When the cast of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters was announced back in January, the all-female leads had a lot of detractors including one of the original Ghostbusters, Ernie Hudson. He later had a change of heart, and now it’s been revealed that he will appear in the new movie. Apparently, there was a paycheck to be had.
It’s not hard to see why a new Ghostbusters would feel a little bit weird for Hudson, though. Being part of the original franchise was a mixed bag for him, as he described in an essay earlier this year. But while he felt screwed out of a better part, he knows what an impact Ghostbusters has had on pop culture and said he doesn’t take his experience for granted and happily tours the convention circuit under the Ghostbusters banner. (To say nothing of the rest of his undeniably successful career, but still. He’s Winston Zeddemore, first and foremost if you ask anyone.)
There’s another layer to this that makes Hudson joining the cast kind of a big deal. After Harold Ramis died in February 2014, Hudson was clearly devastated and said that there couldn’t be another Ghostbusters without him. The new movie was announced the following year, so it probably felt strange for Hudson to see that unfold; he credits Ramis with helping to kickstart his career.
It’s wonderful to see Hudson come around, even this late in the game. Today also marked the final day of principal photography on Ghostbusters, which took place in New York City, appropriately enough.
According to another Ghostbusters fan account, Hudson was indeed on the set today:
While these are from fan sites that aren’t officially affiliated with Paramount or the movie, Paul Feig confirmed the end of the shoot a couple of days ago when he thanked people for sending him birthday wishes:
It’s bittersweet for the production, but the bitterest, sweetest part about Ernie Hudson joining Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray for cameos is that almost the whole band is back together. I’m not ready for a hologram or CGI Harold Ramis, but there will surely be some kind of tribute to the brains of the Ghostbusters.