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All-woman Ghostbusters: who should star?
By SP_COP on October 27, 2014 | From
All-woman Ghostbusters: who should star? In 1967, when Jean-Luc Godard signed off his deconstructionist frolic Weekend with the title cards ‘Fin de Conte/Fin de Cinéma’ – end of story, end of cinema – he clearly hadn’t considered that around 50 years later, cinema might give the world Kathryn Hahn wrestling with a proton pack.

But when it was announced on Wednesday evening that Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, would be making a new, all-female version of Ghostbusters with his co-writer on The Heat, Katie Dippold, mind-bending new possibilities for the medium suddenly snapped into focus.

The question, as it was in 1984, when Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd first came barrelling out of the Hook & Ladder No. 8 Firehouse in their customised hearse, is who ya gonna call? Assembling a new ghost-busting team is like putting together a perfect mixtape: it’s not so much about selecting the best individual elements as the ones that will combine into a comic team funny enough to tear open, and then reseal, a portal to the netherworld. Here are my suggestions:

Kathryn Hahn

Hahn, who you’ll know from various comedies and TV series (she’s currently appearing in Amazon’s much-buzzed-about show Transparent), specialises in the kind of unhinged panic you really want to see around demons and portable particle accelerators.

The repressed wife Alice in Step Brothers is her funniest and most frantic performance to date, but she’s lemon-sharp as a cheated-on actress in the new Peter Bogdanovich screwball comedy She’s Funny That Way.

Melissa McCarthy

McCarthy, a regular Feig collaborator, who was so funny in The Heat that I laughed until I couldn’t see properly. No one could, or should even attempt to, fill the Peter Venkman role, but you suspect McCarthy could create a character as hangdoggishly likeable as Venkman – watch her casually tormenting a kerb-crawler in The Heat, or her immortally strange monologue in Bridesmaids in which she talks about falling overboard from a cruise ship and meeting a dolphin “who looked straight into my soul.”

Maya Rudolph

Number three would be McCarthy’s Bridesmaids co-star Rudolph who, like Murray and Aykroyd, honed her craft on Saturday Night Live, and could carry the torch for the clubby, baby-boomer zaniness the show has always fostered and which was a constant note in the original Ghostbusters films.

Being funny in a Paul Feig film is all well and good, but Rudolph is funny in Grown Ups, alongside Adam Sandler – and, for that matter, alongside Adam Sandler again, in Grown Ups 2. Rudolph can play a scene off-the-peg broad and make it seem intimately, bespokely funny.

Emily Blunt

Supposing the new Ghostbusters can sustain a larger core team than the original, let’s also have Blunt: she has the comic chops, which you’ll know if you saw The Five Year Engagement, and she out-charisma’d Tom Cruise as the unstoppable alien-killing Sgt. Rita Vrataski in the under-seen Edge of Tomorrow.

Once it’s occurred to you, it’s hard to shake the mental image of Blunt kicking down the ballroom door at the Sedgewick, levelling a neutrino wand at some vile apparition, growling a pithy one-liner, perhaps blowing a wayward strand of hair out of her cold blue eyes. It’s the kind of scene gift were made for. We should probably move on....
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