Ghostbusters (franchise)

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Ghostbusters is a supernatural comedy franchise created in 1984. Its first installment was the film Ghostbusters, released on June 8, 1984, by Columbia Pictures. It centers on a group of eccentric New York City parapsychologists who investigate and capture ghosts for a living. For the film, the franchise licensed action figures, novelizations, and other original Ghostbusters-themed products. After the initial success, they released original material in other fields such as comic books, video games, television series, and several theme park attractions.

Films[edit]

Film U.S.
release date
Directors Writers Producers
Ghostbusters June 8, 1984 Ivan Reitman Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis Ivan Reitman
Ghostbusters II June 16, 1989
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call July 15, 2016 Paul Feig Paul Feig and Katie Dippold Amy Pascal and Ivan Reitman
Ghostbusters 3 July 10, 2020 Jason Reitman Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters (1984)[edit]

Ghostbusters, the first film in the series, is a 1984 sci-fi comedy film about three eccentric New York City parapsychologists. After they are fired from Columbia University, they start their own business investigating and capturing ghosts. Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson, it was released in the United States on June 8, 1984. It had been made on a US$30 million budget, but it grossed approximately US$240 million in the United States and over US$50 million abroad during its theatrical run, more than the domestic gross of the second Indiana Jones installment, making it the most successful film in America that year (after re-releases), and one of the most successful comedies of the 1980s. The American Film Institute ranked it 28th in its list of the top 100 comedies of all time.[1] IGN voted Ghostbusters the greatest comedy ever in 2005.[2] The TV Channel Bravo ranked Ghostbusters number 28 on their 100 Funniest Movies list in 2006.[3]

Ghostbusters II (1989)[edit]

The second film, Ghostbusters II, was released on June 16, 1989. Taking place five years after the first, the Ghostbusters have lost their credibility due to the amount of property damage they have caused, but identify a new threat to New York City after discovering a river of ectoplasmic slime that reacts to the great deal of negative emotions within the city. Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, Hudson, Weaver, Potts, and Moranis reprised their roles from the first film, and were joined by Peter MacNicol and Wilhelm von Homburg, among others. After the success of the first film and the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressed the producers to make a sequel. Aykroyd, Ramis, and Reitman were uncomfortable with this at first, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects. Eventually, they agreed and created a script. The sequel earned US$215 million off a US$37 million budget, but received lukewarm reviews compared to the first film.

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)[edit]

The 2016 film, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, is a reboot of the franchise featuring a new cast of characters, but follows a similar narrative as the original film. A group of eccentric researchers make discoveries within paranormal incidents with their intentions being to detect and capture ghosts, and protect New York City of those spirits. The film principally features a new cast, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the all-female Ghostbuster team, along with Chris Hemsworth as their male receptionist.[4][5] Additionally, Aykroyd, Murray, Weaver, Hudson and Potts all had small cameo roles. The film was released on July 15, 2016 as Ghostbusters, with the home media released being rebranded to Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.[6] It received mixed reviews, and grossed US$229 million off a US$144 million budget. The film also was subject to controversy on social media in relation to the gender-driven culture war around the time of its release.

Ghostbusters 3 (2020)[edit]

A new film connected to the original two films, tentatively titled Ghostbusters 3, was revealed in January 2019, with its release planned for July 10, 2020. The new film is directed by Jason Reitman, son of original director Ivan Reitman, with a script co-written by himself and Gil Kenan, while Ivan Reitman will serve as a producer. The film is expected to be a direct sequel to the first two films of the franchise, following a single mother and her two children discovering the old Ghostbusters equipment. Among those cast include Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, and Carrie Coon as the sister and brother with their single mother, respectively.[7][8]

Future films[edit]

Animated film[edit]

In October 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Reitman will produce an animated movie for Sony Pictures Animation, and Fletcher Moules will oversee the project as both animator and director.[9][10] Later it was announced that the movie would be told from the ghost's perspective.[11] The film will reportedly begin production following the completion of Ghostbusters 3 in 2020.[12]

Other projects[edit]

In January of 2019, Jason Reitman confirmed with the announcement of Ghostbusters 3 that all the movies take place in the same multiverse, and stated that follow-up stories to Ghostbusters: Answer the Call are still in development by the studio.[13]

Prequel[edit]

By May of the same year, Aykroyd announced that he wrote a prequel script with the working title Ghostbusters High, and that there are two follow-up projects to Ghostbusters 3 in development. The prequel, set in New Jersey during 1969 when the primary characters first met as teenagers, is being considered alternatively for a television series with Jason Reitman involved with its development. Aykroyd says that he envisions the project as a “finale” to the franchise. [14]

Development[edit]

Original films (1984–1989)[edit]

The concept of the first film was inspired by Dan Aykroyd's own fascination with the paranormal, and it was conceived by Aykroyd as a vehicle for himself and friend and fellow Saturday Night Live alum John Belushi.[15][page needed] Aykroyd came up with Ghostbusters after reading an article about quantum physics and parapsychology in the American Society of Psychical Research Journal and then watching movies like Ghost Chasers. Aykroyd thought, "Let's redo one of those old ghost comedies, but let's use the research that's being done today. Even at that time, there was plausible research that could point to a device that could capture ectoplasm or materialization; at least visually."[16]

The original story as written by Aykroyd was much more ambitious, and unfocused, than what would be eventually filmed; in Aykroyd's original vision, a group of Ghostbusters would travel through time, space and other dimensions taking on huge ghosts (of which the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was just one of many). Also, the Ghostbusters wore SWAT-like outfits and used Proton Packs to fight the ghosts; Ghostbusters storyboards show them wearing riot squad–type helmets with movable transparent visors.[17] The original draft of the script written by Aykroyd was very large, compared to a "phone book" by director Ivan Reitman.[18]

Aykroyd pitched his story to director and 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 Harold Ramis finalised during a few months in a Martha's Vineyard bomb shelter, according to Ramis on the DVD commentary track for the movie.[citation needed] When Belushi died from a drug overdose, Aykroyd and Reitman eventually turned to Bill Murray to replace Belushi's role.

Ghostbusters was a box office hit, prompting Columbia Pictures to produce an animated series based on the film, The Real Ghostbusters (renamed to avoid a conflict with Filmation's existing cartoon, Ghostbusters), as well as to seek out a sequel. Aykyoyd and Ramis had not been conformable with a sequel, believing the first film was meant to be self-contained, but eventually agreed.[19]

Struggles with a third film (1990–2014)[edit]

A second sequel to Ghostbusters had been of interest to Aykroyd and Ramis over the course of the 1990s. During this period Aykroyd wrote a script for a potential third film in the series, titled Ghostbusters III: Hellbent.[20] The concept had the characters transported to an alternate version of Manhattan called Manhellton, where the people and places are "hellish" versions of their originals and where the Ghostbusters meet the devil (a modified version of this script was later used in Ghostbusters: The Video Game).[21][22] At the time, Aykroyd and Ramis stated that while there was interest from Columbia Pictures, they were reluctant to move forward, as Murray had become elusive, Reitman had stepped to the side to let them (Aykroyd and Ramis) lead the discussions, and Ramis himself was not very interested in getting in front the camera again.[23] To deal with potential actor changes, the script was designed around introducing a new, younger cast serving as the starring roles, while the former cast members would be supporting roles. This was framed to have the new Ghostbusters help Ray, Egon, and Winston with their struggling business after Peter had left to be with Dana; ultimately, Aykroyd had developed a version of the script that he said that Murray and Reitman would take part in, but by 2002, according to Aykroyd, Columbia Pictures had expressed concern over the production costs, and felt that it was too risky of a proposition.[24] [22] Ramis also expressed that Murray had become "kind of obstructionist" about the film, further elevating the risk to Columbia.[25]

The fate of the script remained unknown until 2006, when Ramis affirmed that a variation of Aykroyd's Hellbent script was still being considered for the sequel; to reduce the need for special effects and reduce production costs, Ramis had conceived of a framing device of having the alternate version of Manhattan exist between moments in time, and featured situations of constant gridlock and where everyone spoke a different language in an otherwise unmodified version of the city. Ramis felt this approach would also reflect the "mundane" qualities of the first two films.[21] Murray remained against the film, according to both Ramis and Hudson, and there were talks to bring in Ben Stiller as a replacement for Murray.[21][26][27]

Lack of interest and motivation continued to stall progress until 2008.[20] In September 2008, Columbia Pictures hired screenwriters Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg to write a new screenplay for a Ghostbusters film, still set to revolve around a new cast of Ghostbusters, with uncertain involvement from the original cast.[28] Aykroyd and Ramis stated filming for this script was expected to start filming in late 2009 or mid 2010, with a target release window of late 2011 to 2012,[29] and Reitman had committed to directing the film.[30][31] The question remains about Murray's participation on the film. Murray had stated in a 2010 talk show appearance that "I'd do it only if my character was killed off in the first reel."[32] Aykroyd had said that Murray had seen the Stupnitsky-Eisenberg script, which Aykroyd said gave Murray the "comic role of a lifetime",[33] but Murray remained adamant about participating within it.[34] Production on the film continued, working around Murray's lack of participation,[35] and was considering the option of using a replacement actor to play Murray's character.[36]

This version of the sequel stalled again, and by July 2012, a new writing team was brought on board to revamp the screenplay. Aykroyd said that "[The screenplay has] got to be perfect. That’s the whole thing. There’s no point in doing it unless it’s perfect."[37] Etan Cohen was hired as lead scriptwriter for this version.[38] The new script still centered on a wholly new cast, this time as students from Columbia University that become the new Ghostbusters due to discoveries from their research, with the original Ghostbusters actors, excluding Murray, reprising their roles in the supporting cast. Aykroyd stated that they left enough variability in the script that should Murray want to participate, they could account for him.[39][40]

Eventually, the revised script had been completed with plans to start production in 2015, now under Sony Pictures. However, Ramis died on February 24, 2014.[41] Initially, Sony stated that Ramis' role in the film had been minimal and would not affect production. However, Reitman felt that the screenplay had to be reworked to better account for this, and approached Sony with his concerns.[42] Following his meetings with Sony, Reitman instead decided to drop out as director of the film, a combination of the impact of Ramis' death on his outlook, the struggles to get a third Ghostbusters film made, and a desire to work on smaller projects such as the recently completed Draft Day. Reitman committed to Sony to remain on in production and helped Sony look for a new director for the film.[43] Over mid-2014, Sony pursued a short list of potential directors for the film. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were in talks to direct the film, but passed on the project.[44] Ruben Fleischer had also been considered.[45]

Reboot and Ghost Corps (2014–2018)[edit]

By late 2014, Paul Feig had been attached as the potential director for the third film, but Sony officially announced in August 2014 that Feig had been brought aboard to helm a reboot of Ghostbusters featuring an all-female cast.[46] Feig had been approached by Reitman and Sony's Amy Pascal to direct the sequel, but Feig turned this down, feeling the concept of the former Ghostbusters passing their roles to a new set of Ghostbusters would not allow him to give the new cast their proper time in the spotlight.[47] These talks resulted in the concept of the reboot as the best way to progress the franchise; this also allowed Feig to avoid issues with the canon from the previous films.[48] Feig partnered with Katie Dippold for the screenplay. Production started in mid-2015, and the film was released in July 2016 under the name Ghostbusters; it was later rebranded in home media as Ghostbusters: Answer the Call to distinguish it from the first film in the franchise.

During production of Answer the Call, Reitman stated that Sony Pictures had been coming off a series of flops, and were looking to a property comparable to the Marvel Cinematic Universe from which they could pull sequels, side stories, and other options for several years to follow. Reitman approached Sony with the idea of "Ghost Corps", a series of films based on the Ghostbusters franchise.[49] Sony founded Ghost Corps in 2015, with Reitman and Aykroyd overseeing its productions. Answer the Call became the first film branded with the Ghost Corps name.[50]

During the production of Ghostbusters (2016), two additional Ghostbusters related projects emerged, tied to the Ghost Corps studio. In March 2015, Deadline wrote that an all-male lead Ghostbusters film was being developed by Sony's Ghost Corps label, with Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt starring.[51] Anthony and Joe Russo signed on as co-directors, from a script by Drew Pearce, while Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan would produce the project.[52][53] In 2016, the movie was reportedly cancelled, with the Russo brothers no longer attached.[54] Ivan Reitman later stated that he was not involved with the project, but it never got past early-development stages, with a 30-some pages of script written.[55]

The second Ghostbusters-related project reported during this time was an animated film, produced by Reitman and distributed by Sony Pictures Animation. Fletcher Moules will oversee the project as both an animator and the director.[56][57] The movie will be told from the perspective of ghosts.[58]

Following the release of Ghostbusters, Sony Pictures announced that a sequel to the film was in development.[59] In November 2016, Feig expressed his doubts that the sequel would be made, due to the film performing under expectation at the box office.[60] In response to Feig's comments, Reitman asserted that "there’s going to be many other Ghostbusters movies, they’re just in development right now."[61] With the reveal of the 2020 Ghostbusters film helmed by Ivan's son Jason Reitman, he affirmed that there was still interest at their studio to pursue a sequel to Feig's film.[62]

Return to original series (2018–ongoing)[edit]

In an interview in November 2018, Aykroyd spoke of a new script being developed for a Ghostbusters film that would potentially bring together himself, Murray, and Hudson back in their previous roles, even considering Murray's previous reluctance to return.[63]

In January 2019, Entertainment Weekly announced that a new Ghostbusters film connected to the original two films was in development, with a target mid-2020 release date. Ivan Reitman's son Jason Reitman will direct, with a script co-written by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan. Ivan Reitman will serve as a producer. The Montecito Picture Company will work on production. Ivan described the film as "passing the torch".[62][12]

Jason Reitman used the title "Rust City" during the development and pre-production stages to keep the project a secret.[64] An announcement trailer for the film was released the following day.[12]

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref
North America Other territories Worldwide All time US and Canada All time worldwide
Ghostbusters June 8, 1984 $242,212,467 $53,000,000 $295,212,467 #109
#34(A)
#396 $30,000,000 [65]
Ghostbusters II June 16, 1989 $112,494,738 $102,900,000 $215,394,738 #527 #596 $37,000,000 [66]
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call July 15, 2016 $128,350,574 $100,796,935 $229,147,509 #411 #552 $144,000,000 [67]
Totals $483,057,779 $256,696,935 $739,754,714 $211,000,000 [68]
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Ghostbusters 97% (71 reviews)[69] 71 (8 reviews)[70] N/A
Ghostbusters II 53% (38 reviews)[71] 56 (14 reviews)[72] A–[73]
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call 74% (360 reviews)[74] 60 (52 reviews)[75] B+[73]

Television[edit]

The Real Ghostbusters[edit]

From 1986 to 1991, Columbia Pictures Television and DIC Entertainment produced an animated spin-off television series created by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd that is non-canon to the original film, entitled The Real Ghostbusters. "The Real" was added to the title due to a dispute with Filmation and its Ghostbusters properties.[76] The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, Zeddemore, their secretary Melnitz, and their mascot ghost Slimer. The Real Ghostbusters was nominated for an Emmy.[77]

When the show's producers began to see the youth appeal of the character Slimer, he began to be featured more prominently. In 1988, the series was retooled and renamed Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters, and featured an hourlong format with a typical Real Ghostbusters episode leading into a more kid-friendly Slimer! cartoon. As the series progressed, the regular Real Ghostbusters episodes started to become lighter in tone so as not to frighten the growing fanbase of young children.[citation needed] Additionally, the characterizations became more one-dimensional, and the animation became less detailed.[citation needed] More changes went on behind the scenes as well with the departure of writer J. Michael Straczynski.[citation needed] Dave Coulier of Full House fame came on to fill the role of Peter (voiced by Lorenzo Music), Buster Jones took over Winston from Arsenio Hall, and Kath Soucie took on Janine after Laura Summer voiced the role. Straczynski returned to the series temporarily in the 1990 season..[citation needed] The only cast members who remained throughout the entire series were Frank Welker (voice of Stantz and Slimer) and Maurice LaMarche (voice of Spengler). The show was cancelled in 1991.

Extreme Ghostbusters[edit]

Extreme Ghostbusters was a sequel and spin-off of The Real Ghostbusters that aired in late 1997. The show featured a new team of younger Ghostbusters led by veteran Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, secretary Janine Melnitz, and the ghost Slimer. The premise is similar to the plot of Ghostbusters II. Set years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters, a lack of supernatural activity has put the Ghostbusters out of business. Each has gone his separate way, except for Egon, who still lives in the Firehouse to monitor the containment unit, further his studies, and teach a class on the paranormal at a local college. When ghosts start to reappear, Egon is forced to recruit his four students as the new Ghostbusters. The new Ghostbusters were Kylie Griffin, a genius, expert on the occult, and female counterpart to Egon; Eduardo Rivera, a hip, cynical Latino slacker and counterpart to Peter; Garrett Miller, a wheelchair-bound young athlete and counterpart to Winston; and Roland Jackson, a studious African-American machinery whiz and counterpart to Ray. The show was given the Los Angeles Commission on Disabilities Award for making one of its main characters (Garrett) disabled but universally relatable.[citation needed]

Ghostbusters: Ecto Force[edit]

A new animated series, titled Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, was announced for development on June 20, 2016. The series will be set in the year 2050 and follows a new team of Ghostbusters who capture ghosts from around the world and was initially targeted for an early 2018 debut.[78] In August 2017, Reitman revealed that the series had been postponed to prioritize development on the planned Ghostbusters animated spinoff film.[79]

Music[edit]

The first film sparked the catchphrases, "Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!" and "I ain't afraid of no ghost." Both came from the theme song performed by Ray Parker, Jr., who wrote it in a day and a half.[80] The song was a huge hit, staying at No. 1 for three weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and No. 1 for two weeks on the Black Singles chart. The song earned Parker an Academy Award nomination for "Best Original Song."

The music video produced for the song is considered one of the key productions in the early music video era, and was a No. 1 MTV video. Directed by Reitman, and produced by Jeffrey Abelson, the video organically integrated footage of the film in a specially designed haunted house, lined with neon in its entirety. The film footage was intercut with a humorous performance by Parker and 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.

The sequel spawned two singles from the soundtrack. R&B artist Bobby Brown had a successful hit with "On Our Own", while hip hop group Run-D.M.C. were commissioned to perform "Ghostbusters (rap version)" for the sequel.

Merchandise[edit]

The film spawned a theme park special effects show at Universal Studios Florida that closed in 1996. The Ghostbusters were later featured in a lip-synching dance show including Beetlejuice on the steps of the New York Public Library facade at the park. The characters were all new and "extreme" versions in the show, save for the Zeddemore character. Their Ecto-1 automobile was used to drive them around the park, and was often used in the park's annual "Macy's Holiday Parade." For the show, an experimental silicone skin was used on Slimer, which took two weeks to put together.[81] The show, Ecto-1, and all other Ghostbuster trademarks were discontinued in 2005 when Universal failed to renew the rights for theme park use.

The National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) released a line of 7" scale action figures based on the first movie, but only produced a series of ghost characters, as Murray refused the rights to use his facial likeness. Their first and only series included Gozer, Slimer (or Onionhead), the Terror Dogs: Zuul and Vinz Clortho, and a massive Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, contrasting the diminutive figure that was in the original figure line.[82]

Ertl released a die-cast 1/25 scale Ectomobile, also known as the Ecto-1, the Ghostbusters' main transportation. Rubies' Costumes has produced a Ghostbusters Halloween costume, consisting of a one-piece jumpsuit with logos and an inflatable Proton Pack.

By 2007, Ghostbusters merchandise sales had exceeded $1 billion in revenue.[83]

Art Asylum's Minimates toy-line features a Ghostbusters sub-line, including a box set of characters from the 2009 video game. Extreme Ghostbusters has also seen a line of children's toys released by Trendmasters.[84][unreliable source] Toys R Us released the Villains Series 3 of the Ghostbusters Minimates in January 2010.[85]

The Parallax Corporation[86] produces a line of marshmallows in a collectible box licensed under the Stay Puft Marshmallows brand.[87]

Mattel has produced a series of action figures based on characters from both the 1984 & 1989 movies and the 2009 video game, most of which were sold exclusively on their MattyCollector.Com webstore. This 6" line featured Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston, Gatekeeper Dana, Keymaster Louis, Walter Peck, Vigo the Carpathian, and most of the ghosts including a giant Mr Stay Puft. Mattel also offered a series of 12" figures with fabric clothing and light-up proton packs/slime blowers, as well as a number of replica toy props such as the PKE Meter & Ghost Trap. For retail stores, there was a "retro" series of 8-inch, cloth-costumed action figures based on the animated series, and a festive 6" Ghostbusters II set featuring the team in their dark grey uniforms with Santa hats.

At the February 2015 Toyfair Diamond Select Toys revealed several figures in a new 7" action figure line based on the first movie. These will include Ray, Winston, Peter, Egon, Gozer, the Terror Dogs (Zuul & Vinz Clortho), Dana, and Louis. Each figure will also include pieces to assemble a diorama of the rooftop temple.

In 2017 Playmobil also produced a toy line featuring the Ghostbusters and essential elements from the first movie, including Dana Barret, the Marshmallow Man and Ecto-1.[88]

The Ghostbusters' firehouse, in reality the still-used Hook & Ladder Company 8 fire station in New York, has become an icon of the franchise. It has become the basis for, among other products, a 4,500 piece Lego set[89] and a Playmobil playset.[88]

Video games[edit]

Year Title System Developer Publisher
1984 Ghostbusters Atari 800, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC Activision
1985 Ghostbusters Atari 2600, Apple II
1987 The Real Ghostbusters Arcade Data East Data East
1987 Ghostbusters Sega Master System Activision Sega
1988 Ghostbusters NES Bits Laboratory Activision/Tokuma Shoten
1989 The Real Ghostbusters Commodore 64, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST Data East Activision
1989 Ghostbusters II Atari 2600, Amiga, Commodore 64, MSX, PC, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC Activision Activision
1990 Ghostbusters II NES Kemco Activision
1990 Ghostbusters Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Sega Sega
1990 New Ghostbusters II Game Boy, NES Hal Laboratory Activision
1993 The Real Ghostbusters Game Boy Kemco Activision
2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Wii, PC Terminal Reality, Red Fly Studios, Zen Studios Atari,
Sony Computer Entertainment (Europe only, PS2 and PS3 versions)
2011 Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, PC Behaviour Interactive Atari
2012 Ghostbusters: Paranormal Blast Android, iOS XMG Studio
2013 Beeline's Ghostbusters iOS Beeline Interactive Capcom
2014 Ghostbusters Pinball Android, iOS FarSight Studios FarSight Studios
2016 Ghostbusters Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One FireForge Games Activision
2016 Ghostbusters: Slime City Android, iOS EightPixelsSquare Activision
2018 Ghostbusters World Android, iOS NextAge Columbia Pictures, Ghost Corps, FourThirtyThree Inc.

In PlayStation Home, the PlayStation 3's online community-based social gaming network, Loot Interactive, in association with Atari and Terminal Reality, released a Ghostbusters-themed apartment space on June 18, 2009.[90][unreliable source] Called the "Ghostbusters Firehouse: On Location", this space is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Ghostbusters and its worldwide release on Blu-ray. The Firehouse personal space is a detailed replica of the three floor Ghostbusters headquarters from the original film, including the ghost containment unit in the basement, the garage and office areas on the 1st floor, plus the living room, laboratory, fire poles, bedroom and bathroom areas.

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff 2014 Halloween event features a Ghostbusters theme to commemorate the film's 30th anniversary. The story involves Peter, Cleveland, Joe, and Quagmire becoming Ghostbusters to fight a paranormal invasion in Quahog. Included in the event are Ghostbuster uniforms for Peter and company, the Ghostbuster firehouse, and Ecto-1.[citation needed] The 2015 toys-to-life game Lego Dimensions features multiple characters, locations and stages based on the Ghostbusters franchise, including the original films and Answer the Call. On June 4, the theme park simulation game Planet Coaster will add a Ghostbusters themed pack.

Slot machine[edit]

The Ghostbusters slot machine was one of the most anticipated games released by International Game Technology in 2012. It is popular in the casinos of Las Vegas and there is also an online version of the game. It features 5 reels and 30 paylines with 3 interactive bonus rounds that can be unlocked.[citation needed]

Pinball machine[edit]

Stern Pinball announced a Ghostbusters Pinball game in March 2016. The game is available in three models: Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition. The game includes audio clips from the first two movies, as well as custom voice work from Ernie Hudson.[citation needed]

Literature[edit]

Comics and manga[edit]

Ray Stanz of the Ghostbusters battles a rampaging Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in this Graham Crackers variant cover to Ghostbusters: Legion #1. Published by 88MPH.

In the late eighties, NOW Comics and Marvel UK published, The Real Ghostbusters, comics based on the TV series of the same name.

In May 2003, Sony signed an agreement with 88MPH Studios to work on a comic update of the Ghostbusters movie, to be released in later in the year.[91][92][unreliable source?] Ghostbusters: Legion saw the return of the four Ghostbusters and the principal cast from the movie. Legion updated the series by setting the events of the first movie in 2004 rather than 1984. Set six months after the Gozer incident, the series was designed to follow the Ghostbusters as their initial fame faded and they returned to the regular chore of busting ghosts on a daily basis. The series sees the team run ragged as a spate of supernatural crimes and other related occurrences plague the city, as well as contemplating the greater effects of their success beyond the immediate media attention.

Manga publisher Tokyopop produced an original English-language manga around the same time the video game was announced. It was released in October 2008,[93][94] under the title Ghostbusters: Ghost Busted. Taking place between the second film and the game, the manga featured a series of one-shot stories from several different artists and writers, as well as a subplot involving Jack Hardemeyer (from the second movie) and a vengeful army of ghosts attempting to get revenge on the Ghostbusters.

IDW Publishing also released a comic book series based on the franchise. Their first series, Ghostbusters: The Other Side, was written by Keith Champagne, with art by Tom Nguyen.[95] A second series was later released in 2009 as Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression. A third series, Ghostbusters: Haunted Holidays was released November 2010. From September 2011 through December 2012, IDW published an ongoing series that ran 16 issues, written by Erik Burnham with art by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado.[96] From February 2013 through September 2014, a new ongoing series titled The New Ghostbusters, also by Burnham, Schoening, and Delgado, ran 20 issues.[97]

For the occasion of the mutual 30-year anniversary of both franchises, IDW published a limited crossover series titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters in 2014, featuring the IDW version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles joining forces with the comics Ghostbusters.[98] The success of the series launched a sequel—Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters 2—three years later, with an accompanying assortment of action figures blending the Turtles' and the Ghostbusters' physical features.[99][100]

Novels[edit]

Ghostbusters: The Return[edit]

Ghostbusters: The Return is a 2004 novel written by Sholly Fisch in celebration of the franchise's 20th anniversary. Set two years after Ghostbusters II, the novel revolves around Venkman running for mayor of New York City and an ancient entity trying to conquer the world by bringing urban legends to life.[citation needed]

Tobin's Spirit Guide: Official Ghostbusters Edition[edit]

Tobin's Spirit Guide: Official Ghostbusters Edition is a 2016 novel written by Erik Burnham to tie in with the release of the Ghostbusters reboot. The book is mentioned in the first film and later seen in a digital databank version in the sequel.[citation needed]

Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal[edit]

Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal is a 2016 novel written by Andrew Shaffer under the pen names of "Erin Gilbert" and "Abby L. Yates". The book appears in the reboot film, being the manual written by the two protagonists.[citation needed]

Universe[edit]

Technology[edit]

The Ghostbusters use a specialized set of equipment in the 1984 film, and all subsequent Ghostbusters fiction includes similar equipment to aid in the capture and containment of ghosts. In addition to the main technology used in the series, a script draft for Ghostbusters III includes the Ghostbusters developing a machine to transport themselves to an alternate Manhattan to save New York.[101]

Transportation[edit]

The Ectomobile or Ecto-1 is a modified 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance.

The Ectomobile, or Ecto-1 is a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor[102] limo-style endloader combination car (ambulance conversion) used in the 1984 film Ghostbusters and other Ghostbusters fiction.[103][104] The original vehicle design was the creation of Steven Dane, credited as a Hardware Consultant in the credits.

In the original movie, Stantz pays $4800 (equivalent to $11,576 in 2018) for it and claims it needs a plethora of repairs.[105] In Stantz's own words, it needs "suspension work and shocks, brakes, brake pads, lining, steering box, transmission, rear end... new rings, mufflers, a little wiring...."

After the necessary reconstruction, it is used to carry the Ghostbusters and their ghost-capturing equipment through New York City. Its features include a special pull-out rack in the rear containing the staff's proton packs. There are also various gadgets mounted on the top, whose function is never revealed in the movies. A cartoon episode features 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 Aykroyd for the first Ghostbusters also include mentions of the Ectomobile having the power of interdimensional travel. The shooting script for the movie describes 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. 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.

Hot Wheels Elite released a highly detailed 1/18 diecast of the Ecto-1 in 2010 and in early 2013, they released a 1/18 Ecto-1A as seen in Ghostbusters II.[106][107]

Throughout other Ghostbusters fiction, a number of other Ectomobiles are introduced.

  • In the 1984 computer game adaptation, players are given the choice between the 1959 hearse (which looked the most like Ecto-1), a cheap VW Beetle, a spacious station wagon and a high performance (but low-capacity) sports car.
  • Ecto-1a is an upgraded version of the Ecto-1, seen only in Ghostbusters II, which includes more technical equipment on the vehicle's roof and digital announcement boards on each side of it. The logo is updated and added to the hood. The vehicle also sports strips of yellow and black along either side.
  • A new Ecto-1 appears in the 2016 reboot, originating as a hearse borrowed by Patty Tolan from her uncle's funeral home. Even after being repainted, modified to carry the team's equipment, and fitted with a nuclear reactor, it retains its original pink roof color. They deliberately destroy it by overloading its systems with beams from their proton packs, in order to force a swarm of invading ghosts back through the portal they had used to enter the material world.
  • Ecto-1b is featured in Ghostbusters: The Video Game; the 1b is similar to the 1a, but features upgraded equipment and the addition of the Super Slammer Trap, an enhanced capacity ghost trap, on its roof.
  • Ectotron is an Cybertronian form of the Ecto-1 that will appear in the Ghostbusters/Transformers crossover comic "Ghosts of Cybertron" published by IDW Publishing, and will be released as a Transformers figure by Hasbro and Takara Tomy as a GameStop and Hasbro Pulse exclusive.
  • Ecto-2 is a small open-topped two-seater autogyro is seen in the cartoons and the comic based on them, and was released as a toy.
    • In the 2016 reboot film, Ecto-2 is a white Ghostbusters motorbike provided by Kevin just before Rowan possesses him.
  • Ecto-3 has been the name of three different vehicles:
    • a motorized unicycle and sidecar that slips into the Ecto-1's rear fender in the Real Ghostbusters episode "The Joke's on Ray"[108][unreliable source]
    • a time-distortion jet-like vehicle invented by Egon in the comics that is renamed Ecto-4 after the cartoon's unicycle version debuted
    • a go-kart-like vehicle sold as a toy
  • Ecto-Bomber is an airplane based on the Kenner toy.
  • Extreme Ecto-1 is seen in the Extreme Ghostbusters TV series. The vehicle is equipped with new detection equipment and emergency lights, and has wheelchair access for Garrett Miller. It is mentioned that before the adaptations were made it was a 1970s Cadillac hearse.
  • Ecto-Ichi (ichi means "one" in Japanese) is an extremely high tech six-wheeled Ectomobile supplied to the Ghostbusters by the Japanese government for a job in Tokyo. It can fly and travel on water, but is destroyed when a Godzilla-esque monster stepped on it.
  • Ecto-8 is featured in the 2009 video game, and is a tugboat used to transport the team to Shandor island. It is driven by Ray, who refers to it as "Marine Ecto-8". Ecto-8 is identical in body to a traditional tugboat, but has a white paint scheme and the logo on the side.
  • A Ghostbusters video game in development in 2007 featured a more modern version of the Ectomobile based on a stretched Chrysler 300C.

The repaired Ectomobile is named on-screen with the license plate shown reading "Ecto-1". The word Ectomobile was only used in the song "Cleaning Up The Town" from the film's soundtrack. The filmmakers planned to have the Ecto-1 painted black, but the color of the vehicle was changed to white when it was decided a black car would be too difficult to see during night scenes. 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. Both of the other Ectomobiles are currently sitting in a Sony pictures backlot, having undergone a full restoration after years of deterioration.[citation needed]

Universal Studios "Spooktacular" stage show featured an Ectomobile replica built by a man from Tennessee.[109] The Universal Studios Ecto-1 Replica was sold at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale Arizona on January 22, 2010 for $80,000.[citation needed] Another replica was made by Peter Mosen and bought by George Barris. Another replica currently resides at Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe, Illinois.[citation needed]

Cast and characters[edit]

Characters Films Animated series Video Game
Original Series Ghostbusters:
Answer the Call
The Real Ghostbusters Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters Extreme Ghostbusters Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Ghostbusters Ghostbusters II Ghostbusters 3
1984 1989 2020 2016 1986–1991 1988 1997 2009
Peter Venkman Bill Murray Lorenzo Music
(seasons 1–2)
Dave Coulier Bill Murray
Dave Coulier
(season 3 onwards)
Raymond "Ray" Stantz Dan Aykroyd Frank Welker Dan Aykroyd
Egon Spengler Harold Ramis TBA Bronze head bust Maurice LaMarche Harold Ramis
Winston Zeddemore Ernie Hudson Arsenio Hall
(season 1–3)
Buster Jones Ernie Hudson
Buster Jones
(season 4 onwards)
Janine Melnitz Annie Potts Laura Summer
(seasons 1–2)
Kath Soucie Pat Musick Annie Potts
Kath Soucie
(seasons 3 onwards)
Slimer Ivan Reitman
(voice)
TBA Adam Ray
(voice)
Frank Welker Billy West Troy Baker
Louis Tully Rick Moranis Rodger Bumpass
Dana Barrett Sigourney Weaver
Mayor Lenny Clotch David Margulies TBA Hal Smith
Maurice LaMarche
Frank Welker
Buster Jones
Walter Peck William Atherton Neil Ross William Atherton
Gozer Slavitza Jovan Silent cameo
Paddi Edwards
(voice)
Zuul
Gatekeeper of Gozer
Sigourney Weaver
(possessed form)
Mentioned
Ivan Reitman
(voice)
Vinz Clortho
Keymaster of Gozer
Rick Moranis
(possessed form)
Ivan Reitman
(voice)
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Bill Bryan CGI parade balloon John Stocker Misc voices
Frank Welker
Dr. Eleanor Twitty Alice Drummond
Vigo the Carpathian Wilhelm von Homburg Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow
(voice)
Oscar Barrett William T. Deutschendorf and Hank J. Deutschendorf II TBA
Dr. Janosz Poha Peter MacNicol
Jack Hardemeyer Kurt Fuller
Erin Gilbert Kristen Wiig
Abby Yates Melissa McCarthy
Jillian Holtzmann Kate McKinnon
Patty Tolan Leslie Jones
Kevin Beckman Chris Hemsworth
Rowan North Neil Casey
Mayor Bradley Andy García
Jennifer Lynch Cecily Strong
Hawkins Michael K. Williams
Rourke Matt Walsh
Dr. Martin Heiss Bill Murray
Note: A gray cell indicates character did not appear in that medium.

Cultural impact[edit]

According to the director commentary on the Ghostbusters DVD, the movie's cultural impact was felt almost immediately. The building that was Dana Barrett's apartment building in Ghostbusters has, since the release of the film, been known as the Ghostbusters Building,[110] and along with the Hook and Ladder Firehouse, has become a real world New York City tourist attraction.[111] In May 2010, the group Improv Everywhere, at the invitation of the New York Public Library, staged a Ghostbusters-themed "mission" in the same reading room used in the film.[112] The video game Burnout Paradise pays homage to the franchise with a car titled the 'Manhattan Spirit', which is based on the Ecto-1.[113]

The movie Be Kind Rewind includes a sequence in which Jack Black, Mos Def, and others re-create the first movie using props and costumes made by themselves, a guest appearance by Sigourney Weaver, and a version of the theme sung by Jack Black.[114]

On June 9, 2013, a trailer for a documentary called Spook Central, featuring clips from Ghostbusters alongside discussions of the perceived meanings in the film, mimicking the style of the documentary Room 237, was uploaded to YouTube.[115]

  • The movie's catchphrase, "Who you gonna call?", has been used in other media:
    • The 1990s Casper cartoon series.[116]
    • A Ghostbusters Easter egg is present in the computational engine Wolfram Alpha when the phrase "who you gonna call" is entered.[117]
  • In 2016, independent filmmakers produced a video titled Ghostheads, which showcase and profile various Ghostheads, and different individual franchises throughout the United States and Canada.[118]
  • In 2018, the Carabinieri of Pavia named the plan to arrest an art thief who used a ghost-like bed sheet to be unrecognizable "Operazione Ghostbusters" ("Operation Ghostbusters")[119]

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External links[edit]