Relax, relax. This Ghostbusters article has nothing to do with the 2016 remake – you’re in a safe space, or at least safe from any news regarding that blockbuster bellyflop. We’re going back to 1984’s original, a time when the word Ghostbusters invoked instantaneous warmth and not instantaneous comment section bloodbaths.
The 1984 film was fronted by a star-studded tripartite of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis (I was inclined to say Sigourney Weaver, but she wasn’t a ghostbuster. Apologies Sig). Yet, as is so often the case, that line-up wasn’t originally envisaged. Aykroyd, who was also one of the franchise’s writers and key creative figures, has taken part in the Netflix series The Movies That Made Us, and elucidated his initial casting schematic in the show’s Ghostbusters episode, saying:
“I wrote it for Eddie Murphy. It was me, John Belushi, and Eddie Murphy. We were supposed to be the original Ghostbusters.”
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Ultimately, Murphy’s role passed to Bill Murray, and the rest is history as far as that goes. Murphy mentioned in an interview with Extra in 2003 that the script “sounded like crock” to him. No mystery as to why he turned his nose up at the opportunity.
As for Belushi, that’s even less of an unknown quantity than Murphy’s refusal was. Belushi died of combined drug intoxication in 1982 – 2 years prior to Ghostbusters’ release, and months before writing had even been finished. There’s a joke about ghosts in there, but I’m not sure it’s in the best taste, so I’ll keep to rectitude for the time being.
That’s all then. Somewhere in the multiverse you have a Ghostbusters film where Eddie Murphy didn’t think it was crock and John Belushi didn’t croak it before filming, and they’re lining up alongside Aykroyd instead of Billy and Harry. It’s a funny world we live in.