In a relatively new video essay about movies, Lessons from the Screenplay, Michael Tucker looks at Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis’s original script for Ghostbusters and how the framework it provided, enhanced by the improv skills of the actors, produced a movie better than the script might have indicated at first glance. And oh man, I love the turn-of-the-century Ghostbusters idea. (via one perfect shot)
Paul Feig is your director; Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones are your Ghostbusters; and NYC is the backdrop. I hope the movie is better than the trailer.
Update: A second trailer is out:
I love the concept, the cast, and the director. I want this to be good. But I’m just not feeling it from these trailers.
Rick Moranis wasn’t supposed to be in Ghostbusters:
John Candy was the first choice for the part of Sigourney Weaver’s dweeby neighbor Louis. Candy was interested, but he wanted his character to speak with a German accent and own several large dogs.
Neither were Ernie Hudson or Bill Murray. Dan Aykroyd wrote Peter Venkman for John Belushi, then rewrote it for Murray after Belushi died. I can’t even imagine how that would have worked.
(Actually, I don’t know if I can easily substitute any other actor for Bill Murray in any of his roles. That might be an imaginative blind spot for me.)
Likewise Paul Reubens (pre-Pee Wee Herman) was originally slated to play the demonic Gozer, as a straight-laced architect in a business suit.
As for Ernie Hudson’s Winston:
Eddie Murphy was offered the part of Winston Zeddemore, which was intended to be a much larger character at the time. The plan was for Zeddemore to have been hired as a Ghostbuster much earlier in the movie, and in the scene at the hotel, he would have been the one covered in green slime by the ghost Slimer, instead of Bill Murray.
Murphy’s reaction to getting slimed would have been priceless, but going for the lead in Beverly Hills Cop rather than teaming up with Aykroyd again was a great call. It probably all worked out for the best.
In fact, between Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Sixteen Candles, you could make a case that 1984 was the biggest/most important year in modern cinematic comedy. Even Police Academy, Gremlins, Splash, and Romancing the Stone were huge that year, even though I don’t like those movies so much.
Forget Star Wars. Caitlin Moran says that Ghostbusters is the greatest movie ever made.
The Great Ghostbusters Campaign must start today. Here. Starting with this inarguable, scientific fact: Ghostbusters is still the most successful comedy film of all time, with a 1984 box-office return of $229.2 million. But this, of course, in turn, makes it the most successful film OF ALL TIME, FULL STOP — given that comedy is the supreme genre, and rules over every other format, such as “serious”, “foreign” or “black and white”.