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6 ‘Ghostbusters’ Facts

July 1, 2015

Here are some fun facts about the people you call when there’s something strange in your neighborhood.

The idea for the movie, and the first draft came from Dan Aykroyd. In that conception, the movie took place in the future and every city had teams of ghostbusters the way they do police or firefighters. (Instead of jumpsuits ghostbusters wore suits and fought ghosts not with proton packs, but wands.) When producer Ivan Reitman read it, he liked the idea, but felt it couldn’t be done for less than $300 million (about $675 million today). He brought in writer and actor Harold Ramis to throughoughly rewrite the script into what was filmed.

Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters

The part of Peter Venkman was written for Aykroyd’s comedy partner John Belushi, but he died in 1983 before filming began. Bill Murray got the part, but the special effects-created ghost Slimer earned a special nickname on set: Belushi.

John Candy was initially cast as nerdy Louis Tully, but after insisting on performing the character with an inexplicable German accent, director Ivan Reitman replaced him with Candy’s SCTV castmate Rick Moranis.

To capitalize on the huge success of the film, TV studio Filmation debuted a cartoon series in 1986 called Ghost Busters. Based on a short-lived live-action Saturday morning show from the ‘70s, the studio had the legal rights for a TV show with such a title. When a cartoon version of Ghostbusters hit the air a few months later, it had to do so with the title The Real Ghostbusters.

On Tina Fey’s recent Netflix comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a former junior high school teacher (Richard Kind) is assaulted by a former student because the teacher messed up the student’s application and he ended up attending Winston Zeddmore High School, “the worst high school in New York.” If Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) in the film had a high school named after him, then this suggests that in the “universe” of Kimmy Schmidt…the Ghostbusters are real, and really did once save New York City from the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

There are two new Ghostbusters movies in the works. Bridesmaids director Paul Feig has cast Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Cecily Strong in his film about an all-female ghostbusting team. He went with that concept after rejecting the chance to direct Ghostbusters 3, a movie Dan Aykroyd says he still plans on making.

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