Ghostbusters Trivia: 9 Amazing Facts About the 1984 Classic

Who ya gonna call? 1984’s supernatural comedy Ghostbusters was an huge box office success! It focuses on a group of scientists who decide to set up shop removing ghosts from haunted homes and hotels! But they soon meet their match when a client becomes possessed by an ancient diety.

We’ve found 9 cool facts about the film that you probably didn’t know…

1) Slimer is based on James Belushi 

The screenplay was written with James Belushi in mind to play the smart-mouthed Peter Venkman. However, James Belushi sadly died before filming could start. However, as a homage to Belushi, the film makers had the designer of the Slimer puppet base the green ghoul’s facial features on Belushi’s. 

2) Sigourney Weaver acted like a dog in her audition

Sigourney Weaver was a big star on the sci-fi scene after appearing as Ripley in 1979’s Alien. When she auditioned for Ghostbusters, she decided to behave like a dog; likely inspired by the fact her character gets possessed by a dog-like creature in the screenplay. She went around the room on all fours, growling, and barking. It did the trick though, as director Ivan Reitman cast her immediately. 

Dana (Sigourney Weaver) is possessed in Ghostbusters
Columbia Pictures

3) There is no Dana, only Zuul 

One of the most quoted lines from Ghostbusters is when Venkman is at Dana’s bedside, and is asking the entity possessing her if he can speak to Dana – to which the entity replies, ‘There is no Dana, only Zuul.’ If you think that line is a little too deep and menacing to have come from Sigourney Weaver, you’re correct. It was, in fact, delivered by the film’s director, Ivan Reitman. 

4) Casting changes 

Eddie Murphy was set to appear in the film, but dropped out of the project to star in Beverly Hills Cop. John Candy was lined up to play nerdy but lovable accountant Lewis, but after Candy left the project, Rick Moranis was cast instead. 

5) Dan Akroyd is a huge believer in all things paranormal 

Dan Akroyd comes from a family of clairvoyants and spiritualists, and openly believes in ghosts, UFOs and inter dimensional beings. Dan’s father wrote a book called History of Ghosts, which is about Dan’s great grandfather, who was a spiritualist who held seances. Dan also claims that his grandfather invented a radio that could communicate with ghosts. So writing the script for Ghostbusters was no great stretch of the imagination for Akroyd. 

6) Slimer wasn’t called Slimer until the animated series 

Slimer didn’t actually gain a name until the animated series in 1986. In the original film, he’s only referred to as a ‘disgusting blob’. The model makers who created the character for the original Ghostbusters actually referred to him as ‘onion head,’ but this name never caught on. 

Slimer eats in the hotel in Ghostbusters (1984)
Columbia Pictures

7) Why is the cartoon called the Real Ghostbusters?

Although the working title of the film was Ghost Smashers, Akroyd changed his mind and wanted to call it The Ghost Busters instead. However, a company called Filmation warned off the idea, since they had created a live action comedy series in the 1960s called The Ghost Busters and they owned the name. Akroyd agreed to name the film Ghostbusters instead, but the production still had to pay a fee to Filmation. 

After the success of the film, an animated series was on the cards. Filmation got in touch, asking if they could produce the cartoon. Akroyd refused, and gave the job to Dic Animations instead. Filmation then decided to produce an animated version of their 1960s comedy, and called that Ghostbusters, which they were legally entitled to do. This would allow them to piggy back off of the brand. In retaliation, to show that his was the official series that fans of the film were looking for, Akroyd named his animation ‘The Real Ghostbusters’.

8) The marshmallow explosion

At the end of the film, when Gozer asks the Ghostbusters to ‘choose their reckoning’, they all try to empty their heads of any thoughts – all apart from Ray, who tries to imagine the most harmless thing he can – the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Of course, the incarnation Gozer musters up is 100 feet tall. The heroes manage to make the Goliath marshmallow monster explode, and it covers the set and the actors in white marshmallow goo. Only, in real life, that’s not what it was at all. In matter of fact, the special effects team picked up 500-gallon barrels of shaving foam, to pour all over everything in sight.

9) Law suit around the Ghostbusters theme song

Huey Lewis was asked to write the theme song for Ghostbusters, but he was busy working on music for Back to the Future, so Ray Parker Jr was asked instead. The song he came up with was a huge hit. However, Huey Lewis filed a law suit after claiming that the background music from the Ghostbusters theme was a rip-off of one of his songs – I need a different kind of drug. Ray Parker Jr was forced to pay an undisclosed sum. 

There you have it – 9 awesome pieces of Ghostbusters trivia!

Ghostbusters trailer

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