Should Hollywood mess with the infinite? This question seems appropriate to ask all too often. Today, I’m asking this question about GHOSTBUSTERS. News of a sequel seems to have been brewing ever since the 80s. Will Bill Murray return? Are they too old? Now it seems like a reboot has been ordered. A PAUL FIEG (BRIDESMAIDS, HEAT) adapted female led reimagining. I suppose if they have to remake the groundbreaking original this is the best decision the producers could have made. However, I would have prefered a sequel with the same talent. More on that later.
Okay. So we have the man behind the desk, the writer. It’s Feig. And he doubles as director. Good stuff, so far. But now they have to cast the female GHOSTBUSTERS. Should Fieg play it safe and work with major talent he is familiar with. Should he cast the rumoured MELISSA McCARTHY, SANDRA BULLOCK, and TINA FEY? I’m thinking each of these actors are good choices. I’d still watch it. But I wonder if there are better options that may skew this movie towards a younger audience.
I’ll go through my selections one by one.
First, I’d aim for REBEL WILSON. Fieg worked with the Aussie in BRIDESMAIDS, where she stole every scene she was in. She also enjoyed success in another great female led comedy, PITCH PERFECT. She definitely has the comedic touch necessary for a big budget comedy like this. She could satisfy the sarcastic elements, balanced against physical comedy.
Second, I’d add EMMA STONE. She proved herself to me with the film EASY A. She’s the JOHN HUGHES sort of female lead. She can deliver on the drama, but also nail the comedic touches like she did in HOUSE BUNNY. She can handle action (ZOMBIELAND) and effects driven material (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and emotional drama (BIRDMAN). I feel like she could be the fast-talking supernatural nerd of the group.
Lastly, I would add JENNIFER LAWRENCE. She has proven herself across all genres by now. She is the most proven of the bunch, and the biggest box office draw due to her success with THE HUNGER GAMES franchise. Lawrence blipped onto my radar with her stellar subdued performance in WINTER’S BONE. She followed up this superb character work with award nominated characters in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and AMERICAN HUSTLE.
If anything, Lawrence alone should greenlight this production. J-Law equals Dollas for Hollywood execs. I heard rumours a while back that she was lobbying Fieg for the role. I hope he listens to her plea, rather than selecting a more comfortable decision with a familiar actress he shares experience working with. Lawrence is on quite a role in her young career, GHOSTBUSTERS could fill the franchise gap once HUNGER finishes up soon.
I feel like Fieg could go in any number of directions for the important supporting roles like RICK MORANIS’ affable goof and ANNIE POTTS’ secretary from the original 1980s GHOSTBUSTERS. For the goofball I’d go for MELISSA McCARTHY or another BRIDESMAID allumni, KRISTEN WIIG. Either of these options would instantly become scene stealers. They would play the regular Jane somehow thrust into this supernatural world. They would come in handy solving an important case.
For the secretary I’d like to see a spin on the convention and perhaps cast a (normally) leading man in the role. Maybe even someone like GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY star(lord) CHRIS PRATT. He would answer the phones, or run the website, having to filter through numerous inane reports about ghosts. Usually, these would be hoaxes. Maybe they send him out as the errand boy to check out individual cases. Maybe Fieg could mess with our expectations and make it seem like he’s leading these supernatural CHARLIE’S ANGELS, only for us to discover he’s the secretary / intern. I’d love to watch that scene where he expects another hoax only to see SLIMER or something.
Now I don’t roll my eyes at every reboot. I don’t think remakes are sacreligious. Shakespeare’s stuff still gets the reboot to this day. Most movies are essentially reboots of what was popular last year anyway right. The hero story just gets slightly modified each time. It’s all about characters and execution that brings new flavour to a familiar premise. So I have no problem with Hollywood making another GHOSTBUSTERS. However…
…I feel like they could very easily make this a sequel and keep all their ideas in tact. It’s not like these characters need to be the offspring of the original cast. Lawrence doesn’t need to be BILL MURRAY’s daughter or anything. DAN AYKROYD doesn’t need to cameo. We don’t need to hear a mention of EGON SPANGLER (the deceased HAROLD RAMIS).
But it’d be nice for the WORLD these characters inhabit if they were already familiar with the existence of ghosts. Imagine that. We wouldn’t have to sit through exposition explaining how NYC responds to the very real introduction of the supernatural. Instead, if this was a sequel, it would simply be: the ghosts are back. The original crew defeated them. Ghosts stopped haunting New York. But for some reason they have returned. That’s this movie: GHOSTBUSTERS 3… or the way Hollywood works now (with no numbered sequels) it would simply have a subheading instead.
Regardless of the story, I just want to return to this world. I want to have fun with the supernatural. The premise of GHOSTBUSTERS is so amazingly simple, you could remake this a 100 times and it could still be different enough. So sign me up, whoever they end up casting. For me the creative team behind the scenes is often more important, and Fieg seems like the right person for this assignment. I eagerly await the casting news like many a fellow nerd.
What do you think?
Who would you like to see be a GHOSTBUSTER?
Should Fieg re-team with his former stars, or work with a new cast?
Are you sick of remakes / reboots / reimaginings by now?
Do you eagerly anticipate the next film in this franchise?