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Ghostbusters (franchise)

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.

Ghostbusters logo.svg
Created byDan Aykroyd
Harold Ramis
Print publications
Novel(s)Ghostbusters: The Return
ComicsList of comics
Films and television
Animated series
Video game(s)List of Ghostbusters video games
Original music"Ghostbusters"



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.[1][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."[2]

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.[3] The original draft of the script written by Aykroyd was very large, compared to a "phone book" by director Ivan Reitman.[4]

Aykroyd pitched his story to director and producer 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] Aykroyd and Ramis initially wrote the script with roles written especially for Belushi, Eddie Murphy and John Candy. However, Belushi died due to a drug overdose during the writing of the screenplay, and neither Murphy nor Candy could commit to the movie due to prior engagements, so Aykroyd and Ramis shifted some of these changes around and polished a basic, yet sci-fi oriented screenplay for their final draft.[citation needed]

In addition to Aykroyd's high-concept basic premise and Ramis' skill at grounding the fantasy elements with a realistic setting, the film benefits from Bill Murray's semi-improvisational performance as Peter Venkman, the character initially intended for Belushi. The extent of Murray's improvisation while delivering his lines is debated.[citation needed]

With the first DVD release of the film on the 15th anniversary of the original theatrical release, many original concepts of the film were revealed, based on the storyboard artwork: Louis Tully was originally to be a conservative man in a business suit played by comedian Candy, but he was unable to commit to the role. The role was taken by Rick Moranis, portraying Louis as a geek. Gozer was originally going to appear in the form of Ivo Shandor as a slender, unremarkable man in a suit played by Paul Reubens.[5][unreliable source] In the end, the role was played by Yugoslavian model Slavitza Jovan, whose Eastern European accented voice was later dubbed over by Paddi Edwards's.[citation needed]

Winston Zeddemore was written with Eddie Murphy in mind, but he had to decline the role as he was filming Beverly Hills Cop at the same time. When Murphy had the role, Zeddemore was going to be hired much earlier in the film, and would accompany the trio on their hunt for Slimer at the hotel and be "slimed" in place of Venkman. When Ernie Hudson took over, it was decided that he be brought in later to indicate how the Ghostbusters were struggling to keep up with the outbreak of ghosts.

In order to properly light the set for Gozer's temple and create the physical effects for the set, other stages needed to be shut down and all their power diverted to the set. The hallway sets for the Sedgewick Hotel were originally built for the movie Rich and Famous in 1981 and patterned after the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, where Reitman originally wanted to do the hotel bust. The Biltmore Hotel was chosen because the large lobby allowed for a tracking shot of the Ghostbusters in complete gear for the first time. Dana Barrett and Louis Tully's apartments were constructed across two stages and were actually on the other side of their doors in the hallway, an unusual move in film-making.[citation needed]

A problem arose during filming when it was discovered that a show was produced in 1975 by Filmation for CBS called The Ghost Busters. Columbia Pictures prepared a list of alternative names in the event the rights could not be secured, but during the filming of the crowd for the final battle, the extras were all chanting "Ghostbusters", which inspired the producers to insist that the studio buy the rights to the name.[citation needed] For the test screening of Ghostbusters, half of the ghost effects were missing, not yet having been completed by the production team. The audience response was still enthusiastic, and the ghost elements were completed for the official theatrical release shortly thereafter.[citation needed]


Film United States release date Directors Screenwriters Producers
Ghostbusters (1984) June 8, 1984 Ivan Reitman Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis Ivan Reitman
Ghostbusters II (1989) June 16, 1989
Ghostbusters (2016) July 15, 2016 Paul Feig Paul Feig and Katie Dippold Amy Pascal and 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. The film grossed approximately 240 million US$ in the United States and over $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.[6] IGN voted Ghostbusters the greatest comedy ever in 2005.[7] The TV Channel Bravo ranked Ghostbusters number 28 on their 100 Funniest Movies list in 2006.[8]

Ghostbusters II (1989)Edit

The second film, Ghostbusters II, was released in 1989. 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.

Ghostbusters (2016)Edit

In August 2014, it was reported that Paul Feig was in talks to direct a third film in the franchise, featuring women in all the lead roles.[9] The main cast members were announced as Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon in January 2015 and Chris Hemsworth was cast as a male receptionist in June 2015.[10] The film was scheduled to start shooting in mid-2015 in New York City, with a projected release date of July 22, 2016.[11] Filming was moved to the Boston area for budgetary reasons and commenced in Everett, Massachusetts on June 18, 2015.[12] Dan Aykroyd revealed in the Unmasked with Ron Bennington radio show his potential return in the franchise.[13] On August 5, 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment set the film for a release on July 15, 2016.[14] Aykroyd along with original cast members Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts all have small cameo roles in the reboot, but don't play any of their original characters from the first two films. Although initially marketed simply as "Ghostbusters", the film was seemingly renamed Ghostbusters: Answer the Call shortly before the film's release,[15] but later Paul Feig stated that the film was always subtitled Answer the Call.[16] The director of the first Ghostbusters film, Ivan Reitman, corroborated the decision to give the film a subtitle.[16]


Animated filmEdit

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.[17][18] In October 2017, it was confirmed that the movie would be told from the ghost's perspective.[19]

Potential projectsEdit

Ghostbusters (2016) sequelEdit

On July 18, 2016, Sony Pictures announced that they had plans to make a sequel for the 2016 film.[20] In November 2016, Feig confirmed that a sequel will not be made due to the film losing money.[21] The same month, producer Reitman said, "There’s going to be many other Ghostbusters movies, they’re just in development right now."[22]

Canceled projectsEdit

Ghostbusters IIIEdit

During the 1990s, Aykroyd wrote a script for a potential third film in the series, titled Ghostbusters III: Hellbent.[23] 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).[24][25] At the time, Aykroyd stated that the studio was interested, though the principal actors were not. It featured a new, younger group of Ghostbusters, while Ray, Egon, and Winston (who is referred to as Dr. Zeddemore) struggle to keep the business going after Peter leaves to be with Dana. In reviewing the proposed script, IGN stated that the new Ghostbusters were "practically interchangeable," lacked personality conflicts, and were not "especially funny or charming." It also found the script to be too full of technobabble, and Venkman's appearance at the end is noted to be the "best gag" in the script.[25]

Murray was reported in 2004 to be the only original Ghostbuster not interested in Ghostbusters III, as he disliked sequels.[26] Multiple sources said Ramis wanted Ben Stiller to join the cast in 2005.[24][27] During a 2009 interview, Ramis stated that the project had stalled due to a lack of interest and motivation.[23] Both Ramis and Aykroyd subsequently confirmed that the script would call for a new group of younger Ghostbusters to take the lead, with Aykroyd stating, "There’ll be a whole new generation that has to be trained and a leader that you'll all love when you meet her. There'll be lots of cadets, boys and girls who'll be learning how to use the neuron splitter and the inter-planet interceptor—new tools to enable them to slip from dimension to dimension."[28]

On January 13, 2010, Reitman confirmed that he would be directing the film.[29][30] In March, Murray appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and talked about his potential return to Ghostbusters III, stating "I'd do it only if my character was killed off in the first reel."[31] In an interview with Coming Soon the next month, Murray said: "You know, maybe I should just do it. Maybe it'd be fun to do."[32] In May 2010, Aykroyd said a release was set for Christmas 2012.[33] In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Aykroyd gave an update on the status of the Ghostbusters III script, written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, writer-producers of The Office: "I’m working on the script now and those two—Stupnitsky and Eisenberg, wrote Bill the comic role of a lifetime, and the new Ghostbusters and the old are all well represented in it...we have a strong first draft that Harold [Ramis] and I will take back, and I’m very excited about working on it."[34] Shortly after that interview, at the Spike TV Scream Awards, Murray appeared on the show to accept an award for Zombieland. He arrived on stage in full Ghostbusters gear, giving no statements regarding the film except, "I'm sorry; I don't mean anything by this, it's just all that was left that was clean."[35]

On August 25, 2011, Aykroyd told Dennis Miller on The Dennis Miller Show that Ghostbusters III was moving forward and planning to shoot in early 2012 with or without the involvement of Murray, saying, "What we have to remember is that 'Ghostbusters' is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributed to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold Ramis, myself and Sigourney Weaver. The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of Ghostbusters III is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood."[36][37] He also revealed minor details for Ramis' Egon Spengler and his own Ray Stantz characters' current statuses. "My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can't drive the Cadillac," he says, "He's got a bad knee and can't carry the packs... Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that's the promise. We're gonna hand it to a new generation.... I like this guy Matthew Gray Gubler from the Criminal Minds show," he adds, "But there's going to be a casting. We're going to see everyone that wants to do it. We're going to need... three guys and a young woman."[37] In December 2011, it was reported that Murray had received the script,[38][39] but according to the National Enquirer, he shredded it to pieces and returned it to Ramis and Aykroyd with a note reading: "No-one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts."[40] Aykroyd said that it was untrue,[41] but stated that Murray decided not to return, and that Aykroyd is looking for a replacement actor to play Murray's character.[42] He also mentioned that he wanted Moranis to return as Louis Tully.[41]

On February 29, 2012, Aykroyd said he was unsure if a third film would ever be made, and considered the film to be in "suspended animation." Aykroyd said if the film were made, Murray was confirmed not to return; they would need his permission if they wanted to re-cast his role or have him appear as a CGI ghost, which Aykroyd doubted they would get. He said Murray is busy with his six kids, owns many houses and is happy just appearing at golf tournaments where people pay him to turn up to provide a laugh. Aykroyd said the two remain close personal friends and Murray is a friend first, colleague second and that he can't be mad at him for refusing to make a third movie. Both Reitman and Ramis said there had to be a way to make the movie. Aykroyd said the script has to be perfect and that he doesn't want to exploit the franchise.[43] On April 5, 2012, while discussing the Cubs at the opening day game, Murray talked about his involvement in Ghostbusters III as a possibility.[44][unreliable source] In a June interview with David Letterman, Murray said that making a very good sequel is hard and, "we'll try again. I'm always dragging my feet on it."[45][46] On July 4, Aykroyd confirmed that Ghostbusters 3 was still in development. He also confirmed that there would be a new script written by a new team. On July 10, it was confirmed that Etan Cohen would be writing the script.[47] Aykroyd said of the script that "It's got to be perfect. That's the whole thing. There's no point in doing it unless it's perfect. So that's what we're up to now."[47]

In an interview on August 2, 2012, Aykroyd reported that Murray would have no involvement in the film, saying, "It's sad but we're passing it on to a new generation. Ghostbusters III can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn't seem to be coming and we have to move on. It's time to make the third one."[48] In a September 2012 interview with, Reitman stated that he believes there could be a Ghostbusters remake.[49] In May 2013 during an interview with Larry King, Aykroyd discussed the third film even giving away major plot details. "We’re going to have to cast. We need four new ghostbusters. We need four new Columbia students. It’s based upon new research that’s being done in particle physics by the young men and women at Columbia University. Basically there’s research being done that...I can say that the world or our dimension that we live in, our four planes of existence, length, height, width, and time, become threatened by some of the research that is being done. And Ghostbusters, new Ghostbusters have to come and solve the problem.” Aykroyd said. When asked about Murray's status with the film, Aykroyd responded "He’s a good friend, I love him, but he just doesn’t want to reprise the role. However, there will be a hole for him. If Billy wants to walk in the door and be in the movie, we will find a place."[50]

In June 2013, Rick Moranis gave a rare interview where he talked about appearing in the third film and his disappointment with the sequel. Moranis said “I haven’t talked to Dan Aykroyd about it. Somebody he’s associated with called me and I said, ‘I wouldn’t not do it, but it’s got to be good.’ You know, I’m not interested in doing anything I’ve already done, and I thought the second one was a disappointment. But I guess I’m interested in where that guy is now. I sort of see him as being Bernie Madoff’s cellmate in jail. Both of them being so orderly that they race to get up and make their beds.”[51] In October 2013, Dan Aykroyd appeared on Australian talk show The Project and confirmed that the script for the third film is currently being rewritten. He stated that they would be bringing in a younger generation of Ghostbusters along with the original Ghostbusters (excluding Bill Murray) for the third film. Aykroyd went on to state that they would not be writing Murray's character out, nor would they be recasting the role. Aykroyd also stated that "the door is always open if Bill wanted to return to the role."[52]

Death of Harold RamisEdit

After the death of Harold Ramis on February 24, 2014,[53] a source from Sony Pictures insisted that Ramis was involved in Ghostbusters III minimally for a cameo appearance. With the screenplay needing to be reworked, Ivan Reitman was scheduled to meet with Sony executives to assess how to move forward on the project.[54] On March 18, 2014, it was confirmed that Reitman would not be directing the third film, but would remain as producer with Sony wanting to begin shooting in early 2015.[55] Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were in talks to direct the film, but passed on the project.[56][57][58] On May 30, 2014, The Wrap reported that Ruben Fleischer was being considered to direct the third film.[59] Weaver told Vanity Fair that Dana Barrett's son, Oscar, would have been a Ghostbuster in the film.[60]

Decision to reboot seriesEdit

In a 2016 interview between Richard Edwards and Ghostbusters (2016) director Paul Feig,[61] Feig revealed that Ivan Reitman initially approached Feig about making a direct sequel to Ghostbusters II, which was "a movie that would have seen the original 'busters handing the keys of Ecto-1 over to a new team", which Feig disliked.[62] Feig stated that when contacted by Amy Pascal, "he had already turned down [Ghostbusters 3] a couple of times" before deciding that a reboot would be the best path for another Ghostbusters film.[63]

All-male lead Ghostbusters filmEdit

In March 2015, Deadline wrote that an all-male lead Ghostbusters film was in the works from Sony's Ghost Corps label, with Channing Tatum set to star,[64] Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan producing, Drew Pearce writing and Anthony and Joe Russo directing.[65][66] In 2016, the project was confirmed to be cancelled, with the Russo brothers no longer attached.[67] Ivan Reitman later revealed that the project was never in serious development.[68]


Box office performanceEdit

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 (1984) June 8, 1984 $242,212,467 $53,000,000 $295,212,467 #109
#396 $30,000,000 [69]
Ghostbusters II June 16, 1989 $112,494,738 $102,900,000 $215,394,738 #527 #596 $37,000,000[not in citation given] [70]
Original Series Total $354,707,205 $155,900,000 $510,607,205 $67,000,000
Ghostbusters (2016) July 15, 2016 $128,350,574 $100,796,935 $229,147,509 #411 #552 $144,000,000 [71]
Total $483,057,779 $256,696,935 $739,754,714 $211,000,000 [72]
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

Critical responseEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Ghostbusters (1984) 97% (70 reviews)[73] 67 (8 reviews)[74] N/A
Ghostbusters II 53% (38 reviews)[75] 56 (14 reviews)[76] A-[77]
Ghostbusters (2016) 74% (344 reviews)[78] 60 (52 reviews)[79] B+[77]


The Real GhostbustersEdit

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.[80] 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.[81]

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 GhostbustersEdit

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 Ray; and Roland Jackson, a studious African-American machinery whiz and counterpart to Winston. 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 ForceEdit

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.[82] In August 2017 Reitman revealed that the series had been postponed to prioritize development on the planned Ghostbusters animated feature film.[83]


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.[84] 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.


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.[85] 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.[86]

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.[87]

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.[88][unreliable source] Toys R Us released the Villains Series 3 of the Ghostbusters Minimates in January 2010.[89]

The Parallax Corporation[90] produces a line of marshmallows in a collectible box licensed under the Stay Puft Marshmallows brand.[91]

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.[92]

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[93] and a Playmobil playset.[92]

Video gamesEdit

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 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.[94][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]

Slot machineEdit

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.

Pinball machineEdit

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.


Comics and mangaEdit

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.[95][96][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,[97][98] 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.[99] 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.[100] From February 2013 through September 2014, a new ongoing series titled The New Ghostbusters, also by Burnham, Schoening, and Delgado, ran 20 issues.[101]

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.[102] 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.[103][104]


Ghostbusters: The ReturnEdit

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.

Tobin's Spirit Guide: Official Ghostbusters EditionEdit

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.

Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the ParanormalEdit

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.



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.[105]

The main equipment used by the Ghostbusters to capture ghosts is the proton pack: a reportedly unlicensed nuclear accelerator which fires a proton stream that polarizes with the negatively charged energy of a ghost, allowing it to be held in the stream while active. The proton packs' particle throwers were originally portrayed as wands worn on each arm. In current versions, it consists of a hand-held wand (neutrino wand as described and scripted by Aykroyd, also called a proton gun or particle thrower within the franchise) connected to a backpack-sized particle accelerator. The Proton Stream can also fire a hard-hitting boson dart which can be fired alone or collided with the Proton Stream to fire a Boson Collider.[citation needed]

The Slime Blower is seen and developed in the movie Ghostbusters II; this piece of equipment is a metal tank strapped to the back of its user, with an attached sprayer used to project streams of the psychomagnetheric mood slime that has been reinforced with positive emotions so as to neutralize its negatively reinforced counterparts. In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the slime blower is modified to shoot positively charged slime, and can also shoot slime tethers, the slime tether in turn can be attached to one object, then the other end to another solid surface to pull that heavy object (also used to open heavy doors) which usually would be difficult to move without use of some tremendous amount of force, so the slime tether helps get the job done. The Ghostbusters can also attach one end of a slime tether to a ghost, then attach the other end to a nearby already deployed ghost trap allowing for a quicker trapping of a ghost. A toy slime blower was released with the Kenner Real Ghostbusters toy line. In the Ghostbusters comics, the Ecto-Splat is a flamethrower-like device that fires a hard jet of ectoplasm, which can damage or dissipate ghosts.[citation needed].

The Shock Blaster is the close-range weapon of the Ghostbusters arsenal.[citation needed] It fires a blast of stripped dark matter particles that diffuse quickly when they come in contact with the outside world. The Ghostbusters use the Shock Blaster for fighting close-proximity entities and inhabiting swarmers. The Shock Blaster also fires a Stasis Stream which fires a high-capacity stream that hypobond to ectoplasmic matter. If a Ghostbuster trains the stream on a ghost long enough, he can actually stop it entirely.

The Ghostbusters also use equipment to hunt and find ghosts. The PKE meter is a handheld device that locates and measures psycho-kinetic energy (PKE), which is an environmental byproduct emitted only by ghosts. The device's most prominent feature are winged arms that raise and lower in relation to the amount of PKE detected while a digital display gives an exact reading for the operator. The giga meter is a device similar to the PKE meter featured in Ghostbusters II. As explained by Egon in the original script, the giga meter measures PKE in GeV, or giga-electronvolts. Ecto-Goggles, sometimes known as Spectro-Visors, are a special pair of goggles that visually trace PKE readings. They are particularly useful in helping the wearer see normally invisible ghosts. There is also a Ghost Sniffer only seen used by Venkman in the first movie. A toy Ghost Sniffer was released as part of the Kenner Real Ghostbusters toyline.

In the Ghostbusters fiction, ghosts cannot simply be destroyed. Instead, they become temporarily destabilized. However, from their encounter with the Gray Lady in the first movie, Egon devises several pieces of equipment that are used to trap and contain ghosts.

The trap is a box with a split, hinged lid, remote-controlled by a simple pedal switch, attached to the end of the box by a long cable. When a ghost is brought close to the trap (usually by means of the proton pack), the ghost trap is activated by the foot switch. Its lid then opens, and a force field draws the ghost inside. When the ghost is captured, the trap emits smoke and a strong, bad smell. Characters are advised to refrain from looking directly at the trap when it is activated. The ghost can then be transported to the larger, more permanent containment unit. More than one ghost can be stored in a trap, but a maximum number has never been established, nor for how long a ghost can be held. A captured ghost can be released from the trap by opening it.

The Ecto-Containment Unit, also referred to as the Containment System, is the large facility in the basement of the Ghostbusters' headquarters. It was developed after Dr. Spengler and Dr. Stantz made their first actual contact in the basement of the New York Public Library with the ghost of its librarian Eleanor Twitty, who is referred by them as the Gray Lady. Data from that experience indicates they could capture and hold ghosts indefinitely. This idea makes the Ghostbuster business possible. All captured ghosts are stored in the containment unit. The unit itself utilizes a high-voltage grid of lasers to do its job. Turning off the protection grid without following proper procedures will result in a catastrophic and explosive release of all ectoplasmic entities and psycho-kinetic energy stored in the unit. The containment unit has an easy-access slot, where the ghost can be transferred from the trap into the unit's containment field.


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

The Ectomobile, or Ecto-1 is a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor[106] limo-style endloader combination car (ambulance conversion) used in the 1984 film Ghostbusters and other Ghostbusters fiction.[107][108] 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 (over $9900 in 2012 dollars) for it and claims it needs a plethora of repairs.[109] 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.[110][111]

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.
  • 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 film, Ecto-2 is a white motorbike.
  • 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"[112][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.[113] 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 charactersEdit

Characters Original films Animated series Video game Reboot film
Ghostbusters Ghostbusters II The Real Ghostbusters Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters Extreme Ghostbusters Ghostbusters:
The Video Game
1984 1989 1986-1991 1988 1997 2009 2016
Peter Venkman Bill Murray Lorenzo Music
(seasons 1–2)
Dave Coulier Bill Murray
Dave Coulier
(season 3 onwards)
Ray Stantz Dan Aykroyd Frank Welker Dan Aykroyd
Egon Spengler Harold Ramis Maurice LaMarche Harold Ramis Bronze head bust
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
Frank Welker Billy West Troy Baker Adam Ray
Louis Tully Rick Moranis Rodger Bumpass
Dana Barrett Sigourney Weaver
Mayor Lenny Clotch David Margulies Hal Smith
Maurice LaMarche
Frank Welker
Buster Jones
Walter Peck William Atherton Neil Ross William Atherton
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Bill Bryan John Stocker Misc voices CGI parade balloon
Frank Welker
Gozer Slavitza Jovan Silent cameo
Paddi Edwards
Gatekeeper of Gozer
Sigourney Weaver
(possessed form)
Ivan Reitman
Vinz Clortho
Keymaster of Gozer
Rick Moranis
(possessed form)
Ivan Reitman
Dr. Eleanor Twitty Alice Drummond Misc voices
Vigo the Carpathian Wilhelm von Homburg Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow
Oscar Barrett William T. Deutschendorf and Hank J. Deutschendorf II
Dr. Janosz Poha Peter MacNicol
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 impactEdit

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,[114] and along with the Hook and Ladder Firehouse, has become a real world New York City tourist attraction.[115] 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.[116] The video game Burnout Paradise pays homage to the franchise with a car titled the 'Manhattan Spirit', which is based on the Ecto-1.[117]

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.[118]

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.[119]

  • The movie's catchphrase, "Who you gonna call?", has been used in other media:
    • The 1990s Casper cartoon series.[120]
    • A Ghostbusters Easter egg is present in the computational engine Wolfram Alpha when the phrase "who you gonna call" is entered.[121]
  • 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.[122]
  • 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")[123]


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