Ever since “Ghostbusters” – starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and the late Harold Ramis – hit the movie box office in 1984, the supernatural action/comedy franchise has gone on to pave the way for animated TV shows (“The Real Ghostbusters”, “Extreme Ghostbusters”) and video games (“Ghostbusters: The Video Game”).
For the longest time, the script for “Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent” was floating around, with plans to turn it into an animated film. But alas, it was not meant to be. Instead, co-writer/director Paul Feig and his team decided on a new story, new set of characters and an all-female team.
The official synopsis is as follows:
“Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (played by Melissa McCarthy) are a pair of unheralded authors who write a book positing that ghosts are real. A few years later, Gilbert lands a prestigious teaching position at Columbia University, but her book resurfaces and she is laughed out of academia. When ghosts invade Manhattan, Gilbert reunites with Yates, teaming up with a nuclear engineer, Jillian Holtzmann (played by Kate McKinnon), and a subway worker, Patty Tolan (played by Leslie Jones) to save the world from a mysterious evil and powerful demon known as Rowan (played by Neil Casey) who can exercise control over human forms.”
Before the “Ghostbusters” reboot debuts in cinemas, here are some interesting fun facts about the movie franchise and its cast members:
1. Why a reboot & not a sequel?
When news about the female-led reboot was announced, many fans questioned the studio’s decision to forge ahead with a reboot instead of a sequel. As it turns out, the answer was pretty straight forward, Feig just wasn’t keen on the idea of the Ghostbusters passing the torch.
Here’s what the director had to say in regards to the controversy: “This is such an amazing franchise, with 2 amazing movies, but it could just keep going! There’s so many things you can do with it. It just seemed terrible to leave it in a box. And yet, at the same time, there’s something exciting about the idea of bringing it to a new generation, but this time… see an origin story of them. I know some people are like, ‘Why is it not a sequel instead of a reboot?’ I didn’t like the idea, personally, of them being handed technology – ‘Here’s how to do this.’ I want to see it develop!”
So instead of seeing Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddmore handing their gear over to a new team, these 4 independent characters will have to figure out the ghostbusting business by themselves.
2. An all-female squad led by Melissa McCarthy
According to Collider, both Feig and screenwriter Katie Dippold wanted to make sure that the 4 main leads were scientists, “so that they could be funny people fighting the paranormal with science”.
The straight-laced physicist, Erin Gilbert, is played by Kristen Wiig. Melissa McCarthy’s Abby Yates is an expert in paranormal studies while Kate McKinnon is featured as the sassy and brilliant nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzman. On the other hand, Patty Tolan (portrayed by Leslie Jones), joins the team as their guide because of her familiarity with New York.
To quote Christina Radish, Wiig is the vulnerable one, McCarthy is the headstrong one, McKinnon is the weirdo, and Jones is the powerhouse, and it all mixed so well together.
3. Chris Hemsworth plays a funny dumb blonde
Who knew Hollywood’s hunkiest actor, Chris Hemsworth, had some funny acting chops up his sleeves? When Sony Pictures released a featurette centring on Hemsworth’s character, Kevin, we were immediately smitten by his adorably stupid character. As aforementioned, Kevin is basically the male version of Janine Melnitz (from the original “Ghostbusters”), an assistant to the band of ghostbusting young women that nobody wants to work with.
4. Slimer is back!
It wouldn’t be “Ghostbusters” without the beloved green ghost Slimer. For those who remember, the gluttonous green glob was actually the 1st ghost caught by the original team in the 1984 movie. Judging from Melissa McCarthy’s expression, Slimer is back and he’s just as disgusting as ever in the “Ghostbusters” reboot.
5. Are the original cast members returning?
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) June 9, 2016
Just because it’s a reboot, it doesn’t mean that fans won’t get to see any familiar faces. Several actors from the original film will be making cameos in the upcoming “Ghostbusters”. Dan Aykroyd was the 1st to admit that he filmed a cameo. Bill Murray soon hopped on the bandwagon, followed by Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts. Having said that, they won’t be reprising their roles from the original movie.
6. What does Bill Murray think of the new Ghostbusters?
During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, the comedy icon was asked about his decision to make a cameo in this new version and what he thought of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy’s performances. (P/S: It was previously reported that Murray had shredded a copy of a “Ghostbusters 3” script, because he flat-out wanted no part in it.)
Here’s what he had to say: “I thought about it for a very long time. Like, many, many months. No, that’s not right. I was seriously thinking about this for years, really … It kept eating at me, and I really respect those girls. And then I started to feel like if I didn’t do this movie, maybe somebody would write a bad review or something, thinking there was some sort of disapproval (on my part).”
“When you see the film, and you’ll delight in the film, it sort of rumbles along in the beginning. You’re going, ‘Oh God, are they going to pull this thing off?’ I felt like a stepfather to the whole thing. There is no quit in these girls. This is a tough movie to pull off, because it’s a big concept. There’s a lot on the plate – there’s a lot of expectation,” he added.
7. Dedicated fan edits Ghostbusters video game into 3rd movie
Although “Ghostbusters 3” didn’t materialise, fans got a substitute in 2009’s “Ghostbusters: The Video Game”. Written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, the video game player joins as a new recruit to the team, where the 5-man squad are tasked to face dispersed ghosts all over New York City.
A dedicated fan of the franchise took it upon himself to edit and combine all the story cut scenes with relevant gameplay footage. The result? A 2-hour-and-22-minutes long movie titled “Ghostbusters III – The Video Game Movie”.
8. Fall Out Boy completely revamps the iconic theme tune
Unless you’ve been living under a very huge rock, you’ve probably heard the theme tune to “Ghostbusters”. The rerecorded version of “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)” by the Fall Out Boy is different from the original Ray Parker tune. As Stephen Silver points out, the beat and riffs are very different. The song also doesn’t use the phrase “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts“.
The 2016 version is basically just a funky update of the original song. Our favourite part of the song will probably be Missy Elliott’s rap verses. Missy is literally rapping about being freaked out by ghosts, and it’s the only part of the track that feels as goofy as the original one.
9. Don’t like FOB’s interpretation? There’s a Japanese version you might like
If Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott’s “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)” did nothing to excite you, maybe you’ll enjoy the Japanese version by these 4 ladies, whose cover is certainly more faithful to Parker’s original tune. All decked out in Ghostbusters gear, the 4 Japanese comedians – Tomochika, Oniyakko Tsubaki, Naomi Watanabe, and Shizuyo Yamasaki – are seen dancing with colourful proton packs.
We don’t know exactly what they’re singing, but nonetheless, they’re hitting all the right moves. Clearly ghostbusting makes this J-Pop quartet feel good.
10. Who you gonna call for some “Ghostbusters” inspired burgers?
No afraid of ghosts? Then these burgers are perfect if you’re down on doing some belly bustin’. From July till September, a Japanese burger chain called J.S. Burgers Cafe will feature a new themed menu in honour of the “Ghostbusters” reboot.
One of their limited-time exclusive is the G.B. Burger, which has a black bun, a patty smeared with black olive and anchovy paste, beef, tomato, and purple cabbage. If you’re in Japan, do give this ghostly black burger a try but we recommend making sure it’s not haunted before taking a bite.
In the meantime, here’s a compilation of the trailer, clips, and featurettes to get you excited for “Ghostbusters”:
“Ghostbusters” will be released in cinemas nationwide on 14th July 2016.