A wacky comedy about a father too obsessed with work to spend quality time with his family. He dies in a car crash, but instead of “going on” he finds himself stuck in this world. He and his kids decide to just keep his untimely demise a secret and keep leading a “normal” life. But this is harder than it seems, since he disappears in bright light, tends to sink into the floor, etc. In the process he realizes that his family is the most important thing in his life and in a surprise twist finds out why he’s still on earth.
This is one of those movies with a convoluted history. Steven Spielberg had read Short Circuit, liked it, and asked Maddock and Wilson to do a rewrite on a script titled Ghost Boy, about a boy who dies and comes back to live with his family. After many meetings it was decided to change the story to Ghost Dad, and try to come up with a way for him to not really be dead at the end. Maddock and Wilson wrote a version with those elements. The movie was cast and special effects tests were made with a major star. Then, as sometimes happens in Hollywood, the “deal” fell apart. The star and director went on to other things and the script got “shelved.” It was re-considered off and on, rewritten at least once by other writers, then finally made when Bill Cosby took an interest in it.