ByTom Tennant, writer at
Editor/publisher of (@midwestmovies) and MarvelCinematicUniversity (@marvelcineuniv)
Tom Tennant

Controversy plagued Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters remake since the moment it was announced.

Many fans couldn’t believe Feig was rebooting the franchise without at least keeping it in the same universe as the original Ghostbusters. And sexists all over the globe couldn’t imagine why filmmakers would recast the ghost smashers with women in the lead.

McCarthy may have addressed the latter issue the best when she told Jimmy Kimmel that what those "terrific fellas" don’t say after sharing their opinion “is that one minute after they type that, their moms are like, 'Get upstairs and take out the garbage! You're 45 years old!"

While civil discourse might be had with fans bummed that Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig’s characters aren’t somehow related to Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman or Dan Akroyd’s Ray Stantz, there’s not much you can do but thumb your nose at the sexists and buy tickets to the movie.

Though these controversies are top-of-mind, they aren’t the only ones haunting our heroes, both old and new. Here are five Ghostbusters controversies you forgot all about:

They're ready to believe you
They're ready to believe you

1. Columbia Pictures didn’t own the name Ghostbusters

The marketing campaign for Ghostbusters was kicking into high gear in 1984 when, out-of-the-blue, Universal Studios threatened legal action if producers didn’t change the name of the film.

As it happened, in the mid-1970s, Universal produced a short-lived, live-action Saturday morning show called The Ghost Busters. The show starred Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch, of F Troop fame (ask your grandfather), and Bob Burns as Tracy, the gorilla. Whenever something strange was happening in their neighborhood, the Ghost Busters would investigate, inevitably busting those pesky spirits with their Ghost De-Materializer.

In the end, Universal’s new studio chief, Frank Price, allowed filmmakers to keep the name — if they paid a license fee. It probably helped that Price was originally from Columbia and was responsible for green-lighting the film.

After the film’s success, Columbia made an animated version of Ghostbusters, only to hear from Universal once again. To make everyone happy, Columbia agreed to title its show The Real Ghostbusters.

At the same time, Universal decided to produce an animated version of its 1970s show, which it called The Original Ghostbusters. You can catch a few episodes of the animated series online.

Who ya gonna sue for plagiarism?
Who ya gonna sue for plagiarism?

2. Ray Parker Jr. sampled a little too much Huey Lewis and the News

Every fan gets chills when the first few chords of Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters theme song begins to play. Every fan except Huey Lewis. Assuming Huey Lewis is a Ghostbusters fan.

As the story goes, director Ivan Reitman wanted to persuade Huey Lewis and the News, a big name band back in the 1980s, to score the Ghostbusters theme song. Reitman even used the band’s "I Want a New Drug" as filler music prior to a sanctioned theme song.

Lewis declined, however, hoping to get away from soundtrack work after contributing "The Power of Love" and "Back in Time" to the Back to the Future series.

Reitman then turned to up-and-comer Ray Parker Jr. Parker delivered a hit. The only problem was, Huey Lewis and the News thought it sounded an awful lot like "I Want a New Drug".

Lewis sued for plagiarism, and the matter was settled out of court. And when Lewis spoke about the settlement in 2001, Parker sued Lewis for breaching confidentiality.

Issac vs Danny
Issac vs Danny

3. New Yorkers hated the Ghostbusters crew — even Isaac Asimov

When the crew set up shop in New York’s Upper West Side to shoot the film’s finale, they wound up driving the neighborhood crazy.

The film stopped more than half of midtown traffic during the shoot. If you’ve driven in NYC at all, you can imagine the legendary hell this must have caused.

One resident, famed science-fiction author Isaac Asimov, was plenty pissed. He stormed the Ghostbusters set and allegedly crossed streams with Dan Aykroyd.

Asimov wanted the actor to know his movie was making life in New York even more intolerable than it was, and, more importantly, making it difficult for Asimov to get to his front door.

Aykroyd, a true fan of Asimov’s, was crushed.

Even William Atherton hated Walter Peck
Even William Atherton hated Walter Peck

4. The movie made one actor’s life a living hell

No one liked Walter Peck, the New York bureaucrat and Ghostbusters antagonist. But the actor who portrayed him, William Atherton, was a kind, easy-going fella.

That didn’t matter. He was regularly abused by fans, including a bus full of tourists (kids, some say) who gave him the what-for, and a number of bar flies who tried to cajole the poor man into a fight.

When he later ran into Reitman, the actor was more upset than thankful and friendly. At least that’s what Reitman says in the Ghostbusters DVD commentary.

Who can you call to get some Ecto Cooler?
Who can you call to get some Ecto Cooler?

5. For fans, finding Ecto-Cooler is as easy as finding a ghost

If you were kid in the 1980s, you remember Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler, a tart beverage with a green hue that came in a drink box. A squeezable drink box that would allow you to spray your friends while you called out, “He slimed me!”

Hi-C re-released a modified version of the drink on May 30, 2016. But in such limited numbers, it was almost impossible to find it — anywhere.

Fans shook their fists because the soda can version of the drink was always out of stock online (we found it in stock at, but in “restocking” mode at other retailers) and the drink box version wasn’t shipped to big box stores.

Our guess is fans are still searching for this favorite drink.

How about you? Did you find some? How was it?


Latest from our Creators