Just three months after it was announced that Bridesmaid director Paul Feig would reboot the Ghostbusters series with an all-female cast, the four actresses who will don the proton packs have been revealed: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and current Saturday Night Live stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Feig tweeted his Ghostbusters casting news Tuesday night along with the film’s scheduled release date: July 22nd, 2016.
According to Deadline, the actresses are still in negotiations to take on the roles made famous by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. However, Feig felt confident enough about them inking their deals that he tweeted they would star in the ghost-catching comedy, which will begin filming this summer, the Huffington Post writes. Feig and The Heat screenwriter Katie Dippold penned the reboot’s script.
A Ghostbusters 3 film, the follow-up to the 1989 sequel, was trapped in pre-production for years as Murray, who starred as Peter Venkman in the original series, refused to sign on for the third movie. With the February 2014 passing of Ramis, who played Egon Spengler, any hope of reuniting the original Ghostbusters crew ended.
Murray was among the first to voice his support for an all-female cast, even recommending four actresses for the film: Wiig and McCarthy, who ended up getting the roles, as well as Emma Stone and Linda Cardellini. After learning that Wiig was Murray’s pick to ghostbust, the actress said, “I will do whatever Bill Murray tells me to do.” Feig also called Murray’s picks “an awesome cast,” and it seems as though he half-listened to the actor’s suggestions.
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Back when the new Ghostbusters film was announced, Feig made it clear that this was a reboot and not Ghostbusters 3. “I love the first one so much, I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that,” Feig said. “So it just felt like, let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics. I want the technology to be even cooler. I want it to be really scary, and I want it to happen in our world today that hasn’t gone through it so it’s like, oh my God what’s going on?”
Both Wiig and McCarthy worked with Feig on Bridesmaids, and the director also recruited McCarthy for The Heat. Jones, who after making her debut last year has been one of the weekly highlights of this season’s Saturday Night Live, recently appeared in Chris Rock’s Top Five. For the Emmy-nominated McKinnon, Ghostbusters will mark the comedian’s first major film role.