Everything You Need To Know About The Making Of Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters, released in 1984, has become one of the most iconic films in American cinema, blending comedy, action, and supernatural elements into a movie that appeals to all ages. Here’s everything you need to know about the making of Ghostbusters.

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Fact 1: The Original Concept

The idea for Ghostbusters sprang from Dan Aykroyd’s fascination with the paranormal, greatly influenced by his family’s interest in spiritualism. Initially, Aykroyd imagined a much darker, more serious film involving time travel and interdimensional ghosts, a stark contrast to the comedic classic it would become.

Fact 2: Influence of John Belushi

Originally, Dan Aykroyd envisioned Ghostbusters as a project for himself and John Belushi. After Belushi’s tragic death, the script underwent significant changes, shifting towards the comedic tone we know today. Belushi’s spirit, however, is said to live on in the character of Slimer.

Fact 3: Rewriting the Script

Harold Ramis was brought on to help rewrite the script, contributing significantly to its humor and direction. Together, Aykroyd and Ramis transformed the original concept into a story set against the backdrop of New York City, blending comedy with supernatural elements.

Fact 4: Bill Murray’s Uncertain Participation

Bill Murray’s involvement in Ghostbusters was up in the air until filming actually began. Murray’s unique brand of humor and improvisation became a defining feature of the film, with his character Peter Venkman delivering many of the movie’s most memorable lines.

Fact 5: Casting Winston Zeddemore

Ernie Hudson played Winston Zeddemore, the everyman of the group, but his role was significantly reduced from the original script. Despite this, Hudson’s portrayal added a grounded perspective to the team, highlighting the diversity of the Ghostbusters.

Fact 6: Pioneering Special Effects

Ghostbusters was at the forefront of special effects in the 1980s, using a mix of practical effects, puppetry, and early CGI. The creation of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the library ghost showcased the innovative techniques that brought the film’s spectral entities to life.

Fact 7: Iconic Filming Locations

New York City served as more than just a setting; it was integral to the film’s identity. Iconic locations, including the New York Public Library and a Tribeca firehouse, not only grounded the story in reality but also became beloved landmarks for fans.

Fact 8: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

One of the film’s most iconic scenes involves the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man terrorizing New York. This effect was achieved through a combination of a man in a suit and miniature set pieces, creating a memorable moment that perfectly blended humor and horror.

Fact 9: The Theme Song

Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters theme song became an instant hit, capturing the film’s blend of spooky action and comedy. Its catchy refrain and accompanying music video helped solidify the film’s place in pop culture.

Fact 10: Challenges with the Ghostbusters Name

The title Ghostbusters was already trademarked by a 1970s children’s TV show. The film’s producers negotiated for the rights to use the name, which was essential for the film’s branding and identity.

Fact 11: Sigourney Weaver’s Audition

Sigourney Weaver, who played Dana Barrett, secured her role through an unconventional audition where she pretended to transform into one of Gozer’s dogs. Her commitment impressed the directors, earning her the part and adding depth to the film’s cast.

Fact 12: Slimer’s Inspiration

Slimer, the green ghost, was affectionately known as “the ghost of John Belushi” by the film’s creators, paying homage to Aykroyd’s original vision for the movie to star his late friend and the similarities in their comedic styles.

Fact 13: Real Scientific Terminology

Aykroyd’s script included real terms and concepts from the field of parapsychology. This attention to detail added a layer of authenticity to the Ghostbusters’ ghost-hunting technology and methods, despite the film’s fantastical elements.

Fact 14: The No-Ghosts Logo

The iconic Ghostbusters logo, featuring a ghost with a red prohibition sign over it, was designed by Michael C. Gross. This simple yet effective logo became an instantly recognizable symbol of the franchise.

Fact 15: Rick Moranis’s Improvisation

Rick Moranis, who played Louis Tully, improvised much of his dialogue, including the lengthy monologue at his party. Moranis’s comedic genius added a quirky charm to the film, making Louis a fan-favorite character.

Fact 16: A Tribute to New York City

Ghostbusters serves as a love letter to New York City, showcasing its resilience and spirit. The film’s climax on the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper symbolizes the city’s central role in the story and its battle against supernatural forces.