As you can see, Ivo Shandor is wearing a plain business suit, almost looking like Rod Serling of “The Twilight Zone,” and he’s petting the two terror dogs who inhabited Dana Barrett and Louis Tully.
This would have been an interesting casting decision because, at the time, Reubens wasn’t yet a household name. Reubens was gaining steam for his live shows and HBO special as Pee-wee Herman, but both “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” had yet to exist, so it would have been another relatively unknown actor taking on this villainous role.
Knowing Reubens’ work, it’s easy to imagine how he might have played this role. Though it likely wouldn’t have been as scary as the version of Gozer that ended up on the big screen, I could imagine him delivering a performance that goes back and forth between dry line delivery and terror. Actually, imagining Reubens doing some variation on Pee-wee Herman as the villain, going back and forth between zaniness and horror, would have been amazing, too. But perhaps it’s best that Reubens passed on the role, because he ended up finding his calling when the Pee-wee movies and TV series turned out to be a hit, and the rest is history.
Back in 2019, at New York Comic-Con, the Shreck family presented Paul Reubens (pictured above with Jeff Shreck Jr.) with a storyboard showing the iteration of Gozer that he would have played in “Ghostbusters.” In fact, they even had him sign the storyboard, and it’s now being preserved in the family’s impressively massive collection of “Ghostbusters” memorabilia. If you haven’t checked out their incredible assembly of “Ghostbusters” paraphernalia, you should check out their Facebook page. It’s truly a treasure trove of “Ghostbusters” stuff. Thanks to the Shreck family for letting us use their photos and keeping “Ghostbusters” fandom going strong.