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Bill Murray Calls Wearing The Ghostbusters Pack 'Torture' Particularly Now That The OG Cast Is A Few Decades Older

 Side by side of Peter in Ghostbusters and older Peter in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.
Side by side of Peter in Ghostbusters and older Peter in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.

While winter frost is giving way over to springtime sun here in the real world, fictional New York City is about to go through a cold front like no other in Sony’s latest specter-vexing horror comedy sequel Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. The titular squad is facing a lineup of supernatural threats that falls more in line with the influential animated series, with the Afterlife characters more formally teaming up with the O.G. squad, including Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman. Along with the familiar quips, fans can possibly expect to see a more pained expression on the actor’s face while lugging around those iconic proton packs.

For the sake of realism in a movie filled with CGI, it’s understandable that franchise directors Ivan Reitman, Paul Feig, Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan didn’t want to have the actors wearing proton packs made purely out of foam or other light materials, so that there was some weight behind their movements. But as Bill Murray described it when the cast guested on CBS This Morning, the packs were a major lowlight of the return.

To be sure, his answer to Gayle King started off positively enough after she asked him his thoughts about the sequel compared to how he felt the first time around. In his words:

bill murray scrooged
bill murray scrooged

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I’m thinking it’s fun that we’ve made something that’s lasted this long. That’s really kind of the best part of it, of seeing it as a movie, as a worker. But the most fun is seeing these people. That’s when we get together, and we remember the pain of before, and the fun of before, and the pain and the fun of the future.

When asked to clarify what he meant by the "pain" side of it, Bill Murray didnt' exactly hesitate before namechecking the proton backs as a source of foul feelings. He continued:

Wearing the damn packs. The packs were uncomfortable. They’re really heavy and, you know, wearing the pack a long time ago was miserable. Wearing the pack now is like torture. It’s really torture. But we’d laugh about how we’d finish a take and then have to walk up a flight of stairs or something, and we’d just stare at each other like — [shakes head incredulously] — ‘This is the end, this is the final one, this is it, right?’ And not the final movie, the final take.

Just as telling as Bill Murray actually speaking the words is Dan Aykroyd’s reaction to his comments, with the Ray Stantz portrayer sitting on the couch with his lips pinched in a tight smile, nodding ever so slightly in agreement.

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Rudd, Ernie Hudson and Mackenzie Grace
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Rudd, Ernie Hudson and Mackenzie Grace

I remember having the proton pack and blaster toy as a kid, and even that small-scale version was pretty miserable for a child’s back, with the hard and unforgiving plastic grinding on the shoulder blades as the bottom kept smacking my tailbone. So I can only imagine that the fully loaded versions would be even more hard-angled and hefty, especially for the actors who haven’t really needed to get regularly decked out with the packs since the second film.

As miserable and torturous as it may have been for Bill Murray, I can’t help but feel like the fandom will make it feel like it was worth the effort. The new movie looks massive, with even more returning O.G. stars like Annie Potts, whose Janine suits up along with the others, as well as the return of Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd, whose comments about driving the Ecto-1 have me pumped about seeing it all on the big screen. Check out the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire trailer below, which also works in the non-corporeal return of the Librarian Ghost.

Without any padded proton packs to be found, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire hits theaters on Friday, March 22, with lots of other upcoming horror movies to get spooked by throughout the 2024 movie schedule.