After months of controversy, the long-awaited Ghostbusters reboot finally arrives in theaters this Friday. The new movie, directed by Paul Feig, is not a straight sequel and exists outside the continuity of the original two movies, but it does feature lots of nods to the original work, including cameos and other subtle (and not-so-subtle) references to the 1984 classic.
One of those nods is Slimer, the iconic green ghost who’s a memorable part of the original movie, as well as the subsequent cartoon spinoff. We’ve known for awhile that Slimer is a part of the new movie, as he’s appeared in trailers and TV commercials that show he even gets a female partner in crime. Now we’re hearing that Slimer may have had an even bigger role in earlier stages of the film’s development.
The new Ghostbusters movie’s co-screenwriter, Katie Dippold, gave an interview with Cinema Blend this week, in which she revealed that the filmmakers considered putting a Slimer origin story in the new Ghostbusters movie. According to Dippold, they had a whole elaborate idea, but ultimately decided not to go ahead with it:
“We debated showing the creation of Slimer. There was even a scene once where they are battling an old Italian ghost, but they’re still figuring out the proton packs. So when they fire at it, he just becomes Slimer… It was just like, ‘I don’t know if it feels right to answer what Slimer is when it was created before.’ So that didn’t feel quite right. But then it was like, ‘Okay, so then do we take it out?’ And then it was like, ‘Well, I just want to see Slimer, so…’”
Leaving this out of the movie was probably a good decision. There’s little sense in going into the origin stories of minor characters from the earlier version of the story, especially ones created by a completely different group of filmmakers. And besides, sometimes it’s not worth it to put together an expensive, time-consuming effects shot just in order to service a joke that may not be all that funny.
At any rate, those taking strident positions for or against the Ghostbusters reboot aren’t likely to be swayed one way or another by how deeply the film delves into Slimer’s backstory.
Ghostbusters arrives in U.S. theaters Friday, July 15, 2016.