The trailer for the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise dropped this month, and has elicited a world of reactions. Some are happy about the new took on the movie franchise, while others are critical. The Ghostbusters films are some of the most beloved films in the industry, and spawned sequels, comic books, animated shows, and even video games. It all began with the first film 1984. Think you know the movie? Here are 20 facts about the first Ghostbusters film that may surprise you.
20. The First Script Would’ve Cost $300 Million to Produce
Dan Aykroyd’s first script for Ghostbusters was much darker and involved many teams fighting ghosts from many spirit dimensions far in the future. Director Ivan Reitman said it would’ve cost $300 million to produce… in 1984! So the movie was relocated to the present.
19. The Studio Demanded the Movie in 12 Months
Reitman, Harold Ramis and Aykroyd had a narrow window in which to finish writing, casting, filming and editing the movie. Columbia wanted the movie but demanded it be ready for the summer of 1984.
18. John Candy Tried to Take Over the Movie
The filmmakers wanted John Candy to play the demon “Keymaster of Gozer,” Louis Tully. But Candy wanted to play him as an uptight German and he wanted the movie to rewrite him as the star. Filmmakers disagreed and gave the role to another Second City alum, Rick Moranis.
17. You Can Visit the Firehouse
In New York, you can visit FDNY Hook & Ladder #8, which was the home base of the Ghostbusters. The building, which is located at 14 North Moore Street in TriBeCa, is still a fully-functioning firehouse.
16. “There is No Dana, Only Zuul”
Director Ivan Reitman provided the voice for the iconic moment when Dana gets possessed by a demon and says “there is no Dana, only Zuul.”
15. Caddyshack Almost Collided with Ghostbusters
A deleted scene, which is available on YouTube, shows Murray playing his Caddyshack character, Carl Spackler. Unfortunately the scene didn’t make the final cut.
14.They Wanted Lindsey Buckingham
National Lampoon’s Holiday Vacation used Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham’s song “Holliday Road” as its theme song. Producers wanted him to write a song for Ghostbusters but he passed.
13. Huey Lewis and Publishers Sued for Copyright Infringement
When Buckingham passed, the producers desperately wanted Huey Lewis. They used his song “I Want a New Drug” as a stand-in during production. When Lewis turned down the project, the producers hired Ray Parker Jr. to sing the theme song, which was so close to “I Want a New Drug,” the song’s publishers sued for copyright infringement.
12. Chevy Chase and Michael Keaton Passed
Producers had other big names in mind for the Venkman character. Chevy Chase, who was a huge star at the time, passed on the movie. Future Batman Michael Keaton also turned it down.
11. Dan Aykroyd Thought City Jail Was Haunted
The film used an out of commission jail somewhere in Lower Manhattan for the jail scenes, but no one has confirmed the real location. Aykroyd was convinced it was haunted and the film sound was scratched during the filming at the jail. The crew cut around the damaged sound to avoid reshoots.
10. Dan Aykroyd is from a Family of Ghostbusters
Dan Aykroyd was inspired by his family’s long history with spiritualism and seances. His great-grandparents and grandfather both conducted paranormal investigations and held seances. His father had a large library of books on the subject, which inspired Dan to create the movie.
9. The Ectomobile is One of a Kind
When movies use vehicles, they always have more than one on hand. But since the filming of Ghostbusters had to happen so quickly, they only could make one version of the 1959 Cadillac that housed all of the Ghostbusting doo-dads. The car broke down after it made it across the Manhattan Bridge.
8. Michael C. Gross Created the Logo
The memorable logo for the movie was created by Michael Gross, a producer on the film. In his prior career, Gross had worked as an art director for John Lennon, The Muppets and Rolling Stone.
7. Sigourney Weaver’s Audition is Legendary
Sigourney Weaver had just starred in Alien when she was up for the very different comedic role in Ghostbusters. She surprised the director with a wordless audition in which she turned herself into one of the gross dogs from the production, snarling and crawling across Reitman’s lap. He was terrified and cast her for the role.
6. Mr. Stay-Puft Was Shaving Cream
They needed to figure out a way to show Mr. Stay-Puft explode, with his marshmallow self raining down over New York City. The answer was 500-gallon batches of shaving cream, which stood in for the melted remnants of the ghost.
5. Reitman Feared the Worst
The premise of the movie – janitors battle ghosts – was so crazy for the time that when Reitman showed the first cut of the movie to 200 people at Columbia Studios, he was petrified they would find it too absurd. When they laughed at Mr. Stay-Puft, he knew he had created a hit.
4. Isaac Asimov Chewed Them Out
Sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov, a resident of Central Park West, was pretty pissed off about the traffic delays caused by the movie. He showed up on set to chew them out but the conflict was smoothed over by Aykroyd, who was a big Asimov fan.
3. Crossing the Streams Was the Last Detail
The filmmakers had no idea how the guys would get out of their final fight with the ghosts and the final script left the question open-ended. During filming they finally came up with the idea of crossing streams to somehow cross dimensions.
2. Slimer is an Homage to John Belushi
Aykroyd originally wanted John Belushi to play Venkman, but Belushi died before the movie was produced. As an homage, the first ghost the guys battle is a grubby, slothy ghost called Slimer who is a nod to the late actor. Odd but okay.
1. They Almost Got Sued for “Ghostbusters”
Universal Studios had produced a live-action TV series called “The Ghost Busters,” in the 1970s. After the movie was almost complete, Universal threatened to sue if the name wasn’t changed. Thankfully, Columbia Pictures head Frank Price, who had backed Ghostbusters, became the President of Universal and he stopped the legal department from going forward.
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