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Trivia / Ghostbusters II

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Peter MacNicol got the accent for Dr. Janosz Poha from Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice. It wasn't part of the character as written, but he did it at the audition and won over Ivan Reitman. In an interview with Starlog, MacNicol revealed that in first script he saw, the character was a rather lackluster villain called Jason. He suggested making character come from Carpathia, which is why he's an expert on the painting of Vigo. During filming, he spent a lot of time in his trailer, creating Janosz' origin and accent, as well as a mythology for Carpathia. He even came up with his own vision for a Carpathian flag, which featured a snake stepping on a man.
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  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "On Our Own" by Bobby Brown. While the movie isn't nearly as well-regarded as the first, its tie-in pop song reached #2 and is one of Brown's biggest solo hits. Even today, it still gets rotation on 80's radio stations.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Kurt Fuller originally auditioned for the role of a rude, aggressive banker called Ed Petrosius whose office randomly keeps catching fire as a side effect of mood slime and is taken to the firehouse by the Ghostbusters for monitoring. The plot-line was cut and he didn't get the role, but Ivan Reitman remembered him and subsequently offered him the role of Hardemeyer.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Bill Murray was unhappy with the film. He even went so far as to say he was tricked into doing it by the studio executives who initially agreed to concepts Harold Ramis created, only to turn around and demand changes when filming started.
      "Those special-effects guys took over. It was too much of the slime and not enough of us."
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    • Wilhelm von Homburg, the actor who played Vigo, was not pleased when he learned all of his lines were dubbed over by Max von Sydow. He left the premiere of the movie in anger upon seeing this.
    • Rick Moranis was also unhappy with the movie, calling it a "disappointment".
  • Deleted Role: Eugene Levy had a cameo as Sherman Tully, a lawyer (and Louis's cousin) who gets the Ghostbusters out of the asylum, that was cut.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • One such scene helps to explain the moment when Vigo possesses Ray during the final showdown. During the first museum visit, the guys examine the painting of Vigo and fans may remember Ray being hypnotized and needing to be snapped back to reality. This was supposed to lead into a sequence where Vigo tries to use Ray to crash the Ecto-1 and kill the Ghostbusters in a traffic accident. Winston manages to grab the wheel and save the day while Ray, no longer under Vigo's influence, can't account for what just happened. Note that a couple of clips from this sequence were used in the "We're back" montage, specifically the Ecto-1 crossing through an intersection and Peter in the car, looking bewildered.
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    • A scene which was filmed but cut saw Louis making a failed attempt to zap Slimer with a proton pack, which startles Janine. Another saw him use chicken drumsticks as bait for Slimer so he can put him in the ghost trap which fails.
    • Hardemeyer gets swallowed by the pink slime surrounding the museum.
    • Ray and Egon detect the river of slime beneath the city as they investigate the baby carriage incident. Dana asks Peter, Egon, and Ray why it's happening to her again and what it is about her that the ghosts and other supernatural forces like about her, which Egon speculates may be something genetic.
    • A scene of Egon and Ray experimenting on the bowl of slime, with them wearing head devices with multiple wires connecting to the bowl (which would have gone before the scene with the dancing toaster), was filmed but not used in the final edit, though a shot from the scene was a commonly-used publicity still for the film.
  • Executive Meddling: According to Ernie Hudson, this is the reason why the sequel isn't seen as having the same level of quality as the first. After executives saw how popular the first movie was with kids, they forced some changes onto the second movie to make it more appealing to a younger audience. Much like what happened to later seasons of The Real Ghostbusters, they tried to fix something that wasn't broken; thankfully, the movie didn't suffer too much from it, depending on who you ask.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Several pieces of material from the trailers did not appear in the film:
    • Egon uses a PKE meter to read a piece of floating crystal.
    • When someone says the Titanic just arrived, Peter replies "Better late than never." In the film, this is said by Cheech Marin.
    • Ray telling the Mayor if they don't do anything about the situation, the Mayor will go down in history as the man who let New York sink into the tenth level of Hell. In the final version, the Mayor says it in a meeting with his advisers.
  • Real-Life Relative:
  • Recycled Set: To save money on building sets, the courtroom scene reused the set from another Ivan Reitman picture, Legal Eagles. A glass partition was added so it could be blown up during the scene.
  • Refitted for Sequel:
  • Spared by the Cut: There was originally a scene where Hardemeyer got swallowed by the slime surrounding the museum.
  • Throw It In: Dana removing her shirt wasn't in the script. Either Sigourney Weaver or Ivan Reitman or both came up with it on the day.
  • Troubled Production: Production on was fraught with its own set of issues and indirectly led to a series of stall-outs and delays that led the film series to be put on ice for more than two decades.
    • At first, nearly all of the parties involved in the making of the first film had no interest in doing a sequel, as they thought the original should be considered a standalone work. After a meeting with CAA agent Michael Ovitz in Los Angeles, however, Ivan Reitman, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Dan Aykroyd all realized they could do it. This was also the meeting in which a formative agreement, in which Aykroyd, Ramis, and Murray all needed to be on the same page to greenlight any further sequels, was signed, which would come into play in later years.
    • Filming began in November 1988 in New York with a scant 67-day shooting schedule. While filming of the live-action material progressed, Industrial Light and Magic (the FX studio hired for the sequel) found itself running into significant problems with many of the effects. The design for the Scoleri Brothers had to be adapted several times when the concept changed. Vigo the Carpathian saw his design shift multiple times over the course of production, with his final look being worked on right up until the last minute. Much like the first film, ILM had nine units working overtime to try to get their original shots done, and eventually gave up and admitted that they couldn't do any more, and several planned scenes (including one where ghosts pour out of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House) were scrapped. Not helping was the fact that 1989 also saw the release of The Abyss (where they created the Pseudopod), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The 'Burbs, Field of Dreams, and Back to the Future Part II.
    • While principal photography was completed on time, the production crew realized they needed to go back for additional re-shoots after test audiences complained that several of the concepts in the film (including "good and bad slime", Vigo, and some of the ghosts) needed better explanations. With only three months before the film was set to hit theaters, Reitman and the crew went back for additional location shooting. Not helping matters was a release date change to June 16th, 1989, a week before the hotly-anticipated Batman (1989) was set to premiere.
    • The final film was a box-office success (netting $215 million against a $37 million budget), but was later criticized by various groups, including Murray and Ernie Hudson, complaining that the material had been watered down and taken over via Executive Meddling to force more special effects and kid-friendly humor into the product. The film franchise would then go into a state of Development Hell, with various attempts at getting the franchise off the ground stalling out until 2016.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The movie was apparently supposed to start getting into the "other dimension" aspect of the mythology but that was changed at the last minute to something closer in plot to the first movie. Bill Murray was upset with the radical changes to the script and it is another reason why a third movie lingered for so long in Development Hell. Unfortunately, it is this similarity to the first movie that contributes to its overall lesser reception. The game was able to finally get into this aspect of the premise, being cheaper to do than a movie format.
    • Originally, the producers planned on having the crashed Hindenburg appear as a ghostly airship. They dumped this in favor of the apparitions coming off the Titanic.
    • In the first draft of the script, Dan Aykroyd wanted to contrast to the first film's climax atop a skyscraper by making a subterranean threat. This draft followed Dana Barrett, who is kidnapped and taken to Scotland, where she discovers a fairy ring and an underground civilization. The Ghostbusters would have had to travel through an underground pneumatic tube over 2,000 miles long that would have taken three days to traverse. Aykroyd eventually decided that retaining the New York setting would allow for continuity and would better fit the story he wanted to tell while still allowing them to explore underground and that his first draft was "really too far out... too inaccessible".
    • According to early drafts of the script, Walter Peck was going to return, with William Atherton reprising the role.
  • The Wiki Rule: Ghostbusters Wiki, the compendium of ghostbusting.