Who Should and Shouldn’t Be in the New Ghostbusters Movie
With official news today of 'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig taking the director's chair for a 'Ghostbusters' reboot, and his statement that it will feature an all-female cast, we are taking a look at who should, and most definitely shouldn't, be one of the new paranormal investigators and eliminators.
First, the facts. In August it was rumored that Paul Feig was the lead contender to direct a new 'Ghostbusters' movie and feature an all-female cast. Recently, Bill Murray gave his endorsement of the idea and suggested Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy as two possible Ghostbusters. Earlier today, Feig made the official announcement on Twitter, saying,
It's official. I'm making a new Ghostbusters & writing it with @katiedippold & yes, it will star hilarious women. That's who I'm gonna call.
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) October 8, 2014
While Feig notes that the movie will star hilarious women, it doesn't specifically say "all-female", leading to speculation of a mix-gender crew. However, earlier today Feig openly spoke about his desire for an all-female crew with Entertainment Weekly,
For me it’s just more of a no-brainer. I just go, what would make me excited to do it? I go: four female Ghostbusters to me is really fun. I want to see that dynamic. I want to see that energy and that type of comedy and them going up against these ghosts and going up against human detractors and rivals and that kind of thing. When people accuse it of being a gimmick I go, why is a movie starring women considered a gimmick and a movie starring men is just a normal movie?
Before we get to the list, I have to say it, I hate his idea. "Bridesmaids with Proton Packs" is the worst idea to go forward with to make a worthy successor to the Ghostbusters mantle. While 'Bridesmaids' was a successful film, it primarily appealed to a female audience, with a bulk of the story and humor being directly relatable to by women. The fact that the original Ghostbusters were men was not a driving force for the movie or humor, thus appealing to a broader audience. I love the idea of men and women on the same crew, just worried that an all-female crew will be catered to and designed for a limited audience. Also, I'm not certain if Feig and Dippold are up to the challenge of creating a comedy that will appeal to audiences both young and old, one of the biggest reasons the original film is still beloved 30-years later.
For this list we are looking at women who have been directly rumored for the all-female cast, as well as throwing in a few of our own suggestions.
While I may speak ill of a film like 'Bridesmaids', I enjoy Melissa McCarthy in just about anything she does, even if the movie is terrible. McCarthy has great range in her performances, and will likely be able to actually perform as a character rather than just play the same character she always does, which is commonplace in comedic films today.
She may have been one of Bill Murray's choices, but I can't see Kristen Wiig as a new Ghostbuster. Its not that she's not funny, but more that I don't think her humor (such as 'Bridesmaids' which she wrote) would fit with the established tone of the Ghostbusters franchise. Yes, this will be a reboot, but there's still a legacy to consider, and I don't think Wiig is remotely a fit for it. You're going to hear this a lot in this article, but her humor is mainly adult themed and Ghostbusters should appeal to ages 5 to 75.
If we are destined to have cast members from 'Bridesmaids' in this, I'll take Wendi McLendon-Covey over Kristen Wiig any day. A veteran of 'Reno: 911' and the famous Improv troupe "The Groundlings, she has a similar comedic background to the original Ghostbusters and would be able to ad-lib constructively and not go on and on pointlessly like current comedic all-stars Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill.
Another of Bill Murray's choices, Emma Stone is not a bad idea, but I don't know if she's a good idea either. While she has experience in comedies, she's rarely the comedic standout of the film, something she'd need to be to hold her own against two or three other talented actresses and not be looked upon as a side-kick or background character. She has the acting ability to standout, its just her comedic strength that's in question.
Eliza Dushku is someone who's fallen off the radar lately, but she's also a name that Dan Aykroyd has been throwing out for a while now for the new crew. While people have criticized the choice of Dushku as playing the tough girl on the crew, I think that's what this new team would need. Dushku has experience portraying strength and attitude, something lacking from every other potential name thrown out as of late, and she can blend it seamlessly with humor and vulnerability, giving a range in performance that a lot of people tend to take for granted.
Another of Bill Murray's choices, I'm just not convinced she's a good choice. She did an amazing job as Velma in the Scooby-Doo films, and has her work in the television series 'Freaks and Geeks' that helped shape her comedy chops, but her work as of late has been strictly serious and I can't envision her as a part of the team. I wouldn't be totally against her being part of it, but she wouldn't be my first choice.
As we said with Eliza Dushku, any all-female group is going to need the tough girl, and that's something Scarlett Johansson has done remarkably well with in her portrayal of Black Widow in the Marvel franchise. After three movies as Black Widow, Johansson has built a great balance between butt-kicking intensity and witty humor, something that will be necessary in film like this.
A beloved SNL veteran, Poehler is widely popular but again I have to ask if she'd be a fit for tone this new film should have. With the exception of voicing one of the Chipettes, Poehler's comedic background places her in a similar standing as Kristen Wiig, too adult-themed for a film that should be appealing to all ages.
While at first glance people would think I'd disqualify Tina Fey for the same reasons as Wiig and Poehler, I'm big fan of Fey in that she's been able to adapt and perform in a range of comedy, from adult-themed SNL to family entertainment like the most recent Muppets film. And with her deadpan delivery and look of beauty and brains, she seems like a great fit to take the Egon-like role in the group.
Mindy Kaling is a name that's been occasionally tossed around, not only as a Ghostbuster but also as a new comedic star. This is just coming down to personal taste, but I just never found her to be funny. I acknowledge the popularity of 'The Office', but I was never a fan and with the exception of Craig Robinson, I'm not a big fan of anyone that came from that show. Kaling is also another comedic talent whose styling doesn't lend itself to a broad appeal, being more apt for a rated-R comedy than a movie that will hopefully be PG or PG-13.
Ellen Page may not be known for wide-release comedic roles, but she does have experience in dark comedies, bringing a dark edge to the humor of the new team. Not only that, Page is a fantastic actress, going beyond the humor and bringing a serious performance necessary to connect with the new characters.
While incredibly funny, Anna Faris' comedic roles have one thing in common... stupidity. Playing truly dumb characters is what got her noticed, like her run in the 'Scary Movie' franchise and 'The House Bunny', though occasionally she's branch out and play more intelligent characters, like in 'Waiting'. While I hope she'd be playing something different, her history of repeatedly playing the dumb blonde casts too much doubt as to what kind of character she'd be expected to play.