Ghostbusters Almost Had a Very Different Team Without Melissa McCarthy

While it seems obvious that Paul Feig would cast his Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in his Ghostbusters movie, he admits that when he initially tried to put the team together, it was very different. Paul Feig says they wrote the film without any actors in mind.

“We just wanted to get these characters right. And then it was about two months of me where I was like who are the perfect people for this? Melissa was never a shoo-in. Everybody thinks Melissa’s a shoo-in. She was not. It was ’cause I was like I just gotta get four very distinct personalities for this. There are so many funny people. And especially funny women. And so it was a good two months of, I mean, if you saw some of the lists of people. It was crazy.

But in the end it comes down to “who complements each other?” He admits that “nothing is better in the movie than when your cast has a relationship with each other as we did on Bridesmaids — the cast and Kristen and Maya [Rudolph] as best friends ’cause they are friends.”

And so by the time we arrived at this and Kristen’s kind of this vulnerable comedienne and then Melissa’s just a headstrong comedienne.  And then you’ve got Kate who’s just the weirdo nut who just, you’re like where did that come from?  And then Leslie is just this powerhouse who comes at you.  And the four is mixed so well, it was really fun even just figuring out what role they were gonna play.”  …  “In the movie, Kristen and Melissa’s characters are old friends.  And then Kate and Leslie come in new and so it was actually fun, that dynamic, even though they’d all worked together before, Kristen and Melissa are very close.  And Kate and Leslie brought a new energy for them so it actually it just, it the actual dynamics from the script are portrayed in real life on the screen.

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Four Scientists Saved the World?

After the trailer screening, another colleague pointed out to me that the trailer is actually inaccurate: the original film had three scientists, not four. Winston was added as a fourth Ghostbuster in an effort to play the everyman, and this new version of the Ghostbusters has the same set-up. Feig says “it was really important to us to make them scientists.”

Because that’s what I love about the first one, it’s a idea of that Ivan, Dan and Harold [Ramis] had of funny people fighting the paranormal with science that just really resonated with us. And so we really wanted to make sure that we treated them as scientists. So we have Erin’s character played by Kristen Wiig is a, she’s a particle physicist. And then Melissa’s character basically she’s an expert in the paranormal. She’s studied her whole life. And then Holtzmann is a nuclear engineer who creates their inventions. And then you have Leslie Jones who joins the team because she knows New York really well. So she’s kind of the guide to New York and she also is kind of ghost sighting.

So it sounds like Leslie Jones’ character Patty Tolan is very much the Winston component of this team from the original film. Screenwriter Katie Dippold admitted that it was also “very important” for them to have an “everyman like in the original.”

We talked to so many physicists to download us on science. And I would listen to people talk and just, so for me it’s just like in the original in that it was so fun to see that person relate to the scientists.


The Old Ghostbusters Theme Song Will Be in the New Movie, Along With a New Version

In the new trailer we have a slow piano version of the Ghostbusters song, a la Jurassic World. And Feig loves it as much as you do.

Kudos to Sony. Mike and Susan really headed that up and did a great job. It’s exciting. The first time I heard that especially with the orchestral version, I completely broke down. It just choked me up so much. Everybody’s firing on all cylinders on this because everybody working on this has such a love and respect of this project and so there was no cynicism involved with this project at all. Trust me.

As for if we’ll hear it in the movie, Feig says we’re “definitely gonna hear the Ghostbusters song.”

You can’t do Ghostbusters without that song. But we’re playing not only with the original one, which you’ll hear that somewhere, but also some new versions of it.

As for the film’s score itself, Paul promises that his composer Theodore Shapiro is “doing an amazing job.”

He’s one of the best composers I know. We’re really playing with some of the different themes. I just want this to be a big, spooky, gothic, cool. So I think you’ll be very pleased when you hear it.

Continue Reading Things We Learned About Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters >>

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