Ghostbusters is probably the most successful horror comedy of all time. It was a huge hit. It remains a cultural phenomenon. Even now, decades after its release, everyone knows who to call. With the much talked about remake on the way, it seems like the best time to revisit the franchise with a bit of trivia on the original. Horror fans love their trivia, but this one isn’t as scoured for facts as something like A Nightmare on Elm Street.
This series is as susceptible to Hollywood urban legends as any. For example, despite popular belief, Eddie Murphy was never up for a role in the picture, at least according to Dan Aykroyd.
With all of that said, here are some bits of information you might never have known about Ghostbusters.
Dan Aykroyd is a big believer in the paranormal and put a lot of that knowledge into the script.
Venkman was originally written for John Belushi.
Aykroyd wrote Venkman for his friend John Belushi, who ultimately died while the script was still being written. Michael Keaton and Chevy Chase were also at one point linked with the part of Peter Venkman.
Christopher Walken and more were up for the part of Spengler.
Christopher Walken, Christopher Lloyd, John Lithgow and Jeff Goldblum were all considered for the part of Egon Spengler.
“Slimer” was not the ghost’s original name.
Slimer was nicknamed “Onion Head” by the crew because of its stench. It was named “Slimer” by audiences and was first officially referred to by name in the follow-up cartoon The Real Ghostbusters.
Reitman was sure of the movie’s success.
Director Ivan Reitman claims he knew the film would be a success when the first ghost caused a split among the audience at a screening: half of them laughed at it and half of them screamed.
The classic theme song was taken to court.
The catchy theme song was sued by Huey Lewis after its release, as Lewis claimed the song plagiarized his “I Want a New Drug.” The evidence in favor of Lewi’s claim is pretty damning. If you listen closely, the theme sounds an awful lot like a faster version of the song in question. The case was settled out of court.
The Marshmallow Man originally came from the sea.
To showcase the creature’s size, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was originally suppose to rise out of the Hudson River next to the Statue of Liberty, but this scene proved too difficult to shoot.
John Candy turned down a role.
John Candy was offered the part of Louis Tully, but just didn’t get it. There are claims he wanted to do it first with a German accent and then with a German Shepard. He ultimately passed on the project over the phone. The script was then sent to Rick Moranis, who called back three hours later, thanking John Candy for passing on it.
Winston was supposed to have a larger role.
Winston Zeddemore was originally supposed to have a much larger role, but the role kept getting smaller as changes kept getting made to the script. In the finished film, Winston does not appear until almost halfway through.
It was supposed to be set in the future.
The movie was originally written to be set in a future where ghosts and the paranormal were commonplace and was to be titled Ghost Smashers.