October 09, 2014

Paul Feig Will Bring The Estrogen To Reboot GHOSTBUSTERS


Sony, desperate for a bankable franchise that won't immediately sink under its own weight (I'm looking at you Amazing Spider-Man...) has been trying to develop a new Ghostbusters movie for years.  A number of different writers have been hired to develop a workable script, usually centering on the idea of the original 'Busters passing the torch to a new generation of clever young whippersnappers.  But after a decade of Bill Murray wisely ducking Dan Aykroyd's calls followed by the untimely death of Harold Ramis, everyone finally seemed to realize that this was a terrible idea.  Egon died to save us all.

But Sony is still determined to cash in on a pre-existing property around which they can easily build a nostalgia-soaked marketing campaign, and so they have hired Paul Feig, creator of Freaks And Geeks and director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, to completely reboot the franchise with an all female cast.  He's currently working on the script with The Heat writer Katie Dippold.  Feig has already set about assuring the world that there will be absolutely no connection to the previous films and that he really wants to tell an origin story with cooler technology that is both hilarious and genuinely terrifying.

Look, as a diehard Ghostbusters fan (I have the no-ghost symbol tattooed on my arm exactly where it appears on the uniform sleeves pictured above) those are certainly all the things I want to hear from someone who's determined to reboot this franchise, and I actually really like the idea of an all female cast.  But I maintain that this is still nothing more than the best iteration of a fundamentally dumb idea.  There is absolutely no reason to remake Ghostbusters.  They got it right the first time.  I'm all for doing a supernatural comedy that perhaps evokes Ghostbusters in tone and maybe even throws in a cute inside joke for those in the know - I can totally see Kristen Wiig or Jenny Slate staring at a ghoul and muttering "Mother pussbucket!"  But for shit's sake, do something original.

This is nothing more than another shameless entry in a long list of movies that get made solely because they have a built-in fanbase and a brand to which the studio already owns the rights.  It's bottom line thinking at its worst.  The property has enough name recognition that if you throw a couple of stars on the one sheet it is already guaranteed to win its opening weekend and probably recoup its budget.  Who cares if the movie is actually any good because it will make money!  And if the movie miraculously stumbles into genius (which is not impossible with Feig at the helm), well that's just a bonus.  Either way Sony's gonna sell a shit-ton of t-shirts.

When the news broke yesterday, my friend Jared immediately tweeted that this movie seems destined to feature a scene of Melissa McCarthy "hilariously" not being able to fit in her jumpsuit.  I was gonna go with McCarthy slowly-sliding-down-and-then-breaking-the-fire-pole, but both seem equally likely.  I guess we'll find out which of us is right soon enough.