Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Ghostbusters' live read reveals script secrets

A re-imagined GB cast with Black, Rogen, Wilson
Courtesy EW
Jason Reitman is not only an acclaimed filmmaker (Jennifer’s Body, Juno) but is the son of Ghostbusters director, Ivan Reitman. He also does this really cool "live-read" of famous movies such as The Princess Bride and The Breakfast Club, featuring famous actors.

Naturally, doing a live-read of Ghostbusters was an easy choice since he had access to, not only the original script from dear old dad, but spent time on the set as a boy - and that's what he did Dec. 13 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with Seth Rogen (reading as Venkman), Jack Black (Ray), Rainn Wilson (Egon) and Kristen Bell (Dana).

"It was a part of my life growing up," Reitman told Entertainment Weekly about his decision to do the GB read.

"I have one of the original Ghostbuster guns in my house. That is the one thing they want to see, and want to take a photo with. I understand the energy around that film. To me it’s similar to The Princess Bride live-read we did last year. People have a relationship with the film that goes beyond normal movies."

While reviewing the script and talking to dad (who also worked with Murray on Meatballs and Stripes), he learned that many of Bill Murray’s lines were improvised. Some of these lines are iconic and spring to mind immediately when you think of the film. According to an exclusive over at EW.com, Bill Murray was making things up as he went along.

"While almost all of the dialogue in original screenplay is echoed on screen, the Venkman character is completely improvised. It’s as if Bill Murray was given a mumblecore-style essay about each scene and then permitted to say whatever he wanted as long as he got the point across," Reitman tells EW.

"He slimed me" is in the script, but not the follow-up line: "I feel so funky." Also added was Venkman's "magic act" in the hotel dining room during the team's first busting gig.

For the live-read, Reitman merged the original script with a transcript of the film, so no improvised lines from Murray would be missed.

Other secrets revealed about the movie, according to PasteMagazine.com, include the facts that Ecto-1 was originally envisioned to be a gold ambulance, painted black; Slimer was originally yellow; and the tan uniforms they wore were supposed to be "matching blue futuristic jumpsuits" with "brushed-metal, flip-down ecto-visors worn on the head like a welder’s mask."

Want to compare notes on the Ghostbusters scripts? Check out the original shooting script versus the final film transcript.

-Larissa Mrykalo

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