Mike Ovitz, Jason Lock, Peter Vakman discussed on Around the World in 80s Movies


This remake of his girl. Friday the classic film for the nineteen forties made by martin ransom off and they were going to co star with debra winger with a script that was written specifically with them in mind now on his own accurate eventually did complete a first draft script for ghostbusters. Because the first film's climax took place atop a new york high-rise building accurate do concept was to try to set the film somewhere else other than new york in somewhere other than a high rise so he decided to set. Most of what happens in ghostbusters. To at least in his first draft in scotland dana barrett was gonna get kidnapped she would be taken underground through this ferry ring serving as this portal to a vast underground civilization of druids. The ghostbusters would come to the rescue battle. Some of these foes including a banshee as with accolades first ghostbusters script. Historian ideas proved too ambitious and inaccessible for mainstream audiences. One concept involve the ghostbusters. Traveling through a tunnel for three days through this pneumatic tube. That was like two thousand miles long and a lot of other zany ideas. That were probably too expensive to fill after reading. Accurate script. reitman called a series of meetings. He wanted to get accurate script into shape much like he did for the first film so ramos and aykroyd agreed to account for the passage of time between the two movies because they were a little bit delayed in kidding. This started before. A variety of reasons ramos felt that in the intervening years. Ghostbusters would be like a worldwide chain. So they could still set the action in scotland if they wanted to you but in their revision as they started working on it. They decided to make peter and dana barrett married with the baby. And for comedy's sake that baby would eventually get possessed by a ghost and then start walking and talking on its own kind of like an adult in a baby's body. Eventually though they determined that centering the story. So much on peter was upsetting. The balance of the overall story of the ghostbusters marginalized the other. Three ghostbuster characters so they decided they were going to rewrite it. So that dina in the intervening years had left peter because of his lack of commitment and she would marry somebody else. Presumably the stiff violinist who uses nasal spray in the first ghostbusters but now at the beginning of the film she would be divorced with an infant boy. And that would mean a second chance for peter now around this time david. Puttnam became the chairman and ceo for columbia pictures. Although he was now the head of a major studio he seemed to not like the hollywood studio system at all. He determined that the way things were being run was not conducive to making good movies. He determined that talent agencies in particular were squeezing studios escalating budgets left and right now that he was in charge he refused to entertain expensive star studded packages where the studio would have little creative control and in so doing he started talking a little too much. Perhaps a little too. Broadly in an off the record. British american chamber of commerce luncheon speech putnam asserted that he was no longer interested in catering to these takers. Who do not give anything back to the industry. Unfortunately he mentioned bill murray specifically as a taker although he would deny saying later putting did not know though that murray's lawyer was in attendance at that luncheon and so word leaked to murray's talent agent. Mike ovitz a big power player in hollywood at the time he also represented reitman and ramos and then it appeared in page six in the new york post. And that's when murray vowed he was never gonna make any movies for the studio as long as putnam was in charge and the other actors back them up. Murray inaccurate pulled out of his girl friday. That was going to be a columbia release which putnam decided to put that project into turnaround. Although it did later get repackaged for a release in nineteen eighty eight as switching channels nevertheless coca cola which owned columbia. They put pressure directly on putnam to make ghostbusters to happen. No matter what so. He considered proceeding with ghostbusters to because he had already burnt the bridge felt with murray and company he was gonna make a whole new ghostbusters crew. A mostly black cast lead by bill cosby. Bill cosby happened to be coca-cola's spokesman at the time and he was newly signed to a film contract undercut them but bill cosby had ideas of his own. He was more interested in developing his own story. Idea for something. That would become leonard part. Six under pressure in april nineteen eighty-seven putnam told the press that ghostbusters to would indeed be in production by november of that year. And this came as a surprise to reitman. And all of the other cast who reiterated that. We're not going to work for putnam. September of nineteen eighty-seven with very few successes to tout in his tenure. There putnam was pushed out of his position and his three year contract a couple of years early and that made way for a new production head. Don steel and dawn steele got the job because she was going to make ghostbusters to her top priority. With putting out of the way murray soon met with aykroyd and ramos and reitman and ovitz and he came there to hear their pitch for the story that they had thus far that luncheon went for four hours because it started as a big gripe session for all of the resentments that had felt since the last time they had met mostly aimed at putnam but after they clear the air which took some time murray listened and he liked their new ideas much better than the ones that he felt he had heard from aykroyd alone very at that time had just made scrooge and while he was not really keen on java jumping right back into acting he did feel good while he was making scrooge that it was something that had a moral. He was picked by putnam's accusations that he only cared about himself so murray wanted ghostbusters to to mean something. More than just a return for fat paychecks. He wanted the ghostbusters to reflect their own reality that they were gonna join forces here to do something to help the greater good and to help people be better ramos and accurate than built their next revision with this in mind with the ghostbusters. Being broken up and then having get back together to save the world one more time with the moral that humans should treat each other with kindness or else bad things. We're going to happen. Ramos came up with the notion that negative energy is something that could build up over time. So new york. The home of rudeness negatively it must be sitting on reservoirs of residual negatively underground and that made it a place where evil spirits would dominate and that would lead to a climax with the statue of liberty being possessed by one evil spirit and to defeat this evil spirit. New yorkers would have to be nicer in unison at least for a while ramos joke that the statue of liberty at the end would end up laying on wall street as some sort of satirical commentary of the times now making each other laugh through this four hour. Lunch meeting murray. He's started to miss the good times with these guys. Ghostbusters says i mentioned the most funny to ever had making a film he could really use the laughs in his life so we started softening his stance on returning but if he was going to return the studio would have to make it worth not only his while. But everybody's he wanted ten million dollars to return and that his co stars get the same amount but the struggling columbia pictures. They didn't wanna spend fifty million dollars just to get the talent back on board on top of the costly effects work. So negotiations began between the studio and the main talent and their agents and an agreement was eventually reached. The actors were working for scale in exchange for large percentages of the gross fifteen percent would go to murray ten percent to reitman eight percent to aykroyd in percent to ramos if they can get the film in theaters on the fourth of july weekend in nineteen eighty nine. That meant the shooting schedule was going to be rushed yet again. In fact it would be two weeks shorter than the first ghostbusters. But that two weeks eventually became a whole month shorter than the original ghostbusters. Because the release date moved up to june twenty third. And that's when they realized that tim burton's batman was being released that week and so they moved it up yet again to try to get the jump on batman which was heavily hyped at the time to june sixteenth nineteen eighty nine. Raymond had to juggle post production on twins while he was handling pre-production ghostbusters to so this was a really hectic and concentrated. Shoot there was also one. Snag involve sigourney. Weaver insisted on making as much as her co stars and she was not given some of the same benefits here with their deal and she also wanted her money upfront because part of her deal for the first ghostbusters was a percentage deal and she never got paid columbia said that they never really actually turned prophet which she said that she was going to sue them and force them to do an audit. If they're gonna go with that. Excuse columbia decided you know. Maybe they should look into recasting dana. Maybe a less expensive actress could play that role but they decided they were going to retool. The character altogether different single mother love interest for peter was written named lane walker for continuity sake. They did hope that they could get sigourney. Weaver to do a cameo part with dana barrett. But weaver declined. She either wanted something to do or she didn't want to do anything at all. Meanwhile several actresses they came in they read lines with murray for the lean walker role but murray grew very disenchanted with all of this and he urged columbia. Pay weaver what she wanted because she had the right chemistry to work with him. Now with all of these new directions. They started having story issues so several screenwriters were brought in big names like lane. May in lowell ganz. Bob blue mandel came in. They provided advice to try to fix issues especially relating to the family oriented aspects of their script. Also they were having trouble with the main conflicts of their films in the early drafts. Negative feelings manifested into the rise of insects. All over the place right suggested that a better way to go would be to have slime comeback specifically mood slime that became a concept murray acquiesced on the slide concept on condition that he not be slide again. He didn't wanna go through that ever again. However slime was still a little too abstract to be the main villain so they concocted a powerful to be kicking up someone named vigo who could channel this negative energy and become more powerful vigo would use the statue of liberty as one of his minions and then come after the ghostbusters or attacked new york. However they determined that because lady liberty was kind of symbol really of new york's ideals and indeed the country as a whole. They felt that the statue of liberty should really stay positive force so they came up with this idea of having good slime to be able to counteract the negative slime and the ghostbusters would take control of the statue of liberty to do their bidding for the climax. Meanwhile sigourney weaver. She had just been an oscar nominee for aliens. She grew very hot after her turns in working girl and gorillas in the mist in one thousand nine hundred eight indeed she would become a double oscar nominee in one thousand. Nine hundred nine with murray. He happened to be on a four year hiatus from films except for scrooge most recently which did well but not phenomenally. Well aykroyd had middling efforts since the last ghostbusters and ramos had two failed comedies. In armed and dangerous and club paradise sigourney. Weaver was the only actor among them. That had surefire box office. Bankability for ghostbusters. So negotiations heated up on how to find a way to get dina barrett back into the fill. The offered weaver again. A profit percentage but given their past experience she instead opted for a flat fee. One million dollars to return for ghostbusters to now in the completed plot. We began five years after the events of ghostbusters. The heroes are zeros again bankrupt because they got sued by the city for the destructive aftermath of clearing. Out the city of spooks. They claim that they made all of that up. A federal restraining order was issued prohibiting them from continuing their ghost busting business. Peter vakman now is the host of this cheesy local cable. Talk show called a world of the psychic ray stance. He's now an occult bookstore owner and he does some side work with winston's edmore cost playing basically themselves as ghostbusters for children's birthday parties. Egon spangler he gets his job back at columbia university and he happens to be investigating. How human emotions. Psycho magnetic energy and dana barrett. She's now a single mother after leaving bank for his inability to commit. She had a baby oscar now. Eight months old with another man that we never see. Louis talisa also back. He applies his knack for accounting to become a tax lawyer and they reunite after being approached by dana who reports a strange occurrence involving her baby's carriage traveling on. Its own down the street very upsetting to her. So they discover while they're doing their friend favor rivers of mood. Slime that are running beneath the city converging on the manhattan museum of art. Which happens to be where dana works as an art restorer and one of the art pieces there includes a life size portrait of this medieval sorcerer or lord the vigo the carpathian vigo's spirit happens to live within this portrait and to enter into the realm of the living again vigo wants a baby to be his vessel to come back into the mortal realm anti continue his reign of terror. So he makes a deal with his boss. Dr janos to secure dina's baby oscar in exchange for having a date with her something of sirte like that now in the original script. Peter mcnicoll the pohang role. He was kind of a generic ghostbusters. Foil just another d. bag of a story named jason lock. Now mcnicoll playing this forgettable.

Coming up next