Although Harold Ramis could not make a cameo like his costars from the original Ghostbusters due to his death in 2014, you can see a bust of Harold just outside of Erin's university office near the beginning of the film.
At one point Erin proclaims: "Books can't fly and neither can babies". Both happened in the original Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989).
After Erin comes to Abby's lab and announces that she has been fired, Abby says, 'Unlike Columbia, this institute is 100% behind us.' This is a reference to Ghostbusters (1984), where Columbia University allowed its facilities to be used for filming as long as its name was never mentioned.
Chris Hemsworth was concerned having to face off against three funny women for the interview scene as he doesn't consider himself much of an improviser, but when the time came he improvised the bit with the lens-free glasses and the Mike Hat line among others.
In some of the posters featuring Holtzman, on her proton pack is the number 2206. This is the same number as Dana Barrett's apartment in Ghostbusters (1984).
When Erin Gilbert is giving her presentation on quantum physics, she writes equations on a board, one of which spells out the equation [Pa/RA(NO+RM)alS+UD1ies/Lab]com. If you type this formula in a Google search you will be redirected to a Ghostbusters marketing website, an Easter egg present in the film. As of October 2017 the website has been taken offline.
During the 1990s, Dan Aykroyd's concept for a third Ghostbusters film revolved around the Ghostbusters traveling to an alternate, hellish version of New York City. Columbia Pictures balked at the proposed $150m budget. Ultimately, Ghostbusters (2016) ended up with a $144m budget, although inflation means it cost less than Aykroyd's proposed sequel.
The role of Patty Tolan, played by Leslie Jones, was originally written for Melissa McCarthy. Paul Feig realized that McCarthy had already played similar characters in his previous films, explaining "I wanted to unleash Leslie on the public in the same way we unleashed Melissa on the public in Bridesmaids (2011), with a very showy role."
Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters (1984) director Ivan Reitman, was asked in an interview if he would consider directing the reboot. Reitman joked that, based on his existing work, his version of the film would just be people talking about ghosts. In 2019, 3 years after this film's release Jason Reitman announced he was helming an all new Ghostbusters movie. A sequel to the Original.
When possessed Kevin shows the Ghostbusters the glory days of New York City and summons ghosts, there's an advertisement saying "That's a big" and showing a Twinkie -- a reference to Spengler's 35-foot-long, 600-pound Twinkie metaphor in the original Ghostbusters (1984).
When the Ghostbusters' early version of the proton pack fails and gets crushed by the subway train, the sound it emits is the same sound of the Millennium Falcon hyperdrive failing in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
When the Ghostbusters open the container with the ghost for Dr. Martin Heiss, he jokingly calls the ghost "Casper" in reference to the children's cartoon character "Casper, the friendly ghost". The creators of Ghostbusters (1984) were sued by the owners of the "Casper" properties for $50 million plus the destruction of the film prints. because their logo looked too similar to their character "Fatso", a member of "The Ghostly Trio". But in 1986 the case was ruled in favor of "Ghostbusters". Nevertheless the live-action adaptation of Casper (1995) featured a cameo of Dan Aykroyd as Ghostbuster Ray Stantz.
At one point in the movie, Holtzmann says "they are heavier than you think" with regards to the proton packs. During the filming of the first two original Ghostbuster movies, the actors often complained about the weight of the proton packs.
In the end credits, special thanks are given to "GB Superfan" Ryan E. Kemp who died in October 2015. Kemp had met with Paul Feig on two occasions and was positive about the prospect of this reboot.
The studio didn't want the scene of Shanks flipping off the women as they were worried it would "scare away families." Early internet comments presumably before the focus became some fans complaining about the female cast begged Paul Feig to make it family friendly like the original Ghostbusters (1984). "If you watch the original they swear constantly, they smoke constantly, and then there's fellatio from a ghost. So people remember what they want to remember."
The ghost Slimer got his name in the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters (1986). His name is not spoken in any of the movies, but appears in the credits of Ghostbusters II (1989).
Erin has an Apker Award from the American Physical Society on the wall in her office. This is a real annual award for outstanding achievements in physics by an undergraduate student.
In the late 2000s, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd supervised a script for a third Ghostbusters film written by Year One (2009) co-writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. Bill Murray later said, in an interview with GQ, that he never read the script after Year One was a commercial and critical failure. Later, Etan Cohen wrote a draft. Aykroyd vehemently denied a rumor that Murray shredded the script. During an appearance on the Howard Stern Show, Murray admitted he had not read that draft either.
During the climax, the number 1984 is seen on Jillian Holtzmann's Proton pack. 1984 the year the original Ghostbusters (1984) was released in theaters. It is also the year in which Kate McKinnon was born.
When the Ghostbusters are driving to the rock concert, they pass the New York Public Library, where the original opens with. They also pass the "docking" area where Ecto-1 pulled out of after their meeting with the mayor in the original Ghostbusters (1984).
There is also tribute to John Candy, who was originally approached to play Louis in the original Ghostbusters (1984) but turned down the part. The Dean of Higgins university, where Abby and Holtzmann work, is named Thomas Shanks. Tommy Shanks was one of John Candy's characters in SCTV (1976). John Candy is also featured in the original Ghostbusters music video.
Holtzman calls Pringles potato chips "salty parabolas". The shape of a Pringles potato chip really is a hyperbolic paraboloid or a saddle surface. Parabolas are two-dimensional.
Emma Stone turned down an offer to star in the movie. She stated that while she liked the script, she did not want to commit to another potential series so soon after appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).
Holtzmann's hairstyle and glasses resemble her counterpart Egon from Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters (1988).
The character Jillian Holtzmann wears a necklace throughout the film in the shape of a U with a screw going through it. The Ghostbusters-inspired "Holtzman's Screw U" necklace pendant has since been created and is sold online.
The four main cast members all joined the movie because they themselves were fans of the original Ghostbusters (1984) movie (and in Melissa McCarthy's case, The Real Ghostbusters (1986)).
In an interview with 'Den of Geek', Paul Feig revealed that the first cut of the movie was 4 hours and 15 minutes long.
Rowan has a certificate for a Hughes Medal on his wall. This is an actual award that is given out biennially by the Royal Society of London "in recognition of an original discovery in the physical sciences, particularly electricity and magnetism or their applications".
Producer Dan Aykroyd revealed in an interview: "You know, the director, he spent too much on it, and he didn't shoot scenes we suggested to him, several scenes that were gonna be needed and he said, no, we don't need them, and then we tested the movie and they needed them and he had to go back... about 30 to 40 millions in re-shoots, so... he will not be back on the Sony line any time soon".
Even though the movie is set New York City, most of the filming was done on locations in and around Boston. These locations include Chinatown in Boston, Easton, a hangar and runway on the old South Weymouth Naval Air Station (now Union Point condo complex) in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, and the old Everett High School in Everett, Massachusetts. The runway set at Union Point was made to appear as a 2-block stretch of Times Square (42nd Street to 44th Street), complete with street lights, lots of green screens and the focal point being a two-story structure with a office building feel to it. The crosswalks the production painted on the asphalt are currently still visible on the runway.
Eliza Dushku was floated around as one of the members of the team with her name cropping up in some early credits works and the actress herself even dressing as a Ghostbuster for Halloween.
When Erin first visits Abby at Higgins University, a sign on the door to Abby's lab reads "Do not write (stupid) things on this door!". This is a call back to the original Ghostbusters (1984) film where on the door of the Ghostbusters university lab someone has written "VENKMAN BURN IN HELL".
Kate McKinnon designed her character Holtzmann's hairstyle. Contrary to some internet speculation it is not based on the cartoon Egon's hair.
As of January 2019 this film holds the title for 'most disliked' trailer ever on YouTube.
The joke of Ed Begley Jr. being Ed Mulgrave Jr. as opposed to Ed Mulgrave Sr. is an homage to Ed Begley Sr. and Ed Begley Jr who are both actors.
The studio had wanted to make Ghostbusters 3 for many years. When Dan Aykroyd was asked many times about the third film, his answer was always yes - on condition that all principal Ghostbusters (1984) cast members including Ivan Reitman (who directed the first two films) return. The only main problem according to the main players was Bill Murray himself, who shows a lack of interest in reprising the role of Peter Venkman. However, the cast did reprise their roles in the 2009 video game, which is unofficially considered the third film and takes place two years after the events of Ghostbusters II (1989). According to Reitman, when he met Murray in 2011, Murray already had shown loss of interest when the subject was brought up although there was no script at that time. The passing of Harold Ramis in early 2014 was the final straw that two weeks after that Reitman announced that he didn't want to direct it, resulting in Ghostbusters 3 being canned.
Paul Feig calls Zach Woods "literally the best improviser I've ever worked with, across the board." He was cast even before the Ghostbusters themselves.
Aldridge Mansion is loosely based on the Old Merchant's House on 4th street in Manhattan, which is also a museum open to the public.
Anna Faris, Alyssa Milano, and Eliza Dushku were rumored or mentioned by Dan Aykroyd as potential female Ghostbusters, before the project was a reboot.
A poster of the Boris Karloff film Isle of the Snake People (1971) is on display when the villain recreates the glory days of 1970s New York City. Such a recreation is complete with movie posters (Taxi Driver (1976)), neon signs, naughty businesses, billboards advertising products from the time period. The "War Is Over (If You Want It)" billboard is also seen; John Lennon and Yoko Ono paid for these billboards to be put up during the Vietnam War as a form of protest against the war. Lennon's 1971 single "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" accompanied the billboards.
The equipment test in the alley was added in re-shoots. It was suggested by Melissa McCarthy. The alley was infested with rats.
Chris Hemsworth's big possessed dance sequence was the toughest scene Paul Feig had to cut from the theatrical version.
Higgins University is believed to be named after Steve Higgins who plays the dean. Higgins is a writer and producer on Saturday Night Live (1975). Director Paul Feig denies this, saying the name was chosen long before casting.
Jennifer Lawrence and Rebel Wilson were considered by director Paul Feig for roles in the movie.
Kristen Wiig had to be slimed twice as the first one missed her face and the second blast knocked her wig off. Instead of taking another two hours to reset and try again they just cut the two together and added some digital slime for good measure.
The concert hall scene had an earlier iteration that took place at Comic-Con. "I just love the idea that Comic-Con's the one place that you can walk in fully-armed and everybody just thinks 'oh it's your costume!'"
The creepy parade balloons are based on actual Macy's parade balloons from long ago.
Four of the cast members, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Cecily Strong have been Saturday Night Live (1975) cast members. At the time of release, Melissa McCarthy had also hosted SNL four times. Of the original cast, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd were also SNL stars, while Harold Ramis was a writer for the Canadian sketch show SCTV (1976), co-starring Rick Moranis.
Some scenes were filmed at the Ames family Stone Mansion at Borderland State Park in Massachusetts, where the Stone Lodge/Lake scenes for Shutter Island (2010) were filmed.
During the title sequence, there is a shot of the library of Columbia University. Parts of Ghostbusters (1984) were filmed at Columbia University.
Leslie mentions that Rowan's clothes make him look like Captain Kirk. Chris Hemsworth played Captain Kirk's father in Star Trek (2009).
Despite some avoiding the movie at the theaters, it still found some success. In addition to inspiring many fans who appreciated seeing female scientists portrayed on the big screen, the film and the cast were all nominated for several awards, and a few took some home. Melissa McCarthy won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie Actress. The film also won Favorite Movie at the 2017 Kids' Choice Awards, beating huge blockbuster titles like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), and Favorite Movie Actor and Favorite Movie Actress (Chris Hemsworth and Melissa McCarthy).
The car the Ghostbusters use which Patty got from her uncle is a 1983 Cadillac funeral coach 'Ecto-1'.
Was released after Valentine's Day 2016, which in Ghostbusters II (1989) a psychic predicted to be the day the world ended.
Aldridge Mansion is located at Boston University where it functions as their Alumni house, so the skyline behind it is added digitally.
Slimer was created with an actual puppet. An early script gave him an origin as a gangster who killed someone in New York City's Rainbow Room before dying himself.
The car that Melissa McCarthy's Abby falls onto is her character's car in The Heat (2013).
This will be the 4th time Michael McDonald (Jonathan the Theater Manager) appears in a movie starring Melissa McCarthy. He also appeared in The Boss (2016), Spy (2015) and The Heat (2013).
The painting of Gertrude Aldridge bears a strong resemblance to the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989).
Erin notes that her red hair dye is called "Garfield." Though she says "the President [James A. Garfield], not the cat," the cat has a Ghostbusters connection of its own: Both Bill Murray and Lorenzo Music have shared the roles of Garfield the cat and Peter Venkman the Ghostbuster.
Erin wears an MIT class ring on her right hand, visible in close-ups and in another scene she wears an MIT sweatshirt.
Corvette Summer is one of Paul Feig's favorite movies, and it stars Annie Potts as a character named Vanessa. Her cameo here is as a character named Vanessa.
A third Ghostbusters film had been stalled in development for nearly 25 years, until director Paul Feig pitched a reboot instead.
Mindy Kaling mentioned the idea of an all-female remake of Ghostbusters (1984) in her 2011 book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)." She is not, however, involved with the making of this film.
The extended cut features an additional fifteen minutes, and Paul Feig talks about the reasoning behind cutting bits for a theatrical release. Oftentimes the details are dropped in favor of pacing, and it's not always the best choice. "That's why it takes us like half a year to edit and do test screenings to find what we need and what we don't need." He points out later that the energy of a theatrical cut should play to the room while a version made for home video is designed for viewers no longer dependent on others' laughter.
Paul Feig and Chris Hemsworth have the same agent, and that's how he got word that Hemsworth was interested in joining the film.
The first property viewed, deemed too expensive, is the headquarters in Ghostbusters (1984).
When Chris Hemsworth (an Australian actor) says "you know, an aquarium is like a submarine for fish", this could be a parody of an infamous comment made by Australian politician John Madigan at 02 February 2015 on ABC's "Q&A" program, in which he says "submarines are the spaceships of the ocean".
First Ghostbusters film to introduce another ghost of Slimer's kind, a love interest in the form of Slimerette.
The extended cut runs 2 hours and 13 minutes, making this the longest Ghostbusters movie to date.
Jillian Holtzmann eats Pringles potato chips as she ghost hunts. In the original Ghostbusters (1984), Venkman has an open bag of Wise chips with him when he meets Walter Peck.
In early pre-production, Anne Hathaway was reportedly considered for a role. The role was supposedly a doctor named Anna.
Martin Heiss' fashion sense is widely believed to be based on Paul Feig's own flamboyant fashion sense, but Feig denies this.
The Irish Pub in Time Square says "Irish Since 1984", year of the original Ghostbusters (1984).
Paul Feig knew Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live (1975) and had met her at after-parties, but it wasn't until he read in an interview that one of childhood dreams was to be a Ghostbuster that he thought to have her come in for the film.
The Higgins Institute was named that well before Steve Higgins was cast as its dean. His character name, Thomas Shanks, is a nod to an old SCTV sketch with John Candy.
Bill Murray says "Atta girl!" to Erin Gilbert. He previously said the same thing in Scrooged (1988)
The character name Erin Gilbert is in fact a combination of two characters played by Julia Roberts. Erin is based on Erin Brockovich (2000), Roberts' award-winning role, while the last name Gilbert refers to author Elizabeth Gilbert, the author that Roberts played in Eat Pray Love (2010). Gilbert's book is also mentioned in the movie as well.
Five actors who appeared as the crew in Other Space (2015), created by Paul Feig, have roles--ranging from brief cameos to major parts--in the film: Neil Casey, Eugene Cordero, Bess Rous, Karan Soni, and Milana Vayntrub.
Katie Dippold wrote the screenplay. She also wrote the cop comedy The Heat (2013), which also starred Melissa McCarthy.
Paul Feig originally envisioned an opening involving "an old guy getting electrocuted" but says they "mercifully" threw it out in favor of Katie Dippold's suggestion for a more iconic, old-NY feel.
Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig were together on Bridesmaids (2011), also directed by Paul Feig.
All four main actresses have been nominated for Emmys for their work on Saturday Night Live (1975). As of August 2018, Kate McKinnon has won two Emmys in the Supporting Actress category and Melissa McCarthy has won one for her Guest actress appearance. Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones have been nominated but have yet to win.
The film reunites Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Perkins of Weeds (2005). Their scenes are in the extended version only.
The Aldridge Mansion may be named for Ghostbusters (1984) costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge.
Melissa McCarthy, Zach Woods, Jessica Chaffin, Michael McDonald, Adam Ray, Nate Corddry, and Steve Bannos all worked together on The Heat (2013).
Kate McKinnon ad-libbed The Wizard of Oz (1939) song lyric "Come out, come out, wherever you are." Paul Feig and Katie Dippold however, did not recognize the reference in the audio commentary, which resulted in further criticism.
Melissa McCarthy and Cecily Strong previously co-starred together in The Boss (2016).
They got push-back, presumably from the studio, on the flasher ghost for fear it would be offensive. Paul Feig says the trouble started with preliminary artwork that was done including some pieces showing the flasher with "an enormous demon mouth and tongue coming out right where his junk is." This is a rare instance of studio push-back being understandable.
The film features frequent product placement from both Papa Johns Pizza and Coca-cola. However, when the girls are having Papa Johns Pizza for lunch, their soda cups have no label. This is because Papa Johns sells Pepsi products instead, therefore they couldn't be drinking Coke products because it would have been a conflict of corporate interest.
Kevin's last name is visible on his signed beefcake photos as Beckman, which resembles the last name of Bill Murray's character in the original movies, Peter Venkman.
The Pringles bit is not an example of product placement. They just think Pringles are funny. By contrast, Papa Johns did pay money to be in the film. (Paul Feig and Katie Dippold make no attempt to defend it.)
Paul Feig thinks Kristen Wiig is similar to someone like Chris Farley in that both performers have comedy in their veins. Her current focus on dramatic material made him think she wouldn't be interested in this film, but Wiig actually reached out to Feig to request a role even if it was just a small one.
They planned a gag for later in the film where a nerd-bro sees the women in uniform and says "Nice vacuums" only to be zapped in the butt by Patty, but they went with the earlier one instead involving the YouTube comments.
The Aldridge mansion tour guide mentioned the grandfather clock was put on a lifeboat of the RMS Titanic, a ship which appeared in Ghostbusters II (1989).
Steve Higgins (Dean Shanks) and David Allen (Electrocuted Ghost/Sparky) previously starred together in the TV series Higgins Boys and Gruber (1990).
Daniel Ramis: son of Harold Ramis has a small role as a Metal Head outside the concert Rowan attends.