There is no Dana. Only Zuul. And many, many years ago, there was no Dana, only Sigourney Weaver. In 1983, the Alien star came in to meet with director Ivan Reitman and audition for a part in a comedy he was putting together called Ghostbusters. Dana would go on to become a love interest for Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), and an integral part of the franchise. But when Weaver sat down with Reitman, she shared a valuable idea that she had for her character, and it went a long way towards helping him crack the ending of the classic comedy.
Ivan Reitman and his son, fellow director Jason Reitman, came on the ReelBlend podcast this week to discuss Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the direct sequel to Ghostbusters I and II that has been decades in the making. The new story introduces new characters, which we break down over the course of the interview, but at one point, Jason turned and asked his father what made Sigourney Weaver so effective at reacting to sci-fi weirdness. In explaining her talents, Ivan Reitman told this amazing story about her audition, saying:
I can hear Peter Venkman saying to Ray at the moment that Dana converts, “Ok. So. She’s a dog.” And that idea ended up being Sigourney Weaver’s, born from her audition and carried through the franchise, all the way to Ghostbusters: Afterlife. It’s not a spoiler to say that we do see the Hounds of Hell in the new movie. They are in the trailer, chasing after Paul Rudd. What’s hilarious, though, is that Weaver didn’t know until just recently how inspirational her contributions were to his screenwriting process. He went on to tell the ReelBlend podcast:
Kudos to Sigourney Weaver for making this bold suggestion, and to Ivan Reitman for listening when it mattered. The hounds made up a big part of Ghostbusters, and are a fun part of the legacy sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. See the new movie now, as it just arrived in theaters and is off to a fast start.
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