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Ghostbusters Afterlife: 10 Things Only Die-Hard Fans Know About The Franchise

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a movie filled with fun facts and Easter eggs rewarding those who are fans of the franchise as a whole. As the son of Ivan Reitman (the director of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) lives up to his father's legacy with the 2021 movie by including similar jokes, references, and details that fans can get excited over.

RELATED: The 8 Best Movies From Ghostbusters Afterlife's Jason Reitman, Ranked By IMDb

But the fun doesn't stop there as there has also been a lot of information about the predecessors that are coming to light again. GhostbustersGhostbusters II, and Ghostbusters (2016) all have great facts that only major fans are aware of. But do they know about the behind-the-scenes details, like casting to scrapped ideas, that never came to fruition.

Ghostbusters was essentially SNL cast member Dan Aykroyd's baby. His fascination with the paranormal (which remains today) was the kicking-off point. It's not surprising he has this fascination considering his father wrote a book about ghosts.

Furthermore, his mother claimed to have seen ghosts and his great grandfather had been a spiritualist (according to an interview with Esquire). In the same interview, Aykroyd admitted the idea of trapping ghosts then originated with his reading on an article on quantum physics. Ray Stantz is one of Ghostbusters' smartest characters, and so is the man behind him.

Today, Ghostbusters is a Hollywood classic and a go-to staple on movie night. It works as a re-watchable Halloween movie just like it works as a summer blockbuster. Everything clicks, with multiple genres bouncing off one another. However, prior to its release, the studio heads didn't have high hopes (according to Vanity Fair).

Part of their concern was the cost of the movie. Ghostbusters was the highest-budgeted comedy at the time, which is logical considering it was the first to truly incorporate special effects. Fortunately, it all panned out fine in a way that even the film's own sequel(s) didn't recapture.

In the same interview with Esquire, Aykroyd revealed that Ghostbusters was initially supposed to reunite him with John Belushi after 1941 (1979) and The Blue Brothers (1980). Sadly, Belushi's passed away while Aykroyd was still putting the script together.

Akyroyd had also wanted Eddie Murphy, who was skyrocketing on SNL and was beginning to experience his silver screen boom. In the end, Belushi was replaced by Aykroyd's former coworker, Bill Murray, and Murphy took on Beverly Hills Cop. Even still, it's easy to imagine the two actors being among the most likable characters in a Ghostbusters movie.

According to an interview with Vanity FairRick Moranis' Spaceballs and SCTV co-star John Candy was the first star offered the role of Louis Tully, Dana Barrett's quirky and obsessed neighbor. It wasn't to be, as Candy couldn't figure out the character's place within the narrative. For instance, he suggested the utilization of a German accent and a couple of German Shepherds.

RELATED: Recasting The Main Characters Of Ghostbusters Today

While this certainly would have put a twist on the film's later demon dog scene, the role ultimately went to Moranis. Thankfully, this led to a much more fleshed-out character. Moranis brought in Tully's profession (accountant) and uniquely odd personality that makes Tully more pitiable than creepy.

Coming off the massive success of Alien (1979) and the moving film The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), Sigourney Weaver wasn't exactly known as a comedic performer. By the time casting for Dana Barrett had begun, the movie had been adjusted from horror to comedy horror and there were some who questioned if she could do it.

Displaying why a person should never doubt Sigourney Weaver, she got down on her hands and knees and scurried around the room like a dog, howling for good measure (according to Vanity Fair). She also brought a substantial amount of depth to the character. Barrett's cello playing was Weaver's idea (as opposed to being a model) as was Barrett's overall guarded demeanor throughout the film. She took what could have been a fairly boring role and turned it into a character who's one of the best parts of the movie.

Even those who haven't seen Ghostbusters know the answer to the question "Who ya gonna call?" It's become tied to the franchise the same as Jason's Friday the 13th mask or Darth Vader's breathing in Star Wars. However, few know that there was actually a number set up for people to call the Ghostbusters.

Of course, it wasn't actually Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, or Hudson. Instead, it was a pre-recorded message from just Murray and Aykroyd. Regardless, the number did well and generated interest while the film was in theaters - and if fans go on Southland Ghostbusters Facebook page, they'll be able to hear it for themselves.

Aykroyd's original treatment for Ghostbusters was vastly different from what ended up on the screen (primarily due to budgetary issues). One thing that did stay the same was the inclusion of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

RELATED: 5 Ways Ghostbusters Afterlife Is The Best Ghostbusters Movie (& 5 Ways It Doesn't Match Up)

With that being said, in Aykroyd's original script, the Marshmallow Man appeared only 20 minutes into the film. This indicates Aykroyd's original script being far more horror/action-oriented than the balance brought by the final product's loose, improv-fueled comedic energy.

Ghostbusters II's main villain, Vigo the Carpathian, was represented physically by Wilhelm von Homburg. A former German boxer, von Homburg also appeared as one of Hans Gruber's henchmen in Die Hard (1988).

Vigo the Carpathian's voice, however, was provided by the late Max von Sydow. The prolific actor appeared in films such as The Seventh SealThree Days of the CondorHannah and Her Sisters, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and played the titular character of The Exorcist.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife's referencing the previous movies was previously done by Paul Feig's 2016 reboot (to variously effective extents). Hudson, Aykroyd, Potts, Murray, and Weavers had cameos but they played different characters.

However, the best of the original cast cameos actually comes from Harold Ramis, who had passed on before the film's release. Early on, the camera pans past the bronze bust of a man's head. The audience is given enough time to recognize that the face is that of Egon Spengler.

On the set of Ghostbusters, the iconic Slimer was actually referred to as "Onion head ghost." This was because of the odor that accumulated within via its constant interaction with food (according to Bloody Disgusting).

But Slimer also has an interesting inspiration to go along with his nickname. Aykroyd has admitted that the ghost is an homage to his former acting partner. As Ramis said in the roundtable-type Esquire interview, "It was this kind of gluttonous spirit, making a mess everywhere. John was the guy most likely to trip over your coffee table and knock your bookcase over. It wasn't malicious." Slimer is not only iconic but also a loving tribute to a supremely talented individual.

NEXT: 10 Other Movies & TV Shows Where You've Seen The Cast Of Ghostbusters Afterlife

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