Here are the major additions made to the Ghostbusters 2016 Extended Edition. The original Ghostbusters was a huge success back in 1984 and became an instant classic. The film was produced during an era where, outside of the original Star Wars trilogy or the Dirty Harry films, ongoing movie franchises were rare. None of the cast was interested in a sequel either, but once cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters became a success, the studio convinced the major players to reform.
Ghostbusters II was released during a crowded blockbuster season in 1989, where Tim Burton's Batman, Lethal Weapon 2, and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade all nibbled away at its final gross. The movie was a success but was met with a lukewarm response and Bill Murray was unhappy with how it turned out, feeling the special effects overwhelmed the characters and story. Murray's reluctance to take part in Ghostbusters 3 led to years of development, but once co-star and writer Harold Ramis passed away in 2014, it was decided to reboot the franchise instead. Paul Feig's Ghostbusters arrived in cinemas in 2016 and featured an all-female team, comprised of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon (The Spy Who Dumped Me).
A number of major sequences were trimmed for its theatrical release, many of which found their way into the Ghostbusters extended cut. This version adds fifteen minutes which includes a large amount of alternate and extended gags, but some character arcs are restored too. The first involves Erin's (Wigg) boyfriend Phil, who was completely cut from the theatrical version. Phil is an academic and in his first scene, introduces Erin to a colleague, with both being dismissive of Erin's field of study. When Erin is later fired from her job Phil ignores her as she leaves the campus, and in their final scene, they argue about her new ghosthunting profession before they split up.
There's a deleted scene where secretary Kevin (Chris Hemsworth, Thor: Ragnarok), believes the team are really running a failing restaurant, and accidentally stands in some acid Erin knocked over. Later on, Erin punches a blogger who pesters her on the street, which makes newspaper headlines, and there are a few more scenes with Ghostbusters' main villain Rowan. This includes a mildly creepy moment when a woman at the hotel he works at complains about a rash on her back - which is actually a ghostly face pressing through her skin. There's also a brief scene where Dean Filmore (Charles Dance, Games Of Thrones) - who fired Erin for her belief in ghosts - encounters one at a bar and flees in terror.
The Ghostbusters extended cut features its own version of the "Don't cross the streams," scene from the original. This is set up in the concert, where Jillian (McKinnon) warns Erin not to get her beam entangled in hers, and it returns in the finale when they decide to cross the streams to close the portal. It doesn't work though since they need even more power to seal it off. The biggest restoration is a sequence where Rowan - having taken possession of Kevin - forces the police and military to dance. Pieces of this scene played during the credits of the original cut.
While the Ghostbusters Extended Edition doesn't add back anything that dramatically alters the film, the extra beats do help flesh out the characters, including Erin. There are a few extras gems to be found in the alternate jokes in this version too. It's not essential, but those fans who enjoyed the film should have a good time with the extended cut.
- Ghostbusters 3 (2020) release date: Jul 10, 2020