One of the most joyous distractions from the quarantine is Josh Gad's nostalgia web series Reunited Apart. On his latest episode, the actor brought in most of the original surviving cast of Ghostbusters (1984). Joining Gad were Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and director Ivan Reitman. As per the format of the series with social distancing guidelines, the reunion took place via Zoom video conferencing. The charity chosen for the episode benefitted Equal Justice Initiative. Among the behind-the-scenes subjects discussed of the original 1984 film was John Candy, who was at one point attached to play Louis Tully, which ended up going to his fellow SCTV alum Rick Moranis. Reitman talked about why it didn't work with the late actor.
John Candy Was Original Louis Tully
"The original screenplay, we wrote it for John Candy," Reitman said. "I remember sending it to Candy because I had just worked with him on Stripes. John didn't get it. He kept saying, 'Hey, well, maybe can I do him with a German accent?' And I was a little hesitant right away. I said, 'That's kind of an odd thing. It's a very American, New York-based movie.' He was looking for a handle, and we got into the very uncomfortable conversation and finally, it was clear that he was not going to do it. I literally called Rick Moranis the same day and sent him the script the same day that Candy had turned it down. Rick called me like two hours after he got it, and he said, 'Please thank Candy for turning this down. This is amazing. I know what to do with this.'" Moranis made the character his own playing Louis as the lovable nerd and neighbor of Dana Barrett (Weaver), who's eager-to-please and a social butterfly.
When Murray was initially cast as Peter Venkman, he had his initial doubts about Ghostbusters. "Ivan asked us out at Thanksgiving and showed us the early cut of the ballroom scene," he said. "The first catching the Slimer scene. Remember this? Danny? Sigourney? Anybody remember this? Jason? [They do not.]… but he showed us those scenes without all the special effects done in it. From that moment on, I remember going back to work on Monday and going, 'Guys, let's all calm down. It's going to be really big." The original film and its sequel Ghostbusters II (1989) grossed a combined $511 million worldwide at the box office. Renewed interest led to an all-female remake directed by Paul Feig in 2016. While it shares the same name as the 1984 original, the title was renamed Ghostbusters: Answer the Call for home release. All the participants in the reunion made cameos in original roles for the Feig film.
The upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Ivan's son Jason Reitman will act as the official third film of the franchise with the original cast reprising their roles. Moranis hasn't participated in any of the reunion projects and won't be in the new sequel. Jason was among several surprise guests who stopped by the Reunited Apart episode. Afterlife takes the film away from its New York setting to the Midwest and follows Egon Spengler's (Harold Ramis) daughter and his grandchildren, who discover his old ghostbusting equipment. Ramis, who co-created the franchise with Aykroyd, passed in 2014. The film addresses the character's death and will also act as a tribute to the actor. Jason co-wrote the screenplay with Gil Kenan. The Sony film also stars Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Carrie Coon. Ghostbusters: Afterlife slates for release on March 5th, 2021. You can check out the Reunited Apart episode below.