RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2016
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
WRITERS: Paul Feig and Katie Dippold
BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY: Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dan Aykroyd, Jessie Henderson , Michele Imperato
PRODUCERS: Amy Pascal , Ivan Reitman
CAST: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jone, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, Michael Kenneth Williams, Andy Garcia, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Cecily Strong, Matt Walsh
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert D. Yeoman
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Pascal Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment
DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Pictures
PRODUCTION START: Mid-2015 in New York City
The remake features four new, female paranormal investigators led by director Paul Feig, best known for his hit Bridesmaid. Kristen Wiig (Erin Gilbert), Kate McKinnon (Jillian Holtzman), Melissa McCarthy (Abby Yates) and Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan) are playing entirely different characters from the 1984 classic and its 1989 sequel. Thor star Chris Hemsworth is the team’s receptionist in a classic gender reversal role.
Andy Garcia as the Mayor of New York City, Neil Casey as the film’s unnamed villain, Michael K. Williams as a character named “Hawkins,” Matt Walsh as a character named “Rourke,” and NY1 news anchor Pat Kiernan playing a New York City news anchor.
Original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson will be making cameo appearances, but not as their original characters. Rick Moranis will not make an appearance in the reboot.
Entertainment Weekly reported in December 2015 that the new film is about “Dead criminals from all eras of New York’s underbelly past have returned to roost among the living in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. Pilgrims, old-timey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits, and even a couple of zoot-suited gangsters are ready to take on four formidable female busters looking to rid the city of its phantasmic filth.”
A third Ghostbusters has been in development for several years.
- The first draft was under development with Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, best known for their work on several episode of the NBC series The Office. They also worked on Ghostbuster Harold Ramis’s 2009 comedy Year One. Ramis stated that the four original Ghostbusters would have only miner parts in the third installment. The commercial failure of Year One prompted Bill Murray to state that a new Ghostbusters “dream just vaporized.” This became the first of many of Murray’s public statements downplaying a new a film.
- Dan Aykroyd later claimed that the new script was a “strong first draft” and Murray’s part was the “comic role of a lifetime, and the new Ghostbusters and the old are all well represented in it.” At this time, Aykroyd confirmed that he would collaborate with Ramis on revisions to Stupnitsky & Eisenberg’s draft.
- Sony Pictures was in the early stages for a early 2015 production start date with original director Ivan Reitman on board, with Aykroyd and Ramis, but still no confirmation from Murray.
- On February 24, 2014, Harold Ramis passed away, prompting Reitman to leave the project but he agreed to help find a new director.
- Less than one month after the death of Ramis Phil Lord and Chris Miller were rumored to direct. The duo are best known for directing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street. The duo pulled out of the project in early April 2014.
- Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) was next rumored to direct, but that has not been confirmed.
- On October 8, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Sony Pictures hired Bridesmaids director Paul Feig to helm an all-female Ghostbusters team, with Katie Dippold hired as co-screenwriter. Dippold is best known as a writer and producer of the long running NBC series Parks and Recreation, and writing the script for The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.
- In February 2015, Aykroyd said “There’s three drafts of the old concept that exists. And we’re going to be able to salvage some of it and use it some day. Let’s get this one made and that will reinvigorate the franchise, and then we’ll go on to maybe doing a more conventional third sequel as we were planning and another idea I have for it.”
All-female cast criticism
Ever since the cast was announced, the faceless online community have come out by the thousands, denouncing the all-female cast of the Ghostbusters reboot. Kristen Wiig addressed her disappointment with the controversy with the L.A. Times in October 2015: “The fact there was so much controversy because we were women was surprising to me. Some people said some really not nice things about the fact that there were women. It didn’t make me mad, it just really bummed me out. We’re really honoring those movies.”
The long lost Ghostbusters 3 with the original cast was titled Hellbent, written by Dan Aykroyd. The project never got off the ground because of Bill Murray’s refusal to return to the franchise. Aykroyd never blamed his old friend and collaborator, “I never begrudged him not being in the third movie, though I wrote a nice part for him in Hellbent, where the Ghostbusters go to hell.” Aykroyd is still pursuing options to bring Hellbent to the big screen, telling EW in November 2015 that he “still holds out hope of bringing that Ghostbusters story to life with a younger cast.”