Ghost Town

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Ghost Town

Promotional poster
Directed by David Koepp
Produced by Gavin Polone, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Joseph E. Iberti, Ezra Swerdlow
Written by David Koepp
John Kamps
Starring Teá Leoni
Greg Kinnear
Ricky Gervais
Music by Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography Fred Murray
Edited by Sam Seig
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release Dates 18 September 2008
24 October 2008
Running Time 102 min.
Country USA
Language English
Budget $20 million
IMDB Profile

Ghost Town is a 2008 romantic comedy starring Ricky Gervais in his first leading role. It was co-written and directed by David Koepp whose previous work includes: Jurassic Park (screenplay), Spider-Man (screenplay), War of the Worlds (screenplay), and Stir of Echoes (director).


Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais), is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts. Even worse, they all want something from him, particularly Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) who pesters him into breaking up the impending marriage of his widow Gwen (Téa Leoni). That puts Pincus squarely in the middle of a triangle with spirited result.


  • Ricky Gervais as Bertram Pincus D.D.S.
  • Greg Kinnear as Frank Herlihy
  • Téa Leoni as Gwen
  • Billy Campbell as Richard
  • Aasif Mandvi as Dr. Prashar
  • Kristen Wiig as Surgeon
  • Dana Ivey as Marjorie Pickthall
  • Jeff Hiller as Naked Guy

Box Office

For the opening weekend in the U.S. the film was on 1,505 screens and made $5,012,315. The next weekend yielded another $2,930,904 on 1,512 screens.

Critical Reception

Overall, Gervais and the film received a high volume of positive reviews from critics. The film has a rating of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with over 140 reviews counted and the website gave the film a Certified Fresh Award. Gervais received the award and his acceptance speech can be seen here.

From San Francisco Chronicle : "Both very funny and a bit of a tearjerker, with an on-the-money performance from Ricky Gervais."

From Variety : "Smartly supernatural, and featuring sensational performances by Ricky Gervais and Tea Leoni, Ghost Town is a 'Topper' for our times."

From Washington Post: "A sweet and hilarious romantic comedy featuring a breakout performance by British comic genius Ricky Gervais, inspires viewers to pause, reflect and praise one of the most rare and wondrous occurrences in contemporary cinema: the Good Movie."

From Rolling Stone: "The fall movie season achieves comic liftoff thanks to Ricky Gervais, a master of deadpan hilarity playing a dentist who sees dead people."

Ricky Gervais Quotes in the Press

Ricky Gervais as Bertram Pincus

On Bertram Pincus: "He actually was socially awkward, and that's how he survived. No one wants to see clever, handsome people doing well and being nice… But you can get by with anything if you're wounded and hurt and closed. People feel sorry for you because you're missing out. I feel sorry for a rich, lonely person as much as I feel sorry for a poor, lonely person. Loneliness tops everything." USA Today

On filming in New York: "Give me New York any day. Give me cynicism… There's nothing worse to me than a neighbor who wants to be friends. I've got enough friends. Get away! Call me if there's a fire." USA Today

On improvising with Kristen Wiig: “We did about 15 takes, and every take was different,” Chicago Tribune

On reasons for choosing Ghost Town: “I’m an elitist, unashamed of it… I don’t like committees, and I want to do it my way, good or bad. I did this for the fun of it, not to watch my fat face on a film that I don’t like but everyone else does.” Chicago Tribune “The reason I took Ghost Town was that it's the best script that I read in five years and also it's very collaborative. David Koepp knew I was a writer and director myself. He and I went off and rewrote the script as I wanted it. I went ‘fine,’ and even on set it was very collaborative.” Seattle PI

On themes of redemption: "Redemption is probably my favorite theme now, the older I get… I never understood it. Now I get it. If you want someone to get better and they do, that's a victory for good. It's lovely, and I've snuck it into everything I do." USA Today

Fan Creations

Ghost Town Trailer by RoryBinks

A brilliant animation of the trailer for Ghost Town has been made by skilled animator, RoryBinks. It can be seen here on Youtube.

Rory's animation was mentioned by Gervais on his blog on 7 October 2008
"Talking of effort. Take a look at this great animation of the Ghost Town trailer."
-Ricky Gervais

It was also added to The Ricky Gervais Podcast from iTunes on 9 October 2008 with this tagline:
"You've got to admire the effort... Here's a great animated version of the Ghost Town trailer by Rory Binks."

Ghost Town Poster by ScottHanson (Yet to be mentioned on Ricky's blog.


In November 2007, Kirsty Wark interviewed Ricky Gervais on the set of the film in New York. The interview was broadcast on 'Newsnight Review' (BBC 2) on 09 November 2007. It can be here viewed on YouTube

Ghost Town was filmed on the Upper East Side of New York City in 2007. Gervais became so enamored with the locale that he purchased an apartment in the area for $1.66 million.


  • Geoff Zanelli: "Original music for Ghost Town"
  • Beatles: "I'm Looking Through You" (Opening Credits)
  • Dusty Wright: "I'm Still in Love (W/ You)"
  • Wilco: "Please Be Patient With Me"
  • Aram Khachaturian: "Sabre Dance"
  • Citizen Cope: "Sideways"
  • Franz Joseph Haydn: "String Quartet Op. 1 No. 6 in C - 4th Movement"
  • Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington: "Theme from Rawhide"
  • Brendan Benson: "What I'm Looking For"
  • Mason Jennings: "Which Way Your Heart Will Go"
  • John Mayer: "The Heart of Life" (Closing Credits)


External links