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Bill Murray Agreed To Star In Ghostbusters Under One Condition

Hollywood history is littered with stories about actors who had specific demands before they agreed to sign up for a particular project. However, if these performers had the gift of foresight and knew just how successful some of those movies or TV shows would go on to be, perhaps they'd have been more enthusiastic about accepting their parts as soon as they were approached. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have some leverage over Hollywood's studio elites, and Bill Murray used his power to his advantage prior to accepting the role of Dr. Peter Venkman in 1984's "Ghostbusters."

These days, it's impossible to imagine the "Ghostbusters" without any of its original stars involved, but none of them could have predicted that the movie would become a massive hit that spawned a successful franchise that's still going strong. Back when the movie was an unproven idea, though, Bill Murray had ambitions to move away from the types of comedy roles that made him a household name. He only agreed to star in "Ghostbusters" as he saw it as a means to an end, and he made the studio agree to one condition before he boarded the spooky comedy about ghost hunters in NYC.

Bill Murray only agreed to star in Ghostbusters so that he could get his passion project made

Bill Murray isn't the type of actor who accepts a role simply for financial gain. In the early 1980s, he was adamant about adapting W. Somerset Maugham's 1944 novel "The Razor's Edge" as he wanted to do a drama and expand his artistic palette. Unfortunately, movies cost money, and Murray, along with director John Byrum, needed a few million dollars to bring their passion project to the screen.

Enter Columbia Pictures, whose executives were more than happy to foot the bill for "The Razor's Edge" — if Murray agreed to join the cast of "Ghostbusters." According to Byrum, it was Dan Aykroyd who gave Murray the idea to issue the condition to Columbia after he showed initial reluctance to star in the franchise-spawning mega-hit. The studio was more than happy to accept his demand and the rest is, as they say, history (per Biography Channel).

"The Razor's Edge" was also released in 1984. However, unlike "Ghostbusters," the film bombed (via Box Office Mojo).