Rumors have been circulating that Paul Feig (creator of Freaks and Geeks, director of Bridesmaids) is toying with an idea of an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. There are two ways to go about this, one is a straight reboot where there are female equivalents of existing characters, and a second where there is a lot more freedom taken. Molly Lambert of Grantland took a stab at the former. Here are some thoughts on both varieties, including thoughts on Lambert’s choices.
Peter Venkman (Bill Murray)
Lambert went with Tina Fey, and had alternate suggestions of Lizzy Caplan and Kathryn Hahn. Hahn is great but not nearly a big enough star. The problem with Fey is that she tends to play too self-deprecating of characters, and Venkman was always someone overconfident and cocky. Caplan isn’t a horrible choice for this, but someone like Sarah Silverman brings a much higher level of cockiness. It’s hard to see her playing basically a lead in a movie this big though. That’s why Amy Poehler makes all sorts of sense. She possesses a bit of more cockiness than Fey brings and could pull this off.
The Choice: Amy Poehler
Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd)
Lambert went with Melissa McCarthy because it’s unlikely this movie get’s made without McCarthy. But she seems a bit over the top for this role, as does backup choice Rebel Wilson. Fey or Caplan make stupid amounts of sense here. Smart and confident, but still a big dork. Both are capable of playing that role. But teaming Fey with Poehler as the one-two punch seems like a huge no brainer.
The Choice: Tina Fey
Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis)
Lambert nailed this one. Kristen Wiig makes all sorts of sense here. Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Peretti were the backup choices. Kaling has too much history of playing ditzes. Peretti is great, but her kind of swagger fits more with Venkman than the straight man needed here. Lena Dunham would actually be a good choice here as well. But Wiig is just too perfect.
The Choice: Kristen Wiig
Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson)
Lambert went off the deep end a bit here with Wanda Sykes. This makes so little sense for so many reasons. Zeddemore is a low-key, cool guy. Sykes is as loud and crazy as it gets. She might be a good option for a more off-the-rails reboot but this just makes so little sense here. If a main goal is to diversify from the all-white cast, Kaling is probably at least considered here. Rashida Jones brings some of that too though, and is both cool and subtly funny. Emma Stone might fit this bill as well.
The Choice: Rashida Jones
Lambert reversed the roles of other characters, such as Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and suggested James Franco for that role. Possibly the best bit of fake casting done in this piece. Kristen Schaal as Lewis Tulley (Rick Moranis) is right there though. This might be a place to insert McCarthy though.
The cast should be relatively close in age, and so the quartet above (Poehler, Fey, Jones, Wiig) works pretty well. But this movie doesn’t get made without involving Melissa McCarthy. But when doing a non-traditional reboot, things can get creative. Maybe a 5-man team makes more sense.
Let’s say that Fey Poehler are friends who are into supernatural things. The discover that ghosts are real. They decide to convince their scientist friend Wiig to create some ghost catching equipment. They quickly find themselves overwhelmed with work and bring in McCarthy, who brings her roomate Rebel Wilson along. Boom. $100M opening weekend.