Over 30 years since it was first released, Ghostbusters remains one of the few movies that truly captures the sarcastic, grumpy, charming essence of NYC on film. As Drew McWeeny rightly pointed out this week, it is also the movie where Murray became "an unassailable superstar." And with an all-female reboot done annoying Upper West Siders and set to come out next year (and more projects possibly in the pipeline), the franchise remains as beloved as ever.

Knowing all this, Sony has wisely decided to release a love letter to the franchise with the first official book about it, Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History. It covers the production of the first two films in extensive detail, which includes new quotes and commentary from director Ivan Reitman and stars Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver.

There are detailed drawings of proton packs, early sketches of Mr. Stay Puft ("bouncy marshmallow man") and Slimer, rare behind-the-scenes photos and NYC filming stories. We learned that the interior of the Los Angeles Central Library largely stood in for the NY Public Library (there were exterior shots there, and plenty more NYC filming at Columbia University, Lincoln Center, Central Park West, Columbus Circle and Tavern on the Green) and that Ghostbusters II required 100,000 gallons of slime (made of methocel, separan, water and red food coloring, for those who want to recreate it at home).

The book also sheds some insights on the good and bad of Ghostbusters II, which may not be as cherished as the original, but is still more fun than most people give it credit for ("There's always room for jello!"). Check out a few quotes below on it, including one piece of classic Murrayfreude:

  • Bill Murray on making a sequel: "It's not going to be called Ghostbusters II," promised Bill Murray in March 1989. "We'll burn in hell if we call it Ghostbusters II. I've suggested The Last Of The Ghostbusters to make sure there won't be anything like a Ghostbusters III. But the script is nowhere near ready, and we start shooting soon." (118)
  • Harold Ramis on the sequel's inspiration: "The moral issue was important to us. The source of the slime would come from negative human behavior. Comedically, it suggested, what if everyone in New York City had to be nice for forty-eight hours?" (121)
  • Director Ivan Reitman on shooting in NYC: "Shooting in New York is not an easy thing," said Reitman. "You have the right to shoot on the street, but everyone has their own right to occupy and cross on the street as well. It can become chaotic unless you know how to handle it. Both Bill and Dan were very effective on the street. People love them, and they were not thrown by the energy and the thousands of people that would show up every day. It was a big party that needed to be controlled." (126)
  • Aykroyd on the original idea for the third film: "For a while the concept for the third movie was that we'd cleaned up all the ghosts in New York and the ghostbusters were out of business," says Aykroyd. "But that's not where we should be going. We should have new ghostbusters doing their thing, being handed the torch by the old." (222)

We also learned that they almost filmed the climactic Stay Puft scene of Ghostbusters at 1 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, because they wanted to film the marshmallow man against the Washington Square arch. And even though it was to be one of the final scenes in the movie, they hadn't settled on the name of the titular group yet when filming it:

The production crew closed north and south traffic on Central Park West and all crosstown traffic between 61st and 67th Streets. "It was the most extraordinary location," remembers William Atherton, of the long stretch of improbably deserted New York pavement. "Central Park West for like, five blocks. And with all the lights, it looks like Triumph of the Will."

The assembled crowds cheered the heroes by name, chanting "ghostbusters, ghostbusters!" Yet at that point in the production, the name of the movie was far from settled. The existence of the 1975 live-action children's television program The Ghost Busters meant that first dibs on the title could be claimed by the show's production company, Filmation. Columbia began talks with Filmation, but prepped backup titles should things fall through, including "Ghoststoppers" and "Ghostblasters." Joe Medjuck reveals that when the crowd extras were chanting "ghostbusters" he called Columbia and held up the receiver, urging them to secure the title and avoid the need for reshoots.

The book also finally explains the full reasoning behind the infamous ghost blowjob scene in the original film, an interlude that remains to this day one of the worst scenes in an otherwise fantastic film. The cast and crew refer to it as the "Fort Detmerring" sequence in the montage of the Ghostbusters' rise to fame—which originally was a full scene shot with Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.

"The idea behind the scene was to give Dan a love interest—a woman who's been dead for a hundred years," explained Ramis. "But the scene was too long and it was in the wrong place in the film."

That is certainly one way of putting it. But let's let Aykroyd have the final word on this one, since it was his darling:

"I don't miss anything that we didn't use," he says. "The ghost in the fort—the seduction ghost—in paranormal research that's a common thing, ghosts doing sexual things to people. I have a friend who had three women visit him in a haunted house in Louisiana, and it was one of the greatest nights of his life. But in under two hours, you obviously can't have everything."

Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History is available for purchase now