Ghostbusters is largely considered a classic by movie fans from all over the world but 1989’s GHOSTBUSTERS II might not be viewed in the same high regard. It’s certainly fun to see the cast back together and, as far as sequels go, it holds up much better than most, but it definitely isn’t viewed in the same league as its predecessor. It would appear that Bill Murray, who stars as Dr. Peter Venkman in the films, also noticed that something was off with the final product in regards to Ghostbusters II and now he’s revealing that he actually got tricked into doing the sequel because the original idea that was pitched to him, never materialized.
The comedian recently discussed his history with the popular franchise during a panel at the Santa Barbara Internation Film Festival and he pointed out that he was “very, very reluctant” and “in absolutely no hurry” to make a sequel. He felt it would be motivated purely by money and he goes on to discuss how he and the rest of the cast joined the sequel under “false pretenses.”
“I thought that the only reason anyone would want another one was just to make money and I was probably the most reluctant. Someone outfoxed me anyway. I don’t know if Ivan set it up, but they got us all back together in a room, and really, we hadn’t been together in a room since the movie came out and it was just really, really fun to be together. We were really funny together. Those are some really wonderful, really funny guys and girls. Sigourney [Weaver] and Annie Potts are some really spectacular women and funny as hell. They got us all together and they pitched a story idea that was really great. I thought, ‘Holy cow, we could make that work.'”
Murray ultimately agreed to appear in Ghostbusters II based on the pitch that worked so well in the room with the rest of the cast but Murray says that pitch is definitely not what would become the film’s actual screenplay. Murray says “It ended up not being the story they wrote. They got us in the sequel under false pretenses. Harold had this great idea, but by the time we got to shooting it, I showed up on set and went, ‘What the hell is this? What is this thing?’ But we were already shooting it, so we had to figure out how to make it work.”
Ghostbusters II definitely had a lot to live up to and despite being successful in its own right, it didn’t reach the level of the original. 1984’s Ghostbusters grossed $242.2 million during its run which made it the highest-grossing comedy of all time at the time of its release. Released in 1989, Ghostbusters II ultimately grossed $112.5 million at the domestic box office which was down considerably from the gross of the original but it should be pointed out that the film was released during a crowded few weeks in 1989 which saw the arrival of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
What are YOUR thoughts on Ghostbusters II? Do YOU think it holds up to the original film?