Following news that director Paul Feig would take the reins on a new Ghostbusters with an all-female cast rather than picking the series up where it left off, the Bridesmaids filmmaker spoke to Entertainment Weekly to elaborate on his vision for the reboot. “My favorite thing to do is work with funny women,” Feig said. “I was like, what if it was an all-female cast? If they were all women? Suddenly, my mind kind of exploded: that would be really fun,”
For the film, Feig will team once again with The Heat screenwriter Katie Dippold, who takes over for Dan Aykroyd on the script. However, don’t expect Ghostbusters 3. “I love the first one so much, I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that,” Feig said of the reboot. “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?”
Bill Murray, who played Dr. Peter Venkman in the original series, was dead set on not appearing in the third film, which held up pre-production on the project for years. However, Murray was also among the first to voice his support for an all-female Ghostbusters team, going as far as recommending Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, Kristen Wiig and Linda Cardellini for the roles.
“It’s an awesome cast,” Feig said of Murray’s picks to EW. “For me there’s so many ways I can go with this because there are so many funny women, that’s going to be the hardest thing to narrow down is who to put in. I’ve got a lot of ideas on that but nobody set in stone. Bottom line: I just want the best, funniest cast.” Wiig and McCarthy seem to have an inside track on casting given their roles in Feig’s Bridesmaids and The Heat, respectively.
As for ridiculous concerns that a Ghostbusters starring women might not be funny – as highlighted by a Deadline article with the headline “Do We Want An Estrogen-Powered ‘Ghostbusters?'” – Feig responds, “I just don’t understand why it’s ever an issue anymore. I’ve promoted both Bridesmaids and The Heat and myself and my cast are still hit constantly with the question, ‘Will this answer the question of whether women can be funny?’ I really cannot believe we’re still having this conversation.” He added, “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?'”
When Ghostbusters 3 was still in the development stages, there was discussion of a “baton-passing” scene in which the original Busters – Murray, Aykroyd and Harold Ramis – would hand over their proton packs to the actors replacing them. With the passing of Ramis in February and a complete series overhaul underway, that changing of the guard idea has likely been nixed, but Feig says that he’s leaving the door open for any of the original cast members to appear in the reboot in a new role as a bridge between the Eighties characters and the “restart.”