There have been a lot of rumors over the years about “Ghostbusters 3.” Whether it ever gets made or not, the reality is that eventually someone will either reboot the franchise or remake it from scratch.
I love the original film. It’s tied with “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “American Movie” for my top spot for favorite movies. I also hate the sequel. It’s unfunny, the characters often act out of (well) character (especially Egon and Janine), the scenarios are implausible (I’m talking Dana and Louis’s career changes, not ghosts), and even the logo on the side of the firehouse and Ecto-1 knew they were in it for the merchandising. The idea that there will be another movie doesn’t exactly fill me with excitement.
Okay, so if I step back and engage in a mental exercise/conversation starter (like I did with two other sacred cows, Caddyshack and Star Wars), I can challenge myself to cast a “Ghostbusters” remake that I would actually be able to get behind. (And just for fun, this time I wanted to try gender reversal options and throw in a wild card as well.)
So take a look and let me know what you think!
THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS
Let’s start off with our four heroes. What I love the most about this movie is the characters, and when Akroyd and Ramis were deciding what type of people would engage in this peculiar going-into-business model, I think they hit on it exactly.
- The Mad Scientist
- The Man-Child
- The Blue Collar Worker
- The Charlatan
EGON SPENGLER (Harold Ramis)
The aloof, cerebral mad scientist that will drill a hole in his head if science told him to do it. A collector of spores, mold, and fungus, he is a man that believed print was dead a decade before the internet took off. The man is unintentionally funny and almost unreadable. You’d barely be able to read his expressions, even when he’s terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.
- Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” “The Muppets”)
- Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” “Date Night”)
- Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”)
RAY STANTZ (Dan Aykroyd)
He may have three mortgages out on the house his parents left him, but if there’s a fire pole to slide down, an old ambulance to drive, a cool gadget to try out, or any kind of vaporous apparition from Tobin’s Spirit Guide to check out, Ray’s a happy boy. He may not have been ready to leave the university (they expect results in the private sector, after all), but all that ghost hunting got him soul searching and growing up.
- Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Lego Movie”)
- Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” “Mean Girls”)
- Steve Carell (“The Office,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”)
WINSTON ZEDEMORE (Ernie Hudson)
He just works here. He doesn’t even know these guys. I mean, a man’s gotta eat, and as long as the gig comes with a steady paycheck, he’ll believe whatever they want. But being a Ghostbuster means something to Winston, and it’s got him thinking. He’s seen some serious stuff. Stuff that would turn you white. And he’s learned a lot working with these brainiacs. For example, if someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes!
- Craig Robinson (“The Office,” “This Is the End”)
- Ellen Page (“Juno,” “Inception”)
- Ernie Hudson (“Oz,” “The Crow”)
NOTE: I realize I’m violating my own rule here by putting Ernie Hudson as my Wild Card pick, but. . . Well, first of all, it’s the Wild Card pick. But also, I think it says something about the times we live in, where blue collar workers are continuing their careers into older age.
PETER VENKMAN (Bill Murray)
Even if the ghosts weren’t real, there’s a decent chance that ole Pete Venkman could still start a business where he dupes the rubes. Especially if it will give him a leg-up on the co-eds. You have to understand, the man’s a little fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing, so doing a bit of intentional damage in an expensive ballroom doesn’t bother him one bit. It certainly won’t stop him from putting a big price tag on his services in the end. He’s not like your typical scientist. He’s more like a game show host.
- Ryan Reynolds (“Van Wilder,” “Waiting”)
- Melissa McCarthy (“Mike and Molly,” “Bridesmaids”)
- Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development,” “Horrible Bosses”)
DANA BARRETT / ZUUL – THE GATEKEEPER (Sigourney Weaver)
When Sigourney Weaver played this part in 1984, she was a scream queen that we already knew could kick serious butt. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t elegant. Dana’s the first chair cello in the New York Philharmonic, and when her fridge has animals running around inside of it and eggs are cooking on the counter top, she’s willing to take a chance and call those guys on TV. She’s a bit out of her element, after all, since she lives in the corner apartment in Spook Central. Pretty soon she’s barking, drooling, and sleeping above her covers. Four feet above the covers.
- Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil,” “The Fifth Element”)
- Matt Damon (“The Bourne Identity,” “Good Will Hunting”)
- Angelina Jolie (“Tomb Raider,” “Changeling”)
LOUIS TULLY / THE KEYMASTER (Rick Moranis)
The accountant next door that’s quite willing to climb out on a ledge for his neighbor. Literally. He’s obsessed with doing taxes. So much so that he invites clients instead of friends to his party, so he can write it off. Or possibly because he has no friends that aren’t his clients? He’s also a dog guy. Even carries around Milk Bones just in case he runs into one in the park.
- Charlie Day (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Pacific Rim”)
- Felicia Day (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Guild”)
- Rainn Wilson (“The Office,” “Super”)
JANINE MELNITZ (Annie Potts)
The bug-eyed receptionist that does most of the grown up work around the station. She even interviews the new recruits! Her heavy Queens accent is what you hear when you call the Ghostbusters, and if she’s in a bad mood, she might just bluntly ask you, “Whattaya want?” Behind her thick lenses is a sexy lady just waiting to let her hair down, and she wants Egon to know it!
- Retta (“Parks and Recreation,” “First Sunday”)
- Jon Heder (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “School for Scoundrels”)
- Alison Brie (“Community,” “Mad Men”)
WALTER PECK (William Atherton)
The Environmental Protection Agent that’s willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to shut down the Ghostbusters’ light shows and charlatan behavior.
- Stephen Colbert (“The Colbert Report,” “The Daily Show”)
- Glenn Close (“Fatal Attraction,” “Mars Attacks!”)
- Al Gore (Former Vice President of the United States, Environmentalist)
MAYOR LENNY CLOTCH (David Margulies)
The mayor of New York City, who has to make the tough decision of arresting the Ghostbusters or saving the lives of millions of registered voters.
- Mayor Rudy Giuliani
AND NOW FOR THE BIG QUESTION. . .
Who should direct?