Films

Five Ghostbusters revelations

As the blockbusting spooktacular turns 30, director Ivan Reitman shares some unusual facts

1. It was initially set in the future

“Dan Aykroyd’s original treatment took place in the future, with various different teams travelling across various different planets. It would have been the most expensive film ever made. I said to Dan: ‘This is a brilliant idea here, these guys who are just like firemen that catch ghosts. But let’s set it in the present day in New York, and let’s make them parapsychologists and have them set up a business.’ A going-into-business movie seemed far more relatable to me.”

2. John Candy wanted Rick Moranis’s part

“The accountant character, Louis Tully, was originally written with John Candy in mind. [Candy] wanted to play him as a German, and always have two big dogs with him. I didn’t understand what he was going for, so eventually I said to him, ‘I’m sorry John, maybe next time.’”

3. We were supposed to see dead celebs

“At one point we were going to see inside the containment unit, and it was planned to look like some kind of insane asylum where we saw the ghosts of dead celebrities who were none too happy to be in there. It just felt a little too dark, so I eventually cut that idea.”

4. Shooting the music video was a nightmare

“You can’t fight the crowds in New York – you have to go with it. But because Bill Murray lives in New York, and has done for years, he was very much in sync with the personalities on the street. The only problems we had were when we were shooting the video for the Ray Parker Jr theme song a few weeks before the movie opened. We had all the Ghostbusters singing right there on Times Square, and there were tens of thousands of tourists. After three minutes they were all going crazy and getting into shot. We had to get in and get out pretty fast, and I think you can tell in the video.”

5. Ron Jeremy is an extra

“Ron is an extra outside the fire hall when [the Ghostbusters] go off to confront the demon at the end. I don’t think you make a lot of money in porn, and I have a feeling that we probably had better catering, too.”

The restored and remastered Ghostbusters is at UK cinemas only on 28 October, and the Blu-Ray Anniversary Edition is out now

(Images: Kobal; Getty)