Yesterday, Paul Feig of Bridesmaids and “Freaks & Geeks” fame confirmed on Twitter that he and his The Heat screenwriter Katie Dippold are strapping on their proton packs to work with Sony on a female-centric Ghostbusters movie, and now he’s given Entertainment Weekly an extensive rundown of his vision for the film–which will be a total reboot–and what drew him to it.
“My favorite thing to do is work with funny women,” said Feig. “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. And then I thought, well, what if we just make it new? It’s not coming into the world that existed before. It’s always hard if the world has gone through this big ghost attack, how do you do it again? I wanted to come into our world where there’s talk of ghosts but they’re not really credible, and so what would happen in our world if this happened today?”
Turns out Sony approached Feig several months ago after Ivan Reitman dropped the project in the wake of original star Harold Ramis’s death, and high profile directors like Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie) turned it down. After a lunch with Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal, he decided that the best way to surmount the problems the trouble-plagued project has had would be to start fresh.
“I love the first one so much I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that,” Feig continued. “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?”
Despite the reticence of Bill Murray to return to the franchise, and the fact that it’s an all-new origin story, the director is more than willing to write new roles for the original Ghostbusters, including Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson… and maybe even Rick Moranis?
“As far as I’m concerned, anybody wants to come back I welcome with open arms,” he stated. “It would just be in different roles now, but it would be fun to figure out how to do that.”
Feig also gushed about loving the dream cast of potential funny ladies Bill Murray opined about in a recent interview, which included Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Linda Cardellini and Emma Stone. Turns out that, like the 1984 original, there are still four lead slots to fill.
“It’s an awesome cast,” he admitted. “I’ve got a lot of ideas on that but nobody set in stone. That’s part of the fun for me is figuring out what’s the best combo, what’s going to be relevant and fun. Bottom line: I just want the best, funniest cast. For me it’s just more of a no-brainer. I just go, ‘what would make me excited to do it?’ I go: four female Ghostbusters to me is really fun. I want to see that dynamic.”
Is that “set in stone” remark an Emma Stone confirmation? Hardly, but the possibilities are endless, and we’re happy to learn he’s not going to be just rehashing old gags.
“It’s not going to be, here is the exact same stuff,” Feig promised. “It’s also not going to go, screw you, if you like that stuff, it’s all completely different. We’re going to have fun with it, but again, bring it into our time period… If we just flop four women into the exact same personalities and roles as original, then that’s lazy filmmaking on my behalf, and who wants to see that? It’s the difficult thing about remaking a great movie. So that’s why we’re not remaking a great movie. We’re doing our take on it.”
Perhaps most intriguing is that it sounds like Feig and Dippold will be upping the scare factor. When the original Ghostbusters came out it was riffing off the horror movies of the time, especially Poltergeist. Will this new one take cues from flicks like Paranormal Activity or The Conjuring?
“Both she and I are obsessed with how do we make comedy really scary?” he said. “I think funny people in peril and in danger is one of the best forms of comedy, and I really like things to play very real while funny things are happening. So that’s what both Katie and I really want to do with this one is make it crazy funny but also you’re scared at the same time.”