Ghostbusters Lost Footage

Ghostbusters Fan Fest is officially over. Tons of Ghostheads from all over the world converged on the Sony Pictures lot yesterday to celebrate all things Ghostbusters. And while director Jason Reitman was very hesitant to reveal any new details about the forthcoming sequel he’s working on for 2020 (other than confirming the original cast members would return), he did bring something else special to the fest.

Accompanied by his father Ivan Reitman, filmmaker Jason Reitman revealed alternate takes, outtakes and other never-before-seen, lost Ghostbusters footage from the original production dailies. The original film footage was apparently sitting in a mine in Kansas, but they tracked it down and cut together some of the best bits to reveal at Ghostbusters Fan Fest. Plus, an off-the-cuff remark from Jason Reitman indicated that this unearthed new footage was serving another mysterious purpose.

Below, you can watch the full panel, complete with the footage itself and commentary from both of the Reitmans.

Since everything was running behind, the panel started abruptly, but before the video starts, Jason Reitman asked Ivan Reitman if he had any life advice to throw his way. So here you go:

For those interested, here are the timestamps where you can find just the bits with the lost Ghostbusters footage:

  • First Sequence: 1:23
  • Second Sequence: 5:19
  • Third Sequence: 13:12
  • Fourth Sequence: 18:23
  • Fifth Sequence: 20:29

Unfortunately, the footage didn’t play on a larger screen than the ones on stage, so that’s the best we can do.

What’s interesting is that when Jason Reitman was talking about the discovery of this footage, he had an interesting off-handed remark while introducing the footage they were about to show. Here’s what Reitman said:

“In making this movie, we found something kind of extraordinary. We went to Sony, and we said, ‘We’d really love to get back into the original dailies from 1984. Do you still have them?’ And we found them. They were in a mine in Kansas, and we shipped the boxes to Burbank. And we’ve been going through the footage for reasons I cannot tell you, but along the way we found some really cool stuff.”

It’s that part where Reitman says, ” we’ve been going through the footage for reasons I cannot tell you” that really made us take pause. Because if they were going through this footage in order to release it with a new home video release sometime down the road, then why couldn’t he tell us about that? That makes us think this footage is going to serve some kind of larger purpose in the upcoming Ghostbusters sequel. But how?

Maybe they’re trying to cobble together some audio from the late Harold Ramis on set so they can create new dialogue to use for the character, perhaps as some kind of message left from the past or maybe as a goodbye before dying. What if the new characters find out that Egon Spengler is a relative they didn’t know they had, and they suddenly come into possession of some Ghostbusters gear? Jason Reitman did say the new characters have a connection to the original characters in some way that they aren’t aware of, and maybe the death of Egon Spengler kicks things off. Or maybe he’s just a ghost.

There’s always the possibility that new scenes need to be created for flashbacks. Maybe the old footage is being used as a reference point for visual effects artists to create younger versions of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. On an even wilder train of thought, maybe time travel is involving somehow, and there will be new scenes with those characters we haven’t experienced before.

Since Jason Reitman is playing things so close to the vest, it’s hard to say. But either way, hopefully, a bunch of this footage ends up being released sometime down the road. The alternate takes in the footage above are great, and we’re sure there are plenty more improvised lines that will make us laugh. In the meantime, we’re just waiting for more news on Ghostbusters 2020. The film starts shooting in five weeks and is slated to hit theaters

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