Stranger Things' creators got permission to use the Ghostbusters uniforms straight from the franchise's creators themselves. Stranger Things season 2 has long been promoted with images of the series' lead quartet -Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) - sporting Ghostbusters Halloween costumes. It turns out the show's producers had to get the okay from the supernatural comedy franchise's creators, who enthusiastically signed off.
Stranger Things seemingly came out of nowhere in 2016, quickly becoming a sensation for Netflix. The Duffer Brothers' 1980s set supernatural/horror series served as an homage to the works of creators like Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Steven Spielberg, while offering a slightly more modern storytelling spin on some of those men's well-established genre tropes.
Stranger Things season 1 didn't shy away from indulging in some unabashed '80s nostalgia, and the kids' appreciation for Ghostbusters in season 2 is both obvious and welcome. In an interview with EW, the Duffer Brothers explain that they had to get the approval of the Ghostbusters franchise's creators - director Ivan Reitman and writer/actor Dan Aykroyd - to use the iconic jumpsuits:
"We got to talk to Ivan Reitman on the phone because he and Dan Aykroyd had to approve it.”
Much to their relief, Reitman claimed to be a fan of the show and was excited to be a part of it:
“[Reitman] said it was flattering. He read the scripts. He had seen the first season or at least had heard of it or pretended like he had. But they were really into being part of the show. Then they sent us all these Ghostbusters toys at the end of the shoot. That’s one of my top 5 most worn-out VHS tapes.”
That the Duffer Brothers would be hardcore Ghostbusters fans should be no real surprise, as their '80s fueled mix of the supernatural and disarming levity is not too far removed from the hijinks of Peter Venkman and friends, though with a decidedly sharper edge. Reitman and Aykroyd, two very astute scholars of pop culture, likely recognize the value of something as sensationally popular as Stranger Things acknowledging them, even as the future of the Ghostbusters franchise itself remains in something of a limbo after the polarizing, financially disappointing 2016 reboot film. They're obviously busy working on one of the most successful shows on television right now, but there are probably worse ideas than having the Duffer Brothers take a stab at reviving the world of Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man somewhere down the line.
Stranger Things season 2 premieres Friday, October 27 on Netflix.