We’re finally getting a new Ghostbusters movie this year, and director Paul Feig has promised more than a few nods to the 1984 original. Here’s a close look at the new official “ECTO-1” ghostbusting vehicle, its motorcycle sidekick and some awesome cosplay cars!
Yesterday, Sony Studios invited a gaggle of diehard Ghostbusters fans and members of the media to their Culver City facility to watch the first trailer for the new movie and check out a few props. I snuck in by skitching on Steven Spielberg’s Tesla Model X.
Obviously we can’t glean every detail of a two-hour movie from a two-minute trailer, and I’m sure our friends at io9 will do a complete deconstruction soon.
But basically, forget the backstory from the 80's Ghostbusters movies because the new one starts fresh. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are nerdy friends who get involved in the paranormal business, Kate McKinnon’s character gets invited to help them build ghost-catching technology (which will undoubtedly include nods to the original movies) and then Leslie Jones joins as the group’s down-to-earth everywoman.
So far, a pretty similar team dynamic to the first one. Except at some point Chris Hemsworth gets brought on. He doesn’t do much in this first trailer, so maybe he’s just around as beefcake.
As for the ghosts, they look more “humanoid,” less demonic like Zuul or delightfully absurd like the skyscraper-sized Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. They also seemed to be in period-costume, so maybe there’s some kind of connection to New York’s history?
Slimer, of course, will be at least one exception. “You can’t have Ghostbusters without Slimer,” director Feig told us. Ivan Reitman, who directed the original movie, is a producer for the new one and said he never would have imagined Slimer (or the movie in general) becoming a cultural icon.
“We just called it the John Belushi ghost [while we were writing Ghostbusters],” Reitman said. Apparently the first movie’s writers weren’t even sure what Slimer was going to be about as the film came together, “we just knew it would eat a lot.”
Everyone remembers the 1959 Cadillac ambulance that Bill Murray and company rode into battle against their demonic enemies in the original movie.
That car was called “ECTO-1;” as in “ectoplasm,” which is basically fictional ghost blood. (Or something.) It’s still alive and leaking fluids on Sony’s lot in Culver City:
The new ECTO-1 is also a Cadillac again, this time it’s a Reagan-era Fleetwood hearse—probably something that would have been in service in real life when the original Ghostbusters flick was in theaters.
It gets to bear the “ECTO-1" name again because the new movie is a reboot, not another sequel. So to be clear; the 2016 Ghostbusters takes place in a universe without Bill Murray, Zuul or the events from the 1984 Ghostbusters or 1989 Ghostbusters II. Unless those characters come back I guess. Hollywood!
Feig posed for a few pictures with the car, and got the whole flock of fans together for some pretty awesome cosplay crowd pics. Click through the gallery to see them:
In the new movie the car will be introduced with a laugh, just like the original. But the backstory of this actual vehicle is a little more mysterious.
Our resident license plate expert Doug DeMuro told me that this tag is obviously fake, because “All NY vanity plates are flat, not embossed.” Apparently the “real” ECTO-1 New York plate is on a 2005 Acura TSX on Long Island.
The new ECTO-1's New York registration sticker, which looked real enough to me, identifies the car as a 2006 Chevrolet four-door sedan with the vehicle identification number of 2G1WH62K669110023. Carfax claims that VIN is invalid but calls it “close to an Impala or Monte Carlo.”
At first I thought it was just an old body on a newer chassis, but that seems unnecessarily convoluted even for movie making. So I might assume the car isn’t really registered at all and now exists purely for prop purposes.
As for decorations, the ghost hood ornament is clearly the coolest touch.
Other than a hilariously oversized emergency light and what look like soda kegs mounted on the roof, the new ECTO-1 isn’t nearly as visually interesting as the original movie’s car. (Cars from the ‘80s rarely were as striking as ones from the ‘50s.) The interior, which I could barely see through reflective glass and locked doors, looked stock standard. Hopefully the ridiculous signature siren makes a comeback.
In the spirit of keeping the hype-train rolling, Sony redecorated one of their offices in a Ghostbusters garage motif. Much to the chagrin of the receptionist, who kept being asked to get out of the way so fans could get their pictures taken sitting at her desk.
Parked right inside the entrance was ECTO-2, which looks like a 1970's Japanese dual-sport motorcycle carrying a crate full of groceries from a junkyard. Apparently Chris Hemsworth will ride it in the movie, but the friendly women working in the office couldn’t tell me anything else about it.
Of the 20 or 30 folks that showed up to Sony’s event dressed as Ghostbusters, at least two of them drove their own “unofficial” ECTO-1s. These were sitting out near the main lot full of Priuses and Range Rovers.
I think this new movie is going to have a really hard time hitting the original’s “iconic” status, but it still looks like a lot of fun. I’m sure we’ll see plenty more between now and the July release.
Images by the author