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 "I ain't afraid of no ghosts."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

GHOSTBUSTERS

coverGhostbusters is a 1984 American science fiction comedy film written by co-stars Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis about three eccentric New York City parapsychologists-turned-ghost capturers. The film was released in the United States on June 8, 1984 and like several films of the era, teamed Aykroyd and/or Ramis with Bill Murray. It was produced and directed by Ivan Reitman and stars Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. It was followed by a sequel, Ghostbusters II in 1989, and two animated television series, The Real Ghostbusters (later renamed Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters) and Extreme Ghostbusters.

After losing their academic positions at Columbia University, a trio of misfit parapsychologists—Peter Venkman (Murray), Raymond Stantz (Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Ramis) – establish a paranormal exterminator service known as "Ghostbusters" at a retired firehouse. While still facing dire straits after setting up the company, their secretary Janine Melnitz (Potts) informs them that they are summoned by the Sedgewick Hotel to investigate a haunting. At the hotel, they capture their first ghost and deposit it in a "containment unit" located in the basement of their office. Paranormal activity soon increases in New York City, and the Ghostbusters become celebrities containing it, while at the same time becoming increasingly burdened by the hectic schedule. To satisfy increased demand they hire a fourth member, Winston Zeddemore (Hudson).

The Ghostbusters are hired by a woman named Dana Barrett (Weaver), whose apartment at 55 Central Park West is haunted by a demonic spirit called Zuul, a demigod worshipped as a servant to Gozer the Gozerian, a Sumerian shape-changer. Venkman takes a particular interest in the case, competing for Dana's affection with her neighbor Louis Tully (Moranis). As they investigate, Dana is possessed by Zuul, which declares itself "The Gatekeeper", and Louis by a similar demon called Vinz Clortho, "The Keymaster". Both demons speak of the coming of the destructive Gozer, and the Ghostbusters plan to keep the two apart. Thereafter the Ghostbusters' office is visited by Walter Peck (William Atherton) of the EPA, who arrests the team for supposedly housing dangerous chemicals in their basement and orders their ghost containment deactivated, unleashing hundreds of ghosts onto New York City. Freed from the Ghostbusters' custody, Louis/Vinz advances toward Dana/Zuul's apartment while the escaped ghosts create havoc throughout the city and it's left to the Ghostbusters to save the day!

The concept was inspired by Aykroyd's own fascination with the paranormal and it was conceived as a vehicle for himself and friend John Belushi. The original story, as written by Aykroyd, was very different from what was eventually filmed; in the initial version, a group of "Ghostsmashers" traveled through time, space, and other dimensions combating huge ghosts (of which the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was one of many). Also, the Ghostbusters wore S.W.A.T.-like outfits and used wands instead of Proton Packs to fight the ghosts. Ghostbusters storyboards show coverthem wearing riotsquad-type helmets with movable transparent visors. In addition to a similar title, the movie shares the premise of professional "exterminators" on a paranormal mission with The Bowery Boys slapstick comedy Spook Busters (1946, directed by William Beaudine).

Aykroyd pitched his story to director/producer Ivan Reitman, who liked the basic idea but immediately saw the budgetary impossibilities demanded by Aykroyd's first draft. At Reitman's suggestion, the story was given a major overhaul, eventually evolving into the final screenplay which Aykroyd and Ramis hammered out over the course of three weeks in a Martha's Vineyard bomb shelter in May–June 1982. Aykroyd and Ramis initially wrote the script with roles written especially for Belushi, Eddie Murphy, and John Candy; but Belushi died during the writing of the screenplay, and neither Murphy nor Candy would commit to the movie, so Aykroyd and Ramis made some changes and polished a basic, science-fiction-oriented screenplay for their final draft.

In addition to Aykroyd's high-concept basic premise, and Ramis' skill at grounding the fantastic elements with a realistic setting, the film benefits from Bill Murray's semi-improvisational performance as Peter Venkman, the character initially intended for Belush. Louis Tully was originally conceived as a conservative man in a business suit played by comedian John Candy; but with Candy unable to commit to the role, it was taken by Rick Moranis who portrayed Louis as a geek. Gozer was originally going to appear in the form of Ivo Shandor as a slender, unremarkable man in a suit played by Paul Reubens; but the role was played by Yugoslav model Slavitza Jovan.

coverHarold Ramis had no intention of acting in any role, as he planned only helping Aykroyd write the screenplay; but the crew struggled to cast the role of Egon Spengler, even after renowned actors such as Chevy Chase, Michael Keaton, Christopher Walken, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, and Jeff Goldblum were considered. Feeling he knew the character best, being its creator, Ramis accepted the role of Egon. He credited this move in revitalizing his acting career, having previously focused on off-screen work such as writing and directing.

Winston Zeddemore was written with Eddie Murphy in mind, but Murphy had to decline the role as he was filming Beverly Hills Cop at the same time. If Murphy had been cast, Zeddemore would have been hired much earlier in the film, and would have accompanied the trio on their hunt for Slimer at the hotel and been slimed in place of Peter Venkman. When Ernie Hudson took over, it was decided that he be brought in later to indicate how the Ghostbusters were coverstruggling to keep up with the outbreak of ghosts.

For the test screening of Ghostbusters, half of the ghost effects were missing, not yet having been completed by the production team. The audience response was still enthusiastic, and the ghost elements were completed for the official theatrical release shortly thereafter.

A problem arose during filming when it was discovered that a television show had been produced in 1975 by Filmation for CBS called The Ghost Busters, starring Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker. Columbia Pictures prepared a list of alternative names just in case the rights could not be secured, but during the filming of the crowd for the final battle, the extras were all chanting "Ghostbusters", which inspired the producers to insist that the studio buy the rights to the name.

The film score was composed by Elmer Bernstein, and is notable for its use of ondes Martenot (a staple of Bernstein's 1980s work) and also the Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer. Orchestrators contributing to the film were Peter Bernstein, David Spear and Patrick Russ.

coverThe film's theme song, "Ghostbusters", written and performed by Ray Parker Jr, sparked the catchphrases "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!" and "I ain't afraid of no ghost." The song was a huge hit, staying #1 for three weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and #1 for two weeks on the Black Singles chart. The song earned Parker an Academy Award nomination for "Best Original Song". According to Bruce A. Austin (in 1989), this theme "purportedly added $20 million to the box office take of the film". In autumn 1984 Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker, Jr. for plagiarism, claiming that Parker copied the melody from his 1983 song "I Want a New Drug". Lewis had been approached to compose the main theme song for the movie, but he declined due to his work on the soundtrack for Back to the Future. The two musicians settled out of court. It was reported in 2001 that Lewis allegedly breached an agreement not to mention the original suit, doing so on VH1's Behind the Music

The music video produced for the song became a #1 MTV video. Featuring actress Cindy Harrell, directed by Ivan Reitman, produced by Jeffrey Abelson, and conceptualized by Keith Williams, the video integrated footage of the film intercut with a humorous performance by Parker. The video also featured cameo appearances by celebrities who joined in the call-and-response chorus, including Chevy Chase, Irene Cara, John Candy, Nickolas Ashford, Melissa Gilbert, Jeffrey Tambor, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Carly Simon, Peter Falk, and Teri Garr. The video ends with footage of the four main Ghostbusters actors in costume and character, dancing in Times Square behind Parker, joining in the singing.

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The original Ghostbusters movie trailer (1984). When Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) lose their university jobs, they decide to go freelance by starting a ghost removal service. As soon as they open their doors, their first order of business becomes saving the beautiful Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and nerdy Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), who have inadvertently opened the gates of hell, right in their own apartment building!

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coverAfter the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressured the producers to make a sequel. Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects; but later agreed.

Ghostbusters II was released in 1989 and was again directed by Ivan Reitman. The film was a box office success despite mixed reviews and had what was, at the time, the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history.

After being sued by the City of New York for property damage incurred during the battle against Gozer five years earlier, the Ghostbusters are out of business and have incurred a restraining order preventing them from investigating the supernatural. Ray Stantz owns an occult bookstore and co-operates with Winston Zeddemore as unpopular children's entertainers; Egon Spengler works in a laboratory conducting experiments into human emotion; Peter Venkman hosts a little-watched pseudo-psychic television show named "World of the Psychic"; and Dana Barrett works at the Manhattan Museum of Art restoring paintings and raising her infant son Oscar at a new apartment, having broken from Peter under acrimonious circumstances. After an incident in which Oscar's baby carriage is controlled by an unseen supernatural force and drawn to a busy junction on First Avenue, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help, prompting an awkward reunion of herself and Peter. Meanwhile, Dr. Janosz Poha—Dana's boss at the art gallery—is possessed by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a seventeenth-century tyrant trapped in a painting in the gallery. Vigo orders Janosz to locate a child whose form Vigo can assume, thus gaining physical form upon the approaching New Year.

The Ghostbusters' investigation leads them to conclude that the supernatural presence originates from under the city streets, prompting them to illegally excavate First Avenue at the point where the baby carriage stopped. Lowered underneath, Ray discovers a river of pink slime filling an abandoned subway line. Attacked by the slime after obtaining a sample, Ray accidentally causes a blackout, and the Ghostbusters are arrested. At their trial they are defended poorly by Louis Tully (who acts as their advocate in repaying them for having saved him in the earlier film) and found guilty; but the judge's emotional outbursts prompt the slime sample presented as evidence to release the ghosts of two murdering brothers whom the judge had previously sentenced to death. Thereafter the Ghostbusters imprison the ghosts in exchange for the dismissal of all charges and the rescinding of the restraining order; having done so, they recommence their former business.

During the 1990s, Aykroyd wrote a script for a potential third film in the series. The concept reportedly would have the characters transported to an alternate version of Manhattan called Manhellton and a modified version of this plot would be seen later in Ghostbusters: The Video Game. At the time, Aykroyd stated that the studio was interested, though the principal actors were not.

Over the years, various rumors have floated around about the film, including reports stating that Murray was the only original Ghostbuster not interested as he disliked sequels, and that Ramis wanted Ben Stiller to join the cast.

During a 2009 interview, Ramis stated that the project stalled due to lack of interest and motivation to do it. Both Ramis and Aykroyd have confirmed that the script would call for a new group of younger Ghostbusters taking the lead. Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd were in the planning stages and the film was expected to be released in 2011.

Bill Murray appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and talked about his return to Ghostbusters III, stating "I'd do it only if my character was killed off in the first reel." In an interview with Coming Soon, Murray said: "You know, maybe I should just do it. Maybe it'd be fun to do." At the Spike TV Scream Awards, Bill Murray appeared to accept an award for Zombieland. He appeared in full Ghostbusters gear, but gave no statements regarding the film.

Rick Moranis had not officially stated whether he will or will not be a part of the sequel as he has retired from acting. Sigourney Weaver said she expected to return alongside all the other original cast.

Buzz on the internet says the script of 'Ghostbusters 3' has been approved and the original cast will return while casting is currently underway looking for young Ghostbusters. In an interview, Director Ivan Reitman disclaimed all Internet rumors as false.

A script for a potential third film was under development by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, the writing team that worked with Ramis on the 2009 comedy Year One; according to Ramis, the four main cast members from the original film were potentially to have minor on-screen roles: "The concept is that the old Ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity." Aykroyd said, "The script must be perfect. We cannot release a film that is any less than that. We have more work to do."

On February 24th, 2014, Ramis died, causing Sony Pictures to re-evaluate the script that they were writing for Ghostbusters III. Sony was planning on starting production in New York early in 2015, but Reitman decided to pull out of directing the film in light of Ramis's death. Reitman, however, will help to find a new director. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were in talks to direct the film, but decided to pass on the project. On May 30th, 2014, The Wrap reported that Ruben Fleischer is being considered to direct the third film and Sigourney Weaver told Vanity Fair that her character's son, Oscar, would be a Ghostbuster in the film, but that version would never happen. Aykroyd told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to do a Ghostbusters-style universe like what Marvel did with their own universe.

On August 2nd, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the studio wanted Paul Feig to direct the film and wants to make it an all female Ghostbusters team and screenwriter Katie Dippold and director Paul Feig would be writing the script.

Both Rebel Wilson and Jennifer Lawrence revealed they were approached for a role in the reboot, while Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer and Lizzy Caplan expressed interested in appearing. Leaked emails from Sony revealed Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt’s plan to team up for a different Ghostbusters film, with Tatum comparing it to Batman Begins. In January 2015, the main cast members for the all-female lead film, were announced as McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. The global release dates for the reboot, titled Ghostbusters, were across July 2016. In a February 2015 interview on Ron Bennington's Unmasked radio show, Aykroyd stated that he would still like to see his idea for a sequel made.

    ECTO 1

The Ectomobile, or Ecto–1 is a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader combination car (ambulance conversion) used in Ghostbusters.

In the original movie, this vehicle was purchased by Ray Stantz for the relatively high price of $4800 in a poor state of repair. In Stantz' own words, it needed "suspension work and shocks, brakes, brake pads, lining, steering box, transmission, rear end..., new rings, mufflers, a little wiring...." It is assumed that Ray continues listing needed repairs after this scene cuts away.

After the necessary reconstruction, it was used to carry the team's ghost-capturing equipment, as well as transporting the Ghostbusters through New York City. It has a distinctive siren wail. Its features include a special pull-out rack in the rear containing the staff's proton packs, which facilitates a quick retrieval without the complication of having to reach into the vehicle's rear. There are also various gadgets mounted on the top, whose function is never revealed in the movies. A cartoon episode featured the "proton cannon", presumably a more powerful version of a proton pack, mounted on top for use against extra large or even giant sized paranormal entities.

Earlier versions of scripts written by Dan Aykroyd for the first Ghostbusters also included mentions of the Ectomobile having the power of interdimensional travel. The shooting script for the movie described the Ectomobile as being black, with purple and white strobe lights that gave the vehicle a "purple aura".

A miniature replica of the vehicle was mass-produced as a children's toy. The toy version of this vehicle has sold approx. 1,000,000+ units worldwide. Polar Lights released a 1/24 scale model kit of the Ecto-1 in 2002. In 2010, Hot Wheels released a "Ghostbusters Ecto-1" as part of the "2010 Hot Wheels Premiere" series. In 2010, the Ecto-1 makes a brief appearance in the commercial for Sony's new panoramic digital camera line.

Throughout other Ghostbusters books, animated shows and video games, a number of other Ectomobiles were featured such as a 1963 hearse, a VW Beetle, a station wagon, a small open-topped two-seater autogyro (seen in the cartoons and the comic based on them as well as a toy), a motorized unicycle and even a tugboat.

Originally the filmmakers planned to have the Ecto-1 be painted black. The color of the vehicle was later changed to white when it was decided a black car would be too difficult to see during night scenes. The Ectomobile was originally going to be a much more high tech vehicle, with an almost artificial intelligence. Three cars have played the vehicle in the movies; the third 1959 Miller-Meteor was purchased after the second died during shooting of Ghostbusters II. The black Miller-Meteor seen at the beginning of the first movie was leased and used only for that scene and never converted for filming, though it was later purchased by the studio and completely converted to a full Ecto-1 for touring. Ecto-1A was originally scripted as the Ecto-2, and one reference to this remains in the movie. When Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman is standing outside of his apartment and the car pulls up, the phrase Ecto-2 is visible on the license plate. Both original Ectomobiles are currently sitting in a Sony pictures backlot having recently undergone a full restoration after years of deterioration. Universal Studios has used replica Ecto-1s in their theme park shows and sold one at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale Arizona on January 22, 2010 for $80,000.

    THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

coverThe Real Ghostbusters was an American animated television series based on the 1984 film Ghostbusters. The series ran from 1986 to 1991, and was produced by Columbia Pictures Television, DiC Enterprises, and Coca-Cola Telecommunications. "The Real" was added to the title after a dispute with Filmation and its Ghost Busters properties. The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, their secretary Janine Melnitz and their mascot ghost Slimer.

There also were two ongoing Real Ghostbusters comics, one published monthly by Now Comics in USA and the other published weekly (originally biweekly) by Marvel Comics in the United Kingdom, and a popular toy line manufactured by Kenner (the toyline lasted longer than the television series itself).

A short pilot episode was produced, but never aired in full. The full four minute promo was released on Time Life's DVD set in 2008. Scenes of the pilot can be seen in TV promos that aired prior to the beginning of the series. Among differences seen in the promo pilot, the Ghostbusters wore the beige jumpsuits they had worn in the film instead of the color coded jumpsuits they would wear in the finished series, and the character design for Peter Venkman bore more of a resemblance to actor Bill Murray than the character design seen in the finished series. When he auditioned for the voice of Egon Spengler, Maurice LaMarche, noted that while he was asked not to impersonate Harold Ramis, he did so anyway and eventually got the part. LaMarche also noted that Bill Murray complained that Lorenzo Music's voice of Peter Venkman sounded more like Garfield (who was also voiced by Lorenzo Music at the time; coincidentally, Murray voiced Garfield in the 2004 and 2006 Garfield films). Ernie Hudson was the only actor from the films who auditioned to play his character in the series; however, the role was given to Arsenio Hall.

At the same time The Real Ghostbusters was being created, Filmation was making a cartoon known simply as "Ghostbusters", which was a revamp of Filmation's 1970s series The Ghost Busters. The character designs by Jim McDermott were dramatically redesigned from the way the same characters looked in the movie.

coverAlthough the "Ghostbusters" concept was tinkered with, the finalized show does feature many tie-ins from the films. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man made numerous appearances. During the third season, Walter Peck, the Environmental Protection Agency antagonist from the original film, reappeared. The uniforms and containment unit were redesigned, and Slimer was changed from a bad ghost to a resident, events which are explained in the episode "Citizen Ghost" that flashbacks to what happened to the Ghostbusters right after the movie's events. Gozer is also mentioned repeatedly throughout the series, usually in comparison to a ghost they are currently battling.

In the third season, some of the character designs were modified. Ray's character design was slimmed down to give the character a less overweight appearance and Slimer was given a tail instead of the formerly rounded bottom. The biggest change was to the character of Janine, whose hair was completely changed from being short and spiky to long and straight. Her overall design was softened, as was her personality. Her voice was also softened with Kath Soucie taking over the voice role from Laura Summer.

coverAt the start of the series' third season in 1988, the series was retitled to Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters. The opening was completely redone to center around Slimer. Eventually the episodes were expanded from their original half-hour format to last an hour, and the overall feel of the show was changed to be more youthful, with episodes having a lighter tone to be less frightening. When Ghostbusters II was released, the character of Louis Tully was introduced to the show, with his voice provided by Rodger Bumpass, and later episodes referenced events from the film.

With the departure of writer J. Michael Straczynski, more changes were also made. Dave Coulier took over the role of voicing Peter from Lorenzo Music and Buster Jones replaced Arsenio Hall as the voice of Winston. The show was canceled in 1991, with Straczynski returning to the series to write a few of the episodes in the final season in 1990. The only voice actors to remain for the entire series were Frank Welker and Maurice LaMarche.

In 1997, a sequel cartoon entitled Extreme Ghostbusters, was created by Columbia TriStar Television and Adelaide Productions. It premiered on September 1, 1997 and ran for forty episodes until its conclusion on December 8, 1997. Set several years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters, the series opened by saying the team has disbanded due to a lack of supernatural activity. Only Egon remains in the firehouse, along with Slimer, to care for the containment system and teaching classes at a local university. When supernatural events begin occurring in New York, Egon recruits four of his university students as a new team of Ghostbusters, and Janine, also one of Egon's students, returns to manage the office. The original Ghostbusters return for the two-episode season finale to celebrate Egon's 40th birthday, leading to them reluctantly working together with the younger generation to solve one last case.

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