This is the full text transcript of everything that Geoff Boucher, Ivan Reitman, and Dan Aykroyd said in this interview. The transcription was done using computer software reading the subtitle track from the GB1 & GB2 4K UHD & Blu-Ray 5-Disc Set
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Getting the band back together.
1989, Ghostbusters II
brought back everyone's favorite paranormal investigators.
Today, 25 years later, we're talking to director Ivan Reitman
and to co-star and co-writer Dan Aykroyd
about a franchise, its past, its present and its possible future.
We're the best! We're the beautiful!
We're the only... Ghostbusters.
[Ghostbusters theme music playing]
I imagine it was a very different situation
when you guys started the sequel.
Because by that point, everybody knows exactly what's going on.
What was that like? Sort of encountering New York on the sequel.
It was easier on access because everybody wanted
to be a part of another Ghostbusters.
'Cause by then it was, you know, a very successful film and story.
Was not that different than shooting the first one.
We weren't as naive when we went into it, and that was good and it
And I think that was sort of an interesting, different psychology to
I think we also had this sort of weight
of this extraordinary success on our shoulders.
And I think we'd waited a long time to do the second one.
Probably too long.
And so that weight even grew heavier.
- But I think people are now starting
to see the magic that is actually there.
There was a lot of great stuff in the film.
A lot of beautiful pieces, great performances.
[Reitman] I think Moranis and Annie Potts, who are now sort of
taking care of a kid,
and the wonderful work between Bill and Sigourney.
Yeah, there's a lot of great stuff in the second movie, a lot of
Makes a very worthy companion to the first, for a sequel, you know?
Yeah, absolutely, and as new audiences come to it
and they are separated from the expectations
and the weight of the release date and all the things that were
important in the '80s
when it was being made, they don't know that context, necessarily.
They just take it on its own terms. They enjoy it.
Why don't we all sit down and we'll have fun.
You know, my dad says you guys are full of crap.
- Some people have trouble...
-...believing in the paranormal.
- No, he says you're full of crap...
...and that's why you're out of business.
As far as being naive,
when people are naive, they don't know their limits.
- There's a power to being naive.
-[Reitman] That's right.
Um. Do you feel--
There's the joy of doing something for the first time and
And what it does is it stimulates--
I mean, all these actors are writers. Let's start there.
And so this is a kind of remarkable gift to a director on the set.
Okay, I've got this great screenplay, and then on top of that,
I've got these brilliant writers who happen to be actors in this
And I could always sort of shout out and say,
"Look, could we go-- Let's go back to the top and sort of try this
And I would throw out an adjective or something
or some kind of position, and boom, it would just unfold that way.
The characters-- We had the advantage of people knowing who they
And so we had not as far to go in setting up the relationships.
And so we were able to jump off earlier into better development
and better, you know, interpersonal depictions and dialogue and...
Um, so, I like the second one because we were already up and running
and the company already existed.
[Aykroyd] And the idea in that story of the river of slime, you
that psychic energy can embody itself into objects and material in
the real world.
And we would-- Just some really great set pieces.
And in the second, we were seeing underneath New York, you know,
Again, really-- Both films really treat the city in a neat way
and shoot it for its best qualities.
Absolutely. It became a definitive portrait of New York
for moviegoers that didn't live there, around the world, in many
Hey, take it easy. I tell you why we're here.
Because jerk downtown is making us work on a Friday night.
- Am I right, Peter?
- Of course you are.
- Is he right, Ziggy?
[Reitman] You were talking about the Reagan years in '84,
and it was a different environment.
You were talking about Los Angeles and how violent it was.
- And so was New York, really.
And there was a spirit of negativity around,
and really, that's what that second movie talks about.
I just can't believe things are so bad in this city that there's no
Sure, it's dirty, crowded, polluted, noisy...
...and there's people who'd just as soon step on your face as look
But come on!
There gotta be a few sparks of humanity left in this burned-out
We have to figure out a way to mobilize it.
I thought it was a very big idea to try to execute
a kind of big-time effects comedy around.
With the second one, one of the most memorable things
is the river of slime, as you mentioned.
There's got to be a lot there as far as either acting challenge
and also filmmaking challenge.
Take us back to the river.
Back to the river, yes.
Well, an underground river.
And running through a set that was reminiscent of
the great underground railways and subway stations
of the Iron Age or the Industrial Age.
I thought that set was just so beautiful, the way they had created
-[Ray] It's all over the city.
-[Egon] Under it, actually.
- Rivers of this stuff.
-It's flowing right to the museum.
Yeah, the museum!
[woman] Look what he got...
- You know, slime is slime. It's a--
It's a glucose, gelatinous substance
that comes in any color.
- And sticks to everything.
- Yeah, any color you want.
The scene being lowered into the river and dipping it in, that was
But we did shoot a scene where the slime gets all over us and we get
into a fight.
We start to get hostile towards each other.
And we had to climb out of a manhole
in front of the Customs House in Lower Manhattan.
- So we all got into that manhole.
-It was freezing. it was January, I think.
And, you know, we shot it, and then woke up the next day,
and Ivan said there was a problem with the mag.
So we had to go back.
It was probably the toughest day of shooting on either of the movies
for those two guys.
- It was you and Ernie.
- It was just,
-"We have to go back into this place."
-'Cause they're in their underwear.
And they're covered in this really uncomfortable substance.
We never thought we'd ever have to climb into that hole again,
and we had to climb into that hole again and do the same thing.
But what's fun is coming in our underwear into the fancy restaurant
and sitting down and, you know, still covered with slime.
- That was fun.
- Slime's a big thing in Ghostbusters.
I mean, we set it up really well in the library scene,
where the card catalogs shoot out.
And when our parapsychologists sort of go through the very first
you can see them taking samples.
And so it's really beautifully and humorously set up.
So we felt in the second film,
especially 'cause it was about the negative effect of it,
that we'd really go for it [chuckles] in a much bigger way.
And the second movie sold that idea pretty well.
You know, the hostility in Manhattan,
the hostility people were feeling to each other all had to go
And it just got deposited in this big, psychic muck at the bottom of
Which I thought was good. Of course, slime is based upon ectoplasm.
Ectoplasm was a popular concept in the spiritualist movement.
Charles Richet was a medical researcher in France.
And he was the first person to see ectoplasm.
And it defied his belief, and he was mad
because he had to throw out all his belief systems
and wonder, how could this possibly be, this substance?
In real life, it's more of an ash that appears and disappears very
- But in our movie, it's a river of slime.
A river of slime.
And you and Ernie, you know, twice into the ground with the river--
it reminds me of all the great things that he brought to the two
And really, he's the audience, right?
I mean he's the-- He's the one that the audience identifies with.
Exactly right. You have to have that one identifiable figure
that comes in from the outside and says,
"Hey, what's this world I'm entering into?"
And then, of course, becomes an insider
and can speak to, objectively, what people would feel
if they were introduced into this situation of these characters.
Really strong, magnetic actor, funny,
had the right kind of tone for the Ghostbusters.
[Reitman] As we were developing the second or third draft,
we came to the conclusion that we needed this kind of character
to explain certain things
and it would be sort of a more elegant way of doing it.
And I also felt that the movie needed a kind of a jump up
in terms of a new character coming in on the good guys' side that
And he was just really delightful.
And he's not a, you know, improvisational comedic actor.
He came in as just a really fine actor.
But he fit right in, and many of his scenes are the most memorable
because we identify with him.
Does anybody speak English here?
Yeah, Your Honor, what we're trying to tell you is, like...
...all the bad feelings, the hate, anger, violence...
...of the city is turning into this sludge.
I didn't believe it at first, but we just swam in it...
...and we almost killed each other.
The movie wouldn't be what it was without each one of these
and each one of these terrific actors bringing to it their maximum
And Ernie, of course--
Again, the movie would not be what it was without Ernie's presence.
I, Vigo, the scourge of Carpathia...
...the sorrow of Moldavia, command you.
Command me, lord.
When it comes to a villain,
what did you guys set out as far as your goal?
Well, I think we wanted someone who had lived before
and who was truly a ghost.
And/or an incarnation of a ghost, and so...
Vigo the Carpathian was a perfect-- He was a perfect embodiment.
Peter MacNicol was wonderful in the second movie.
And I love seeing the negative energy affect us all,
where Ernie and I are in a fight
and where I become the evil Stantz.
That was-- It was just great to play.
- A lot of fun stuff.
- Really fun to play.
You know what? Give me angry, will you?
Give me angry. You've had a bad day. You're cranky.
[Reitman] I remember the actor coming in.
I think he was a wrestler out of Austria or Germany
who ended up playing Vigo the Carpathian.
- Oh, really?
- And I said, "Well, there he is."
We actually then painted that sort of large work of art
-to embody him.
I couldn't think of anyone else who could do it.
Yeah, yeah! Give it, give it!
Venkman, we need to talk. Come on.
I've worked with better. But not many.
Through the years, we've seen things like The Real Ghostbusters,
we've seen the video games, the comic books.
Can you talk a little bit about those?
Is there one or two that maybe you've enjoyed yourself?
Well, what I enjoy is when I meet the people who work on these
and how much fun they have with them.
Because we've given them a whole arena to be creative within their
that they might not have otherwise had.
So the guys who did the comic books in Quebec, in the province of
there are some artists up there who are doing one iteration.
Then there are the guys with IDW, are doing out of San Diego.
They love these characters and they love this world.
Because with a comic book, you can really go anywhere without much
And so I love the enthusiasm of the creators of the comic books.
I love the guys who did the Activision game and how that turned out.
It almost looked like a third movie, and--
And we did about 120 of these-- I think more-- cartoon episodes.
-The Real Ghostbusters.
And it introduced the Ghostbusters movie to an even younger
Really, the initial film was viewed by, yes, almost everybody.
But the bulk of the audience was over the age of seven or eight.
And because it was on television and a cartoon show,
a really much younger viewer saw it.
And we made the original movie so quickly.
There were no toys, and none of the stuff you see around us
was really out for the first movie.
All the toys really started coming out of the cartoon show.
Because it was a way of keeping the Ghostbusters idea
through the years between the first and second movies.
It was a big success and continues to have new fans all the time.
Everybody who's worked on-- Whether it's the Mattel toys,
the Kenner toys, the games, the comic books,
the plush toys, the action figures--
They've just had a great time with it,
and it shows in the way they've executed them.
They just are all so neat and fun.
And it's a very toyetic property.
Yeah. Toyetic? I didn't even know that--
- That's the term that they use here.
- I love that.
[Boucher] There's the spirit of getting the band back together,
which is always great.
And I know that that's one that-- it's-- for many years after,
there's been the spirit of getting the band back together.
I know, Dan, it's near and dear to your heart to see these
Through the years, you've must've, in your mind,
come up with so many different thoughts about what the third one
Well, I've written-- I've written two really solid third movies
that, if they were made, they would be successful, I think.
I had Harold work on both of them.
I had the benefit of being able to work with him
on the really tangible and concrete third idea
that the studio has signed off on.
So there were my first two ideas and then the one from the studio.
Harold worked on all three.
And now we're in the process of taking that idea
that the studio feels comfortable making.
And as I work on it, and I have been...
I hear Harold's sensibility.
That's not, like, a psychic thing where he's speaking to me beyond
It's more... "Well, that character wouldn't say that,"
or "We can do something better here,"
or "Let's do a little more research to put these words in that
or "We'll move this scene here,"
or "That character wouldn't exist."
You know, "This just doesn't seem right."
I'm just like, what would Harold do here? What would Harold do here?
What would he be writing here?
I have that all the way through as I work on the third concept.
Now what movie is gonna get made?
At this point we're not sure.
But it will be something hopefully that passes the torch to a new
and picks up so that young people going forward can be part of it in
a new way.
Yeah, and there's so much there. There's so much to this universe.
You can go in so many different directions.
Do you think we'll ever see a third one?
- Do you have any--
- Yeah, I'm pretty sure we will.
Sounds good. Well, the spirit lives on.
Fantastic. Well, guys, thank you so much.
["Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. playing]