15 fun and interesting facts you probably did not know about Ghostbusters.
15. John Belushi’s Impact
We can only imagine the number of celebrities in Hollywood before the movie was filmed that lined up to try out for a part. Believe it or not, Paul Reubens was originally chosen to be the actor for the character named Ivo Shandor, the ghost that played a dead architect. Gozer’s character was meant for John Belushi in Dan Aykroyd’s mind, but unfortunately, Belushi passed away before getting a chance to be a part of movie history. Dan Aykroyd eventually rewrote the role into the punk-inspired woman that we see in the film.
Slimer was supposed to be the Ghost of John Belushi, which was inspired by John’s character in the movie Animal House where he was basically a gluttonous alcoholic.
Larry King had his very first film debut with Ghosbusters playing what he was well known as, a radio personality. Can you believe that Chevy Chase and Michael Keaton turned down the role of Dr. Peter Venkman? Bill Murray picked up the role but I bet those two regretted it after they realized how successful the movie turned out. Even Eddie Murphy whose career was on the rise at that time, as well as John Candy, rejected the opportunity.
As an extra fun fact, the only reason that Bill Murray agreed to act in Ghostbusters was that Columbia agreed to finance a remake of The Razor’s Edge with Murray as the star.
14. It Wasn’t All Filmed In NYC
We all watched the original movie and in the back of our minds we had the impression that it was filmed in the Big Apple, but did you know that only 3 weeks of Ghostbusters was filmed in New York City? The outside of the FDNY Hook & Ladder #8 building at 14 North Moore Street was located in Tribeca which was the Ghostbusters base of operations.
This building was almost demolished, but after a successful campaign by people in the area, the community saved it from destruction. A Ghostbusters sign hangs outside of this building today. The interior and exterior (of what we thought was the FDNY Hook & Ladder building) was actually filmed in the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The inside of the firehouse was filmed in an abandoned fire station in LA. The rooftop temple at Dana’s apartment was a big set that was built on Stage 16 at Columbia pictures, and when the three Ghostbusters were creeped out by the old librarian ghost in the stacks, this part took place inside of the Los Angeles Public Library.
When Egon was introduced in the library, the location was inside of the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. Dana Barrett and Louis Tully’s apartments were at 55 Central Park West. At the beginning of the movie, the Weaver Hall Department of Psychology building at Columbia University was used to tape the scene where the guys were kicked out of a building. The legendary restaurant named Tavern on the Green on West 66th and 67th Street in Manhattan was filmed in the movie as well.
13. The Original Plot Was Way Different
Dan Aykroyd’s family inspired him to write this movie after his grandfather tried to construct a radio to reach the spirit world because he was fascinated by ghosts. He wrote the 40 page long first draft with John Belushi who was a former Saturday Night Live comedian. Originally, Ghostbusters was set in the future with ghost hunting being a world-wide phenomenon, but the director Ivan Reitman changed the plot to a group of Ghostbusters working inside of a New York fire station. As you can imagine, this elaborate original idea was estimated to cost a whopping $300 million!
The Ghostbusters symbol was designed by the associate producer named Michael C. Gross. The logo appeared on their uniforms, in their car, and on promotional materials. Before producing Ghostbusters, Michael was no newbie to epic designs in the entertainment industry. He was an art consultant for John Lennon, The Muppets and The Rolling Stones. He also had a job as the art director for National Lampoon and Esquire during the 70s.
12. Aykroyd And Murray’s Thoughts On The New Film
Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones used to work as a Scientologist customer service representative and SNL comedian Kristen Wiig used to work as a pole dancer.
These ladies would have ended up wearing blue onesie uniforms in the movie remake with a brushed metal flip down welder mask, if it hadn’t been for the original filmmakers making the suggestion for the outfits to become a tan color without masks. The Cadillac hearse in the first movie was also replaced with a new model.
According to a Cineplex Blend article, the original director Dan Aykroyd said “the Aykroyd family is delighted by this inheritance of the Ghostbusters torch by these most magnificent women in comedy. My great grandfather, Dr. Sam Aykroyd, the original Ghostbuster, was a man who empowered women in his day and this is a beautiful development in the legacy of our family business.”
Bill Murray has also given his stamp of approval for the new female cast on the Jimmy Kimmel Show by stating numerous outstanding things about the women which made it easy for him to give his endorsement. Hard to argue with the value of a remake, as even without this movie, Ghostbusters is one of the most recognized symbols in pop culture history.
11. The Role Of Props For Special Effects
CGI and special effects are the main reason why many of us will show up nowadays to movie theaters and wait in long lineups. Ghostbusters may have been a world renowned movie classic, but you will not believe how creative the people on set had to be to make it happen. Wires were used to make objects fly and the floating books at the beginning of the movie were suspended on wires. In the library when card catalog drawers suddenly opened without force while swirling papers circled the librarian, it was accomplished with a technician standing behind a wall and blowing air through copper tubing. Harold Ramis had to pick up the cards after every take, making it a bit of a tedious job. Despite the success the movie had in the 1980s and decades later, there were countless challenges.
Many of the studio executives believed that the project was extremely expensive and it was the financial responsibility of the director and actors. The Columbia Pictures chairman Frank Price mentioned in a Vanity Fair article that after Bill Murray signed on as being one of the well-known actors to star in Ghostbusters, the organization still made it very clear that Bill would have to take the risk of being fully responsible for the cost to make the movie. The Ghostbusters team was only given one year to film, re-write and shoot the film. Even when most of the people working in the background had no experience creating special effects.
10. Why They Used The Milgram Experiment
In the scene when Venkman is using electrical shocks, it is actually an infamous experiment by Stanley Milgram. According to Wikipedia, the experiment consisted of studying a diverse group of people with different educational backgrounds. They were asked to obey an authority figure by performing acts that were the opposite of their personal beliefs.
The way it worked was as follows. A teacher read a list of words to the learner. When it was time to test the learner of their memory of the words, the teacher would jolt the learner with 15-volts in increments if the answer was wrong. Holy smokes! Is this a real life experiment or torture? The experiment was one of Bill Murray’s favorite scenes during the filming of Ghostbusters. The reason why Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman chose to use this real-life experiment in the film was to test the movie watchers’ abilities to accept that the hero was jolting electrical shocks to another person when in reality it was a completely unfair decision.
The other interesting fact is that Dan Aykroyd’s grandfather Maurice was a telephone engineer that worked for Bell which is a Canadian telecommunications media company. His grandfather not only made attempts to communicate with ghosts but he invited them into their home while Dan was growing up. He was also inspired after reading an article in a parapsychology journal on trapping ghosts and knew he had to turn his experience and vision into art.
9. The Hatred For Peck And Lawsuit Over The Song
After Ghostbusters made it to the big screen, the doors of opportunities opened for most of the actors and actresses in the film. Despite their success, there was one actor that attracted a lot of haters. William Atherton, who played Walter Peck, was abused in public and had many altercations in bars while in New York City. One day, a tourist on a bus became verbally aggressive with him. Unfortunately, people hated Walter Peck so much that on more than one occasion actor William Atherton was approached by strangers who were angry over the way Peck treated the Ghostbusters. On the bright side, many of the actors and people on set felt that walking around with Bill Murray in New York was similar to being seen with the mayor.
A lawsuit brewed up between Ray Parker Jr. and singer Huey Lewis after the theme song was released. Huey Lewis claimed that the song was plagiarized from his hit “I Want A New Drug.” The legal matter was eventually settled out of court. The interesting part of this whole story is when Reitman used the song “I Want a New Drug” it was a temporary tune and Huey Lewis declined the deal because he had plans to sing the Back in the Future movie song “Back in Time.” At this time, Lewis was tired of doing soundtrack music. After that, the filmmakers hired the singer Ray Parker Jr. who wrote “Who you gonna call?” and “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”
8. The Stay Puft Shaving Cream Man
During the scene when the Ghostbusters are walking through a stream of water, there are two dimensions that cause the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to blow up and explode. When we all thought it was marshmallow candy that was spewing on unsuspecting New Yorkers, it was actually 500 gallons of shaving cream being spewed out. At first, William Atherton asked for the shaving cream to fall on a stuntman because it was an estimated 75 pounds of shaving cream. Atherton’s intuition was exactly right and in the first attempt, it knocked out the stuntman although he survived to tell the story. A significantly smaller batch of shaving cream fell on William during the final take. One of the people on script even had a skin reaction to the shaving cream shots!
With only 10 months to get their act together with visual effects to make an epic film, animation supervisor Terry Windell and his workers on set were forced to think quickly and be creative at the drop of a dime. The shot that featured Slimer floating around a chandelier in the Sedgewick Hotel involved green spray paint on a small peanut that mirrored the green ghoul. Windell once said in an interview that the extreme effects proved that the team was “totally serious about making it stupid.” The Stay Puft Man drawings at first were a disappointment to Bill Murray because it was a sailor, but the actor inside the suit made the character come alive. Before the movie was shot, they had no permits to film in the city and despite this challenge they had to take the risk by shooting scenes in various places.
7. Celebrities’ Thoughts On The New Cast
It’s 2016 and the gender roles have turned. Movie roles are becoming more edgy these days with an addition of more actresses in what was once a male-dominated industry. No big deal right? Wrong!
Donald Trump added his two cents on the new Ghostbusters movie, saying “And now they’re making ‘Ghostbusters’ with only women. What’s going on?!”
Critics have taken to social media to express backlash shortly after the two movie trailers were released. One popular YouTuber even mentioned that he will not even watch the trailer because of the all-female Ghostbusters group.
Comedian Elise Valderrama tried to defend the all-female cast, saying “the backlash is like they’re remaking the Bible with Lady Jesus.” A small group of trolls are either angry or trying to make people angry. I feel like we established ourselves as funny a long time ago. Women in comedy have to re-prove ourselves over and over again. To a certain extent every comedian has to win over an audience, but if I was a mediocre white male comic, I could probably slide by a lot more.” But she was not the last prominent person to state her opinion.
“Ghostbusters are made up — if there were ghosts and guys were hunting them, there’d be plenty of women who’d be like ‘I’d like to that job as well,’” said Marie Faustin, a comic and Vlogger. “Let it happen and I think gradually this conversation is going to stop happening.”
6. Movie Flops And Obvious Mistakes
While the green slimy ghost character, Slimer, moves around the chandelier, he suddenly disappears in one frame as he moves to the right.
The New York Post newspaper in one scene was able to get a future picture of the Ghostbusters in the part when the butcher was handing them over two pieces of meat, but that scene did not happen yet.
In the scene where Dana Barrett is in the library looking for the Ghostbusters, there are two feet moving behind the brown file cabinet right behind the receptionist. If special effects weren’t needed during this scene, what was the reason for the person behind the cabinet?
When Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her friend the Violinist are walking, you will notice that he is holding a violin with his right hand and when the camera shifts, it ends up in his left hand. When the camera angle moves to Bill Murray and back to the Violinist, you will notice the violin in his right hand.
When Dana Barrett is pulled into a room sitting on a comfortable couch with her mouth covered by a green reptile with red eyes in her apartment, there is a track in the floor that gives away the special effects of the couch moving.
In another scene when the street starts to cave in and the Ghostbusters fall into the ground, you can see the obvious mistake of body doubles that replace Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.
Last but not least, the part of the movie where the Marshmallow Man stomps on the church while the Ghostbusters blast him with laser guns, did you notice that it is wearing the same red tie as Bill Murray?
5. The Impact Of The 1-800 Number And Improvised Lines
A 1-800 number was released in the original Ghostbusters movie trailer that included a recorded message with Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray that brought about a thousand calls per hour, 24 hours a day, for 6 weeks. The Ghostbusters experience continued in a comic book that is published by IDW.
Most of the movie’s most epic lines are improvised. That includes “When someone asks you if you are a God, you say yes” by Ernie Hudson and “My Uncle thought he was St. Jerome” by Librarian Alice. Here’s a fun fact! St. Jerome is known as the patron saint of librarians.
The line in the original script when Dana tells off Venkman was originally, “you don’t seem like a scientist. You’re more like a used car salesman.” Weaver changed this on set to “you’re more like a game show host.”
Gozer was at first supposed to be a man that was a deity that wore a suit. Stay Puft was Gozer’s second form with the final form increasing in size and then morphing into a skeleton creature. The Librarian Eleanor Twitty in the video game was meant to be more grotesque, but the original puppet design was declined and ended up being used at the end of the 1985 film. Fright Night.
4. More Franchise Secrets Revealed
Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd acted as two homeless men while walking in Central Park with personalities that were completely the opposite of their Ghostbusters roles, but this scene was eventually deleted. Vigo the Carpathian played by Wilhelm von Homburg was furious when he realized that voice actor Max Von Sydow spoke over all of Wilhelm’s lines. When Wilhelm watched the screening, he stormed out of the room in anger.
For videogame fans, they may find it interesting that there was a game being made in 1989, but it was never released because the Atari had died off. The game was later released in Europe 4 years later.
The earlier concept had upgraded versions of the proton pack with gamers redesigning ecto ones. After Atari started working on the concept, it turned out more similar to the original movie.
The beginning of the Ghostbusters sequel was meant for the beginning of the very first movie with the guys well established in their career.
When the Ghostbusters are running through Rockefeller Center, they are being chased by a real security guard that worked in the building.
The Ghostbuster packs weighed 30lbs. with a real live battery and most of the actors complained about the heavy weight on their back.
3. Home Alone Beat It At The Box Office
Behind the reporter in the film that was airing a story in the busy streets of New York City was a man in a jean jacket and pants. He was not an extra but in fact a NYC resident that felt like acting silly during the taping.
The romance scenes between the receptionist and Egon Spengler were removed from the movie. The movie was close to being called Ghost Smashers and it was the highest grossing movie of all time. Can you guess the name of the movie that surpassed it? Home Alone!
Lewis Toy’s character was written as an overweight man from Germany but after careful consideration, it was changed to what we now know as Lewis.
In 2007, Ernie Hudson was interviewed in Europe and talked about how he was approached to do a Ghostbusters video game and provided the official voice of his character Winston Zeddemore. He admitted that his character missing from the first Ghostbusters poster and was sad that his character was being taken out of most of the first part of the movie as well as the second movie even though his character was very popular among fans. Despite the sad reality, he said that his main goal of being a part of the film was to have a great time.
2. Who Spookums Is
In the spin-off cartoon called The Real Ghostbusters, a lunar eclipse creates a tear in space-time with a ghost from a new dimension that suddenly appears from the continuum. Most viewers were wondering what hideous beast or ghost would appear out of the dark. A group of consultants called Q5 Consultants didn’t waste any time trying to figure it out, but instead of fighting a real threat, a baby ghost appeared. Egon decides to name her Spookums, because “my mother used to call me Spookums.” Really? There was also some controversy over children being characters of the Ghostbusters group rather than the original cast, at least until Q5 takes it over and brings it back to reality.
Both Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis admitted that Sigourney Weaver was extremely desperate to change her career by being in a comedy and as such jumped at the chance to be in Ghostbusters. Apparently, Weaver used her impromptu skills by making up her own lines throughout the film, such as when she was barking like a dog. Actors revealed that she was so desperate for the role that she acted like a grotesque dog by crawling across the casting couch while growling at the director during her audition.
1. The New Film Is Inspired By The Walking Dead
Unlike its predecessor, the Ghostbusters remake had a budget of $154 million. This movie will have no connection to the original film and it will be scarier than the first one. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were rumored to be a part of the cast during the making of this film. The stars from the first Ghostbusters expected to be a part of the film are Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd (he confirmed on Twitter and the posts were later deleted). Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Amy Schumer were supposed to end up in the female cast.
Ghostbusters will be Melissa McCarthy’s 4th opportunity to work with director Paul Feig. It will be Paul Feig and Kristen Wiig’s third time working with each other. Throughout its creation, Paul Feig was inspired by the hit show The Walking Dead, but you can probably expect to see a lot less zombies!
Chris Hemsworth was believed to be an “unbelievable jerk” at first by Melissa McCarthy but he was more humble and funny than all of the ladies expected.
In the movie, the Ghostbusters will be hired by the U.S. Government and SNL’s Susan Lee Strong will take on the role of the government employee, helping make the draw for the film all the stronger.
It’s clear that even if you weren’t a fan of the original movie, there is going to be plenty to love about the upcoming film.