Friday, September 12, 2014

My Fantasy Female Ghostbusters Cast


Right. So. Things have been a bit poop here lately, eh? Lots of terrible things happening online, life has been pretty busy at home. Rather than rant in your ear about important things that you should be paying attention to, I'm going to take a break from doom and gloom and indulge in a little personal fantasy for a moment.

Today, I want to talk about my fantasy casting for the female Ghostbusters reboot.

Bill Murray has been pretty adamantly against a Ghostbusters 3, mostly because they're all so old at this point that I think he thinks (and he may be right) that it'd be sort of like The Expendables: a bunch of old dudes dress up like they're in their 20's and 30's and try to recapture their glory days.

And nobody wants to see that.

But he seems to like this idea of an all-female reboot, and by God so do I. He suggests Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, Kristen Wiig, and Linda Cardellini as the new crew. While that's a decent list--all very funny, awesome ladies there--it's a little...pale? And since we're talking fantasy ideal casting for movies now? I've got some ideas.

The four Ghostbusters fit the basic personality types of all teams. They are the same as the Ninja Turtles, as the Power Rangers (plus one or two), the guys from the Hangover.

There's the smart one.

The child-like one/goofball.

The leader/straight man.

The sarcastic one/tough one.

Thats, respectively: Egon (Harold Ramis), Ray (Dan Ackroyd), Winston* (Ernie Hudson), and Peter (Bill Murray).

* The catch is, of course, that while I enjoyed the diversity and Ernie Hudson did a fine job, the writers gave Winston basically nothing to say. So, he is the straight man...just not a very memorable one, unfortunately.

My ideal casting for an all-female Ghostbusters movie?

1. The Smart One

I think that Billy Murray was on the right track with suggesting Linda Cardellini. I know that the Scooby-Doo movies aren't very well respected, but I thought she nailed Velma, and because of that, I'm pretty sure she could nail the brainy, techie of the group. She wouldn't have to pull a repeat performance of Velma--she's a great actress. But having seen Velma, I know she'd be great spouting the techno-babble--which really is an important role. You need some explanation of what's going on, even if its nonsense, and if the person lacks conviction saying it, the illusion is shattered.

But, let's say she doesn't want to get locked into anything even Velma-like? Who then?

I say Tina Fey.

Tina Fey is already hilarious. She's smart. And she pulls off "harried" in a great way with 30 Rock, and I can easily imagine her popping her head up from a pile of paper-readouts or mechanical parts and spouting technical jargon about what she's doing. Maybe even adjusting her glasses.

I know, I know, the glasses = nerd stereotype is played to death, but it's so iconic Ghostbusters!

2. The child-like one/The goofball

In the original movie, Ray was definitely as smart as Egon, spouting off just as much mumbo-jumbo. But where Harold Ramis brought a scientific and logical aspect to his performance as he watched these supernatural events unfold, to Ray it was more exciting. He is, afterall, the one responsible for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. His child-like excitement at encoutnering these ghosts is something that the new movie will need to help avoid the cynicism that might come with a remake. It'd be entirely too easy for the writers to mock the old one, throwing out disses at the old outfits, the old hairstyles, whatever.

So, someone that can keep the innocence and magic is important. And I think Lucy Liu is that person.

Lucy Liu has been a bad ass. Lucy Liu has been a snake. Lucy Liu is fucking amazing.

I'm thinking of her rapid-fire humor, competence, and overall carriage in Lucky Number Sleven. I can easily see her being someone who maybe went to the same university as Tina Fey or Cardellini. Maybe they studied the old Ghostbusters cases together. But they're retired. And when shenanigans start going down in New York again, the two decide that THEY can do it.

For Fey or Cardellini's excitement over the science, Liu gets giddy and amazed over the wonder of seeing LIFE AFTER DEATH!

Liu is such a great actress, she could totally carry any heavier moments while keeping her performance light.

3. The straight man

Winston was the every man. Just some dude that got roped into this craziness. If Eddie Murphy had been cast as originally planned, we would have had some great ad-libbed moments of Murphy freaking right the fuck out over seeing ghosts. As it stood, Ernie Hudson did what he could with an underwritten role.

Dear god, the straight man can be so damned funny, though. In the show Archer, Sterling Archer is the swirling ball of narcisistic chaos, but who is the person that keeps him grounded to earth, whose reactions to his madness are hysterical on their own? Lana. Lana is a straight man character (most of the time) that OWNS that show.

So why shouldn't Aisha Tyler get a position on Ghostbusters?

She's righteously funny comedian, she already shows she has a lot of range voice acting on Archer, and she's well known for being a huge nerd. Being in Ghostbusters is a perfect fit, and honestly, I'm surprised I haven't seen someone else suggest her.

Seriously, if I were casting this movie, this would be one of my "musts." You HAVE to get Aisha Tyler for this movie, y'all. She's perfect.

4. The Wise Guy/The Tough Guy

Peter Venkman is probably the most memorable role in the movie because Bill Murray is hilarious. He has an almost supernatural gift of rattling off jokes off the top of his head and getting laughs. He's just naturally quick, and his biting sarcasm was great to vocalise what everyone was already thinking. And his cynical, cut-to-the-chase attitude business-wise was a great balance to Egon and Ray's excitement over the job.

Who better to pull off this role than the already suggested Melissa McCarthy. If anyone can fill the Venkman-sized shoes in the role, it's McCarthy. She's sarcastic, she's quick, so much of her stuff is ad-libbed and off the cuff. Watch some of her outtakes in The Heat or--JESUS CHRIST, GO WATCH HER STUFF FROM THIS IS FORTY. It's amazing.

Seriously: Melissa McCarthy needs to be all up in this movie.

If I were a studio exec, this would be my other "must." Because not having Melissa McCarthy and Aisha Tyler in this movie would be a goddamned crime.

So, who would you cast in the female Ghostbusters movie?

** I just want to point out that all of the women I mentioned are actresses in the early to mid-forties, and all very very close to the same age, which is awesome because we need to get more mature women on screen more often. Don't get a bunch of 20's actresses to make this movie just to appeal to the young crowd. Seriously, these are talented, smart, funny women that would kick ass in this role.

*** I know that a Hollywood exec isn't going to read this blog, and even if they did, it's not like they'll go, "Hey, he's right! Call up these women please!" These are just general thoughts.