As we get ready for the Ghostbusters reboot hitting theaters this summer, we should take a look back at the beloved original. Full of some of the most iconic movie lines of all time and featuring a few of the best comedians, it's no surprise the movie is on many a movie buff's best lists. One thing is for sure, the original Ghostbusters will never get old, but here are a bunch of facts you may not have known about the film:
1. The John Belushi Connection
The original script was written for three characters who were supposed to be played by Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, and John Belushi, which would have portrayed them as S.W.A.T.-like members fighting ghosts. Actor John Candy was also planning to play the role of Louis. After the death of John Belushi, the script and storyline was rewritten, resulting in some of the planned cast members backing out. Most notably, Eddie Murphy decided to do Beverly Hills Cop instead. Interestingly, the most well known ghost from the film, Slimer, was known on set as the ghost of John Belushi.
2. Marketing For The Film
Early campaigns for the film included the use of "No Ghosts" logo posted all around the city and driving the Ecto-1 around the streets of Manhattan. After the movie was released, a new trailer was released to keep up with the interest from moviegoers. The trailer was the commercial the Ghostbusters used in the film but they used a real phone number to call this time. The phone rang off the hook for 24 hours a day for six straight weeks and, to fans' surprise when the number was called, they would get a pre-recorded voice message from Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
3. The Theme Song
"Who ya gonna call!" The commercial for the ghostbusting business in the film actually played a big part in the creation for the infamous theme song we all know and love, written and performed by Ray Parker Jr. Struggling with writing the song, it was not until he saw that commercial that he came up with the idea to write the song as if it were a TV jingle. The music video included the Ghostbusters cast and many celebrities who did not appear in the film, but you would probably recognize, including Chevy Chase, John Candy, Melissa Gilbert, Ollie E. Brown, Jeffrey Tambor, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, and Peter Falk.
4. Working In NYC
The film takes place in New York City and much of the movie was actually filmed there. The montage scene of the cast running around the streets on NYC was filmed early on without any film permits. One scene even shows a real security guard chasing after them. The firehouse, which acts as their headquarters, used exterior shots from Hook and Ladder #8, which is located in the Tribeca section of the city. Even though the interior shots were filmed elsewhere, the firehouse still has pictures of the cast and crew hanging on the walls. The firehouse became a memorial site for fans after Harold Ramis sadly passed away. The jail scene was filmed in a real prison that was said to be haunted. Many workers would leave with unexplained scratches. Director Ivan Reitman was nervous about having to go back there, but the crew was relieved to learn they got all the footage they needed without having to return.
5. Ad-Libs And Improvisation
Ghostbusters includes so many iconic quotes and movie moments so it is pretty cool to learn that much of the movie was ad-libbed and improvised. Most of the scenes did not go as scripted, with most of Bill Murray's lines being ad-libbed. The scene with the bookcase falling over was never planned as a crew member likely knocked it over. The scene with Louis (Rick Moranis) rambling on at the dinner party was actually one continuous shot and much of the dialogue was improvised.
6. Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
Probably my favorite part of the movie is the giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man terrorizing the streets of New York. There were three suits used for filming the marshmallow man, each costing around $20,000, and unfortunately all were destroyed during filming. The Marshmallow Man was supposed to come out of the water next to the Statue of Liberty to better show his size, but it became too hard to film so they scrapped that idea. The goo used from the Marshmallow man was actually shaving cream, which we see poured on actor William Atherton (Walter Peck). About 50 gallons was poured on him and it weighed more than most people would think, almost knocking him to the ground.
Reboots, remakes, or whatever, nothing will take the place of the original Ghostbusters. As I try to keep an open mind about reviving any old franchises, nothing will tarnish this movie and it will always remain one of my favorites!
Sources: Ghostbusters (1984), IMDb, YouTube