Ramis Yes. “Ghostbusters go to Hell” was Danny Aykroyd’s concept for it.
What was your favorite scene from that script that we'll likely never see?
Well, we never really got down to an actual scenario. We had a story. Part of the fun of “Ghostbusters” was developing some kind of lamebrained scientific explanation for what was going on, and I take credit for this:
What Danny had originally conceived was sending us to a special-effects Hell — a netherworld full of phenomenal visual environments and boiling pits and all that stuff.
Interviewer: He does tend to think big when he’s writing these, doesn’t he?
Ramis: Oh, he’s amazing. [laughs] But my thought was that what works so well about the first two is the mundane-ness of it all. So my notion was that Hell exists simultaneously, and in the same place as our consensus reality. But it’s like a film shutter — it’s the darkness between the 24 frames. When we’re blinking on, they’re off — so we blink alternately with this other reality, which is Hell.
So all the Ghostbusters would need to do [to go to Hell] is take themselves “out of phase” one beat. And we create a device to do it, and it’s in a warehouse in Brooklyn. And when we step out of the chamber, it looks just like New York — but it’s Hell. Everything’s gridlocked — no cars are moving, no vehicles are moving, and all the drivers are swearing at each other in different foreign languages. No two people speak the same language. It’s all the worst things about modern urban life, just magnified.
And Heaven was across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey — which was irony. The Ghostbusters had to make this journey from lower Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge.
Ramis goes on to name the actors who would have been the next-gen Ghostbusters. Don't miss it.