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 George Barris Really Design the Ecto-1 for 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: George Barris designed Ecto-1 for Ghostbusters and the Delorean for Back to the Future.

Before he passed away in November, George Barris was dubbed (by himself) the King of the Kustomizers, and really, he was most likely correct, as he was almost certainly the most famous custom car designer in the world. He worked as a custom car designer for many decades. His most famous design was likely the Batmobile for the Batman TV series.

Barris’ design company also customized cars for private sale by turning cars into replicas of famous car designs from various TV series and movies. They would do this for cars that Barris designed but also for cars that he did not design.

Perhaps due to that fact (that he and his company would routinely do customizations of cars that were not his design), Barris over the years became a bit overreaching with his claims over what cars he did designs for. Honestly, if you followed enough of his interviews, you can see his stories change as he took slightly more and more credit as the years went by.
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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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Did Ernie Hudson Lose Out On a Role in the Real Ghostbusters Cartoon That He Played in The Actual Ghostbusters Film?

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

TV URBAN LEGEND: Ernie Hudson auditioned for the role of Winston on the Real Ghostbusters animated series and did not get the job.

For a generation of kids growing up in the late 1980s, there is a very good chance that their first exposure to the world of the Ghostbusters was not, in fact, the popular 1984 film of the same name starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson…

but the animated television series that ran from 1986-1991 (titled The REAL Ghostbusters because of a competing Filmation series called Ghostbusters, which was based on a 1970 animated series called The Ghost Busters).

The animated series adaptation, which was story edited by J. Michael Straczynski (who also wrote a number of episodes) was of a much higher quality than most cartoon adaptations of films. As a result, it hung on for an extended run (five years is an eternity in syndicated cartoon series), although Straczynski departed after the first “season” of 78 episodes due to some changes made to the series (he returned to write a few episodes in 1990 before the series ended).

As is the standard custom for animated adaptations of films, the characters were not voiced by the actors who portrayed them in the film. Lorenzo Music voiced Bill Murray’s character, Peter, Maurice LaMarche voiced Harold Ramis’ character, Egon, Frank Welker voiced Dan Dan Aykroyd’s character Ray and Arsenio Hall voiced Ernie Hudson’s character, Winston. However, did you know that in an odd turn of events, Ernie Hudson actually auditioned to voice Winston? And he lost the role to Arsenio Hall!

Read on to see what happened…

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