While the prospect of a new Ghostbusters movie has been wafting through the ether like an unwanted apparition for years, it was the announcement of Paul Feig as director (after the tragic loss of original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, and the subsequent ‘stepping back’ of original director Ivan Reitman) that allowed the idea to physically manifest for fans around the world. Feig is a proven director of excellent comedy on screens both big (Bridesmaids, The Heat) and small (Arrested Development, The Office), and it was soon confirmed that the Ghostbusters script would be penned by The Heat scribe Katie Dipold – featuring a cast of women. To many, this plan is perfect for such a project. To others, it’s sacrilege.
Feig seems to be unfazed by all the negativity, though. Speaking to Empire Magazine recently – a transcript of which lies at CBM – the director laid out his thoughts on the divided response to the idea of an all-female Ghostbuster team.
“A lot of people accused it of being a gimmick. I guess I can see the cynics’ view of it, but for me, I just love working with funny women. People said, ‘Why don’t you do a mix?’ I’m just more interested in the idea of lady Ghostbusters. It’s just the way my brain works.”
Personally, I’m more interested in the fact that people regarding an all-female Ghostbuster team as a ‘gimmick’ is truly the most blatant exhibition of sexism in media to have been displayed in some time. Did anybody ask of the original cast, “Why don’t you do a mix?” Did anybody suggest, either in 1984 or 1989, that an all-male Ghostbuster team might be a bit ‘gimmicky’? Of course not – because all-male teams and casts are the ‘norm.’
Today – thirty years after Ghostbusters was created – literally nothing has changed. We are awash with male casts, while the female equivalent is an oddity. It is easy enough to predict that Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters will be a hit on release – just as The Heat was, and Bridesmaids before that – and its success will be inexplicably labelled a ‘fluke,’ just as every successful female-led movie is. What makes the project exciting is that Feig and Dipold are putting their own stamp on the Ghostbusters brand.
“I want ours to be scarier than the original, to be quite honest,” said the director. “Katie Dipold and I are so focused on wanting to do a scary comedy. We don’t want to hold back.”
Open-minded Ghostbusters fans don’t want them to hold back either – particularly in terms of finally delivering a script. A new Ghostbusters screenplay has been the ‘MacGuffin’ in what feels like the longest-running serial in Hollywood history, and it is ttantalizingto hear that it is so close to coming to fruition. But, Feig’s comments regarding casting highlight the fact that they are not quite there yet.
“I’m just waiting to get our first draft of the script together to go, ‘Who makes sense in these roles?’ If I put the list in front of me of people that have said they want to do it, talk about a Sophie’s Choice. When you do a movie like Ghostbusters, people get very interested.”
That interest shows no sign of waning, so hopefully Feig and Dipold will begin making significant progress – in terms of official Ghostbusters casting – soon.