**If you have not seen ‘Ghostbusters’ yet, there are MAJOR SPOILERS in this article. Do not continue unless you want to have some fairly big plot points ruined for you.**
As fun and overall enjoyable as the new ‘Ghostbusters‘ is, it is not without its flaws. While the film did a great job of introducing us to the new team and showed off each of their personalities, that left little time to properly develop the main antagonist, Rowan. Aside from establishing that the villain played by Neil Casey was a little offbeat and bullied, we didn’t really learn much about him or his motivations to unleash an army of malignant spirits on New York City. Even the big reveals involving him and his master plan didn’t feel as important as whatever else was going on with Dr. Erin Gilbert, Dr. Abby Yates, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann, and Patty Tolan. However, there was apparently a very different version of Rowan in earlier drafts with a much more sinister plan.
While speaking to Cinemablend, co-writer Katie Dippold revealed that Rowan had originally intended to summon an evil spirit to unleash all sorts of hell on the city in earlier drafts of the script. There’s no word on whether that wraith would have had anything to do with Zuul, Vinz Clortho, or Gozer, but the writer mentions that the storyline got too complicated and had to be scaled down:
“I think in a very early pitch Paul wanted it to be someone who was electrocuted – if I remember correctly. I can’t remember, but I think for Rowan… There are so many different versions of Rowan. This is the one thing that makes my brain fry. There was actually a draft where what Rowan was doing was trying to bring in something like a dark god. But then something about it just started to feel complicated. It just felt like too much. So then it kind of streamlined to this man who was once bullied that was just bringing in an army of bad ghosts – testing it. It was just a test, but then he’s going to like rip open this barrier and then also he was going to come back in this form of some scary ghost. Once he saw that it worked, then he’d scare the shit out of everyone.”
While it sounds like the earlier versions of Rowan that saw him operating with a bigger bad waiting in the wings may have evoked the 1984 film, it’s good that Feig and Dippold went another way. This movie needed to stand on its own. There were plenty of homages to the original, but they didn’t take anything away from the new cast. Although, the writers didn’t need to completely streamline the character to the point where very little emphasis was placed on his backstory, development, or motivations. But with a sequel all but confirmed, there’s another chance to create a well-formed threat for the new team.
Were you content with Rowan’s mission in the theatrical cut of ‘Ghostbusters’? Or would you have preferred something more complex like in the original drafts? Sound off in the comments.