Chris Hemsworth has signed on to play a receptionist in the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot. The Australian action star will give a male update to a role played by Annie Potts in the 1984 original, Variety reports, continuing the gender reversal theme for Paul Feig’s comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the all-female ghost hunting crew. “Our receptionist,” Feig tweeted on Wednesday, along with a picture of Hemsworth and the hashtag #whoyougonnacall.”
According to Variety, Sony approached Hemsworth early on, but the actor (best known for his major roles Thor and The Avengers) passed because the part was too small. Sony then reworked the script in order to beef up the role.
Plot details are scarce for Ghostbusters III, other than its focus on a group of women as the next generation of ghost-hunters. Feig will direct the film from a script co-written with Katie Dippold (The Heat, Parks and Recreation). Ivan Reitman, director of the original Ghostbusters, will produce. The movie will begin production later this summer and hit theaters on July 22nd, 2016.
Ghosbusters III has faced a complicated history. The initial plan was to reunite the original cast – Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson – but the project remained trapped in pre-production for years as Murray refused to sign on. Reitman was originally pegged as director, and two scripts were written for the film – the first was co-penned by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (with help from Reitman, Ramis and Aykroyd), but Murray’s noncommittal stance forced them to start from scratch with a screenplay by Etan Cohen and Aykroyd. However, after the 2014 passing of Ramis, Reitman decided to pass the torch.
Feig signed on in October 2014, announcing his plan to reboot the franchise with “hilarious women” instead of picking up where the 1989 sequel left off. Aykroyd expressed his enthusiasm for the project in a February interview with the SiriusXM show “Unmasked With Ron Bennington,” while also noting that a “conventional” third installment of the trilogy could be made in the future.
“[T]here’s three drafts of the old concept that exists,” Aykroyd said. “And we’re going to be able to salvage some of it and use it some day. Let’s get this one made and that will reinvigorate the franchise, and then we’ll go on to maybe doing a more conventional third sequel as we were planning and another idea I have for it.”