'The Movies That Made Us' Creator Brian Volk-Weiss on Why He Chose 'Ghostbusters' and 'Die Hard' (Exclusive)

The Movies That Made Us creator Brian Volk-Weiss had a hard time narrowing down the movies to cover in the show's first season. In an interview with PopCulture.com, Volk-Weiss revealed he was close to changing the lineup for the Netflix spinoff's first run. In the end, however, it came down to the Christmas season.

The Movies That Made Us Season 1 dives deep on four movies — Ghostbusters, Die Hard, Home Alone and Dirty Dancing. First things first, Volk-Weiss confirmed that "we are" counting Die Hard as a Christmas movie. He said that both it and Home Alone were chosen because the show would be released close to the holiday.

"[That was] 100-percent planned," Volk-Weiss told PopCulture.com. "If it was not planned, we definitely would've done RoboCop. Alright? That's all you gotta know."

While Christmas may have cost RoboCop its spot in the first season, Volk-Weiss said that he hopes to cover the movie in future episodes, assuming Netflix orders some. Meanwhile, he said that Ghostbusters and Die Hard are tied for his favorite out of these four.

"Oh, Ghostbusters," he said, before reconsidering. "Well, you know, I gotta be honest with you, it's really tied for Ghostbusters and Die Hard. I mean, I actually think if I had a gun to my head and I had to answer with only one, I think I'd go with die hard, even though I love Ghostbusters, like it's so funny... It would be a very hard choice to make, but I think I would go with Die Hard."

Still, Volk-Weiss said that there is a lot to love about Ghostbusters, beginning with its potent childhood nostalgia for many viewers. He argued that, over the years, many people have forgotten just how far-out and original the concept for Ghostbusters really is.

"It's just so quotable," he said, adding: "There's things in life that people know but they don't really think about. But having made the episode, it's such an original concept! Like, it's so original. And... the fact that you had these three actors and this director who were at the height of their power, the fact that they all came together and made this Ghostbusting movie! Like, it was just some random! And I think people forget about that now how random this was."

This aligns perfectly with what Volk-Weiss' shows look for, which is not just an iconic property but a compelling story behind the scenes. He described this to us as a fixation on creative "risks and failure."

"If you look at all 16 episodes between Toys and Movies, what they really are, is a study of failure and risk," Volk-Weiss pointed out, "and that's the thing that people respond to even if they don't know that they're responding to it. It's like I keep hearing about Home Alone where people are like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe it was almost shut down!'"

"[Those topics] are in every, every single piece of DNA of the shows," he went on, "people are like 'oh, they're business stories,' and fair enough, I guess so, but it's really my obsession with failure and risk that's embedded into these shows."


The Movies That Made Us is streaming now on Netflix.