Back in 1984, a film about four bumbling paranormal investigators changed the face of comedies forever. Ghostbusters not only made stars of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis but also grossed a spook-tacular $295m at the global box office, audiences falling in love with its spectacular effects and quick-witted screenplay.
With Cineworld hosting a very special 30th anniversary screening tonight, we’ve come over all nostalgic and brought you 30 behind the scenes facts about this timeless comedy.
Have a read and click here to book your tickets for Ghostbusters.
1) Written by Aykroyd, the original concept of the film was very different, with the Ghostbusters travelling through time and space battling those pesky spooks.
2) Aykroyd and co-star Ramis reworked the screenplay over three weeks into the formula that we know and love today, hammering out the story whilst working in a bomb shelter!
3) The original title of the movie was ‘Ghost Smashers’.
4) Even the costumes were initially different – instead of the proton packs and romper suits, the characters were originally to be kitted out with helmets, visors and ‘wands’.
5) Bill Murray delivered a star-making performance as deadpan Peter Venkman – but the role was originally intended for Aykroyd’s Saturday Night Live cohort John Belushi.
6) However the spirit of Belushi lived on in the film – in the form of green ghoul Slimer! Aykroyd reportedly referred to the character as ‘the ghost of John Belushi’.
7) Murray improvised practically all of his lines. All-together now: “The flowers are still standing!”
8) Harold Ramis originally didn’t intend to appear in the movie but felt he was best suited to the role of loveably nerdy Egon Spengler.
9) Egon’s relationship with secretary Janine (played by Annie Potts) originally had more screen-time but largely hit the cutting room floor.
10) John Candy (Uncle Buck) was meant to be playing a character with a German accent and Schnauzer dogs but this idea didn’t mesh with the film and he walked away.
11) However, Candy did appear in the music video for Ray Parker Jr.’s classic title song, along with Danny DeVito, Carlo Simon, Chevy Chase and loads of other celebs.
12) Talking of cast members dropping out – Eddie Murphy was originally meant to play Winston Zeddemore, ultimately portrayed by Ernie Hudson (Murphy made Beverly Hills Cop instead).
13) Although the film makes wonderful use of New York, the production only shot there for three weeks (the bulk of the filming took place in Los Angeles).
14) The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man appears twice in the film before his grand entrance: on a pack of marshmallows in Dana Barret’s flat and again as a billboard on the side of a building.
15) Associate producer Michael C. Gross created the film’s now-famous ‘No Ghost’ logo.
16) The eerie score is composed by veteran Elmer Bernstein (The Great Escape) – the undulating ‘ghostly’ sound you hear throughout is a French instrument called the ondes Martenot.
17) Remember the ‘Ghostbusters!’ refrain during Parker Jr.’s song? That was performed by his girlfriend and her friends.
18) The song itself was nominated at the Oscars but lost to Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ (written for the film The Woman in Red).
19) Demonic villain Gozer was actually meant to appear in physical form in the movie, played by actor Paul Reubens but he turned down the role.
20) Sigourney Weaver’s possessed levitation scene was simple movie trickery: the actress was raised on poles concealed by curtains.
21) Actor William Atherton gained a measure of notoriety after playing slimy environmental officer Walter Peck, with people yelling abuse at him from cars and even picking fights.
22) When the remains of Stay Puft fall on Peck at the end of the film, it is in fact 50 gallons of shaving cream being dumped on Atherton’s head!
23) Ray Parker Jr. again – he was sued by Huey Lewis for the song’s alleged similarities to Lewis’ ‘I Want a New Drug’.
24) Infamous, moustachioed porn star Ron Jeremy appears in a crowd scene (yes, really) and went on to make a parody movie called This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX.
25) At her audition for the part of Dana, Sigourney Weaver slobbered and howled in the manner of a dog.
26) Ghostbusters remained at the box office number one spot for seven whole weeks.
27) In fact, it was the highest-grossing comedy of all time until the release of Home Alone in 1990.
28) A functioning 800 number was set up as a spoof Ghostbusters helpline by director Ivan Reitman – it received 1000 calls an hour, 24 hours a day for 6 weeks.
29) What better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters’ release than with one of the limited edition marshmallow doughnuts – in the shapes of the Ghostbusters’ logo and the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. The doughnuts are available from the 29th of September until the end of October, but sadly only in the US and Canada.
30) Bill Murray has voiced his support for an all-female version of Ghostbusters starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Emma Stone.