How Winston Was Marginalized In the Original Ghostbusters

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Winston Zeddemore was a much different character in the original Ghostbusters script.

When you look at the history of American films, you can see why some actors are so highly paid, as many of the most successful films each year are based on “star power.” That’s why so many scripts are rewritten to tailor to certain stars, because the studios know the actors often more important to the film’s success than remaining faithful to the original script.

That’s why we’ve seen a script for a Brandon Lee movie rewritten into a “Lethal Weapon” movie rewritten into a “Die Hard” movie, or the classic story of how “Beverly Hills Cop” was a vehicle for Sylvester Stallone before it was retooled for Eddie Murphy.

When it came to 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” the importance of certain characters increased and decreased in based on which actor was going to play the roles. That’s how Winston Zeddemore’s role changed dramatically until it ended up being one that has (pardon the pun) haunted Ernie Hudson for years.

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Did the Ghostbusters Originally Travel Through Time and Other Dimensions?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: The Ghostbusters originally traveled through time and other dimensions.

Released on June 8, 1984, Ghostbusters starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as a trio of parapsychologists who develop a way to actually capture ghosts. With the addition of Ernie Hudson’s character Winston Zeddemore, the four heroes fight ghosts in New York City and get caught up with Murray’s character’s girlfriend (played by Sigourney Weaver) who is possessed by a demon that is aiding the invasion of a demon called Gozer, who famously attacks New York City as a giant version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The movie was a smash hit, becoming the second-highest grossing film of the year behind Beverly Hills Cop.

Just like Beverly Hills Cop, though, Ghostbusters was a dramatically different film as originally written (check out this old Movie Legend about how Beverly Hills Copy was a vehicle for Slyvester Stallone). Read on to see how Dan Aykroyd originally envisioned the “Ghost Smashers!”
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