Along with Collider and various press outlets, some of the biggest Ghostbusters fans from around the country were invited out to Sony Studios on March 2nd to get a sneak peak at the upcoming film’s trailer. After 30 long years, Ghostbusters is making its long-awaited return on July 15th, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters, played by the hilarious Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.
The trailer went over so well with the fans that they immediately demanded it be shown a second time, so that they could really take in all of the cool new technology, top-notch effects and familiar iconography. Following the special sneak peak, director Paul Feig, screenwriter Katie Dippold and the original film’s director Ivan Reitman talked about this fresh take that, according to Feig, is “big, spooky, gothic and cool.” We’ve compiled 14 things that you should know about Ghostbusters and what this new film has to offer, along with lots of slime.
- This reboot both captures the spirit of the original movie and also brings it 30 years forward to today, to make it feel fresh and new. Feig and Dippold are such big fans of the original movie that they wanted to make sure to capture the heart of what they love so much about it. And they wanted to bring something new to it for a new generation, so that it didn’t feel like just any other reboot.
- They wanted to be sure to give nods to the original, like including the Ecto-1 and Slimer, but give them their own original origin story. Fans will be happy to recognize certain things that will be returning, but it will be in new and different ways. Not revealing specifics, Feig said, “You know the iconography and the things that you love the most. Let’s just say that most of them show up, in one way or another, but in a way that will hopefully be surprising and when you’re not expecting it.”
- According to Reitman, when Dan Aykroyd did the first treatment of the original film, he thought it was going to be a vehicle for John Belushi and himself. Belushi passed away while they were working on the draft, and they started referring to Slimer as the Belushi ghost and knew that he would eat a lot.
- Along with including the icon nods to the original film, they hope that this new film will create lasting characters that will have the staying power to be carried over into any future films that there might be.
It was important to Feig and Dippold to make sure the leads were scientists, so that they could be funny people fighting the paranormal with science. Erin, played by Kristen Wiig, is a particle physicist. Melissa McCarthy’s character, Abby, is an expert in the paranormal who’s been studying it her whole life. Holtzmann, played by Kate McKinnon, is a nuclear engineer who creates their inventions. And Patty, played by Leslie Jones, joins the team because she knows New York really well and can be their guide. She is also part of a ghost sighting at the beginning of the film.
- They didn’t want these characters to just be handed technology, but instead wanted to make sure they showed it being developed. Said Dippold, “In today’s modern times, scientists don’t really believe in the paranormal anymore. So, to say that ghosts have existed for the past 30 years, it’s just a different world. In the original, it’s so fun when ghosts unleash upon the city, for the first time, that we didn’t want to skip over it.”
- When you put any cast together, it’s tough to come up with the right combination. But Reitman said he saw, with this group of women, what was special about the original group of actors. He said, “The most amazing thing for me, when I stepped on the set and saw the four of them walking on set, I thought about the moment I saw the original Ghostbusters walk down Madison Avenue and knew it was special. There’s just something about the iconography of that. It was never an issue of gender. There was just something really unique about these four together. Paul [Feig] did an extraordinary job in putting this group together. There’s something really startling about those four together that contribute to what has become so lovely about the first movie.”
The cast’s prior relationships greatly helped and added to their on screen relationship in the film, but McCarthy was not a shoo-in for the role. It wasn’t written with any specific actors in mind. Feig was just looking for four distinct personalities, and he spent a good two months of trying to figure out who complimented each other. 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.
- Feig was not concerned with the criticism over making the film an all-female cast because he feels that Ghostbusters is for everybody. He just wanted the funniest people, and the funniest people that he knew were these four women.
- The original Ghostbusters was a movie that was made under the radar because no one knew what it would be. This time around, they were under intense scrutiny. Both Feig and Dippold have gotten some unpleasant tweets about the film.
- When it comes to the music, Feig said that you’ll definitely hear the original “Ghostbusters” song, along with some new versions of it. And Theodore Shapiro is doing a new theme. Everything that you hear, music wise, will be appropriate to the moment.
- For the look of the ghosts, Feig said, “I always wanted these ghosts to be what I’ve always considered ghosts to be, which is dead people coming back. Even though we play with that and there are other types of ghosts in it, I wanted to keep the main ghosts basically humanoid. You will get every kind, but especially for the early interactions with the Ghostbusters, I wanted them to be human. It also comes from me not wanting my actors to being acting with tennis balls, like they do on so many of these CGI movies. But we’re playing with a ghost imagery that I don’t think has really been done before, and it’s really scientifically based, just with how many particulates are coming off of them and how much they’re dissolving in the air.”
Much like the original movie, this cast are all great improvisers. It was a real free-for-all that used the script as a blueprint. Dippold, who was there on set the entire time, said, “They would say something on set, and then we’d all see what direction they were going in. It was a collaboration. Melissa would throw something out there that was in a really funny direction, and then we’d write more jokes.”
- They would always try to shoot everyone at the same time, so that when they were improvise and surprise someone with a line, that reaction would be on screen. Otherwise, it’s too hard to recreate joke reactions after that first time.
Ghostbusters opens in theaters on July 15th. Click here to check out a featurette from the movie’s viral site.