Ghostbusters icons Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray fondly remembered the shenanigans they got into while filming. According to the comedians, the simple fact of being in uniform was enough to convince people they were official.
“I remember we were in the suits and walking into stores and looking at goods just saying, ‘We’re going to have to take a look at some of this stuff,’ and just walking out with lots of stuff from Madison Avenue stores, just walking out with it,” Murray explained. “And about half an hour later, saying, ‘Okay, yeah it’s fine. This stuff is all clear.’ And just bringing it back. Meanwhile we walked out with a few thousand dollars worth of things. They just thought we were official because we had those suits.”
Aykroyd then revealed that they did what every Ghostbusters fan dreams of: joyriding in the ECTO-1. The former Saturday Night Live star said: “It was just fun being in Manhattan and stealing shots and swinging that Cadillac around corners with people going ‘What is that thing?'”
“And never stopping for stoplights,” Murray added. “It was so much fun. You just blaze through and even the cops would look at you and go, I guess those guys are Coast Guard or something.’ They didn’t know what the hell we were. We were just driving around doing anything we wanted.”
The spirit of fun behind the scenes definitely showed in the final movie. Ghostbusters earned $282 million at the box office, breaking the record for best ticket sales for a comedy. It remains a cultural phenomenon decades after its release.
Bill Murray Talks Ghostbusters 2
While Ghostbusters is remembered fondly, subsequent films were less well-received. The first sequel, Ghostbusters 2, was both a critical and commercial failure, which left a bad taste in Murray’s mouth.
Apparently, the initial pitch for the film was better than the final product.
“I don’t know if (director Ivan Reitman) set it up, but they got us all back together in a room,” Murray explained. “And really, we hadn’t been together in a room since the (first) movie came out and it was just really, really fun to be together. We were really funny together. Those are some really wonderful, really funny guys and girls. Sigourney [Weaver] and Annie Potts are some really spectacular women and funny as hell. They got us all together and they pitched a story idea that was really great. I thought, ‘Holy cow, we could make that work.’”
Unfortunately, the script he read got scrapped. By the time filming began, Murray was forced into something entirely different.
“It ended up not being the story they wrote,” Murray said. “They got us in the sequel under false pretenses. Harold [Ramis] had this great idea. But by the time we got to shooting it, I showed up on set and went, ‘What the hell is this? What is this thing? But we were already shooting it, so we had to figure out how to make it work.”
The failure of Ghostbusters 2 killed off most hopes for further sequels, but the franchise still expanded. Two animated series, a theme park attraction, video games, comic books, and more were produced before the series received an all-female reboot in 2016. After mixed reviews from critics and low box office numbers, the reboot failed to gain traction.
Five years later, a sequel to the first two films released amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Though its box office numbers were low and critical reception was mixed, fans enjoyed the film, which reunited almost all of the living cast members of the original. Additionally, the film paid tribute to the late Harold Ramis, who wrote and starred in the previous films.