It’s hard to remember a time before Ghostbusters: pop culture references to proton packs, being slimed, giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men and that boppy Who-ya-gonna-call theme song have surely been with us forever.
In fact, the film is now celebrating its 25th anniversary, and to mark the milestone, fans can snap up a new Blu-ray and a videogame featuring the voices of the original cast.
Given that longevity, its also worth noting that the role of Canadian filmmaker Ivan Reitman in Ghostbusters’ success has long been underrated. Without Reitman, the film likely wouldn’t have made it to the screen.
“Dan Aykroyd originally wrote Ghostbusters for himself and John Belushi in the late ’70s,” says Reitman. “It took place in the future and in outer space with competing teams of Ghostbusters catching ghosts and aliens. Even back in the 1980s that would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars and frankly, it wasn’t very funny.”
Aykroyd may have planned a drastically different movie, but fortunately, Reitman knew how to make the idea work.
“I had lunch with Danny and said, ‘You have this wonderful idea here, but instead of setting it in the future and in outer space, let’s set it today in a big American city with The Ghostbusters starting out,’” recalls Reitman.
“He said ‘Sure, I’ll do that.’ So we pitched it and the studio gave us the money before we had a script. We had to deliver the movie in 13 months.”
It says a lot about the considerable talent involved that the movie was cobbled together so quickly with a great deal of improvisation (“I really believe in writing the last draft of the screenplay while we’re shooting it,” says Reitman) and still went on to become the highest grossing comedy of its time.
All these years later, the movie is still beloved by anyone with a pulse and there are even rumblings about another sequel — something that will only take place if the original creators want to be involved.
“There’s certainly a lot of interest and we’ve been talking about it,” says Reitman. “All of us have to agree on making the movie and we’re waiting for a screenplay to get delivered at the moment. But it’s a real possibility.”
Fans will inevitably be crossing their fingers (but for safety’s sake, not their streams) until the decision is made.