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1. Dan Aykroyd’s first treatment was 40 pages long and went under the title of Ghost Smashers. The movie's director, Ivan Reitman called it "the telephone book" as it was soooo long. Aykroyd was writing it for himself and John Belushi to star in - with Belushi playing Venkman. At this time the story was set in the future where teams of 'Ghost Smashers' were common. Reitman felt it would've been an impossible story to shoot, and would've cost somewhere in the region of $300million (Ghostbusters ended up with a budget of $32million), so he suggested they set it in modern day New York and just focus on one emerging team of 'Ghostbusters'. At this time Harold Ramis was bought on board to help adapt and develop the screenplay, and it was during the re-write that Belushi died of an accidental overdose.
2. Although he had performed a massive re-write and developed the
screenplay, Harold Ramis came into the project with no intention of
starring in it as Dr Egon Spengler. Many actors were considered for the
part first, including Christopher Walken, John Lithgow, Christopher
Lloyd and Jeff Goldblum, but Ramis felt so close to the character that
he was compelled to put himself forward.
3. Two of the key roles in Ghostbusters were developed with Eddie Murphy and
John Candy in mind. Aykroyd had approached his Trading Places co-star, Eddie
Murphy, to play the role of Winston Zeddemore. He was interested
too, but a clash with filming Beverly Hills Cop meant that it wasn't to
be. As for John Candy, although he never signed on the dotted line, he
was in long term discussions to play Louis Tully. But after delays in
the movie production he eventually declined the role.
4. Before Bill Murray signed on to star as Dr Peter Venkman,
both Michael Keaton and Chevy Chase were linked with to the role.
5. Bill Murray only agreed to star in Ghostbusters if Columbia agreed to remake The Razor’s Edge with him as the star. They did. It flopped.
6. On set Dan Aykroyd would call Slimer "the ghost of John Belushi", because he felt he was "just a party guy looking to have a good time". The crew nicknamed Slimer "The Onion Head Ghost", due to the foul stench he emitted in a scene that went on to be cut from the movie. You may wonder why they just didn't they call him "Slimer", well it was because he wasn't actually called that at all, in fact in the script he doesn't have a name. At no point in time in the movie does anyone call him "Slimer", it was the movie audiences that came up with that name. Once the animated series came out the writers decided to adopt it, and even named him "Slimer" in the Ghostbusters II credits.
7. In the script the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was supposed to emerge from the River Hudson and stand shoulder to shoulder next to the Statue of Liberty. This was to show just how enormous he was.
The scene had to be abandoned after it proved too difficult to shoot.
8. When filming started on the movie the ending had still not been locked down. As the shoot neared that particular scene, Reitman, Ramis and Aykroyd discussed what to do. That's when the
idea of crossing the streams, which was in a very early draft of the
film but long abandoned, was put forward.
9. When the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man exploded at the end of the film, that was not marshmallow covering the Ghostbusters, it was shaving foam.
10. Once completed the movie was to be released under the title "Ghost Busters", however it turned out that there was a short-lived
series produced in 1975 that was called "The Ghost Busters" which nobody on the production knew about. Columbia Pictures ended up paying production company Filmation a hefty licence fee to use
the name, but it wasn't without stipulations. "Ghost busters" became "Ghostbusters" and Columbia agreed to not use the name for any animated spin-off, and they were happy with that as none was planned. But after Ghostbusters became a huge box-office success, Filmation cashed-in by producing a new animated series based on their original live-action one from a decade earlier, totally unrelated to the new movie but going under the title "Ghostbusters". Not to be outdone Columbia produced their own Saturday morning cartoon series with the movie's characters, and to avoid further expensive legal action it was entitled "The Real Ghostbusters". None of the cast provided the character
voices, but it did feature a young Arsenio Hall as Winston Zeddemore.
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This article was originally published Oct 13th, 2014.