Wow! So here it is, 30 years after its initial release and Sony Pictures is releasing this fabulous re-mastered Blu-ray version of "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II."
I'm often asked if I had any idea that "Ghostbusters" would turn into the record-breaking financial success and worldwide cultural phenomenon that it became. I usually answer by recalling the moment that I first witnessed Bill, Dan, Harold and Ernie fully outfitted in GB regalia, walking casually down Madison Avenue just as I was lining up the first shot in the movie. There was something remarkably iconic about the way they looked together on that street. It sent a shiver up my spine, and I instantly felt that something special was about to happen. Actually, something special had been unfolding from the very beginning of my experience with "Ghostbusters."
It was April 1983, and I was sent Dan Aykroyd's inventive futuristic treatment that presented the idea that there were a group of men, acting much like fire fighters, who trap and catch ghosts as an emergency service to the universe. I suggested to Dan that we re-set the story in modern day Manhattan and frame the adventure as a "going into business" tale about some smart post grads studying the science of paranormal activity who quickly get thrown out of their university positions and set up shop "busting ghosts." Dan agreed with this story approach, and with my suggestion to bring in Harold Ramis as a co-writer. And thus began the happiest creative experience of my life.
Working against an unusually tight timeline, Aykroyd, Ramis and I, with our families, went off to Martha's Vineyard for two weeks where we hammered out the first draft of the movie. Production began in October and the finished movie opened in theaters across the country June 8, 1984.
The making of "Ghostbusters" brought together a fabulous array of very gifted comedy minds working at their best. Most significantly, it brought me back together with the extraordinary Bill Murray for the fourth time. The first being an off-Broadway show; "The National Lampoon Show," where he co-starred with the then-unknown John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis and Joe Flaherty. The second was his motion picture debut, "Meatballs." The third was "Stripes" where he co-starred with Harold, making his film debut.
I'm very proud of both "Meatballs" and "Stripes" and think Bill's performances in both are funny, surprising and wonderfully human. But in our fourth collaboration, "Ghostbusters," working together with Dan, Harold. Ernie Hudson, the comically luminous Rick Moranis and teamed romantically with the brilliant, beautiful Sigourney Weaver; Bill creates a masterful performance that dominates the film and made him the most beloved comedic actor of his generation. Many of the outstanding lines we remember most come from his fertile mind. Thank you Bill, you keep making me look good.
And now, a few words about "Ghostbusters II." Though it ended up doing very well, it was the subject of a fair amount of criticism when it first came out. It's certainly not as good as "Ghostbusters" (sequels rarely are, especially when the original breaks so much new ground) but please take a fresh look at it, I think you'll be surprised at how charming and funny it is.
Finally, thank you for holding my films, particularly "Ghostbusters," so close to your heart. It makes me happy and proud to do what I do.