This is a new feature I thought I’d start where I blog about something “geeky” that’s been a formative influence on my life. I’m also planning to bring guests in to write about their geeky favorites too. Won’t that be fun? 😀
Today I invited my friend Sam to take over the blog to kick off the new “Let Your Geek Flag Fly” feature. I’ve known Sam for a couple years now after we took a writing class together. He’s a cool guy, smart, talented, and he once let me lecture him about the Bechdel Test and Pacific Rim for 45 minutes while we were trapped in a car together. So he can’t be all bad. ;P
Take it away, Sam…
“OK, SO… HE’S A GIRL.” In case you’ve been living under a gravestone this past week, there’s a rumor floating around that the next Ghostbusters film will feature… an ALL FEMALE CAST. That’s right, boys and ghouls; Chicks with proton sticks! “It’s Miller time!”
*high fives the internet*
My first reaction to the news, being the slime-hard fan that I am, was, “Noooooo!” But, my second reaction, after I’d calmed down and had myself a Twinkie, was, “Wait. Why the hell not?!” This might be just what the franchise needs – “total protonic reversal.”
Bill Murray has little to no interest in returning to the franchise, Harold Ramis has sadly passed away, Rick Moranis hasn’t acted since 1997, and Ivan Reitman has left the project for good. So… where do we go from here?
Some folks are calling this idea of an all-female cast a marketing gimmick, which, this being Hollywood, may very well be true. But, Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and potential director of the next Ghostbusters film, takes issue with the word “gimmick”. Feig tweets, “Interesting how making a movie with men in the lead roles is normal but making a movie with women in the lead roles is a ‘gimmick.’ #its2014”
C’mon, Paul. Isn’t that oversimplifying things? Isn’t that like saying, “Interesting how making a Sex and the City movie with women is normal but making a Sex and the City movie with men is a gimmick.’” I mean, wouldn’t that be a gimmick? At the very least, couldn’t you see how people might perceive it as such? Let’s say it’s not a gimmick. Let’s say the idea actually comes from some pure deeply artistic intention. Isn’t a Sex and the City movie with an all-male cast going to turn heads? Wouldn’t you want it to turn heads? What are we talking about here, Paul?
Wait, let’s take it further. Let’s cast my great-aunt Mary as Batman. Or, better yet, let’s cast Zach Galifianakis as Wonder Woman. “Interesting how casting Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman is normal but casting Zack Galifianakis as Wonder Woman is a “gimmick.’ #its2014people”
The issue here isn’t gender or social equality. The issue here is tone. The issue here is precedence. The precedent here is that the Ghostbusters have always been Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson — four dudes who bust their humps day-in and day-out trudging through the streets of NY, with slime in their shoes and nuclear accelerators on their backs, hoping to catch a ghost or two just so they can earn enough money to have a beer at the end of the day, maybe a little lo-mein, and a shit-ton of cigarettes.
Now, imagine that same scene, but, with women.
I’m exaggerating here to make a point, and the point is this: if the rumor is true, then this is a huge change. Dramatically, tonally, it’s a huge change. Fans are going to be thrown for a bit of a loop. And this should be acknowledged and not swept under some snarky politically correct rug. It’s condescending and it does a disservice to what could potentially be a wonderful film. A simple, “Yeah, we know it’s different, but we think it could be great” would suffice.
More and more, I am all for this idea of an all-girl team. Hell, I even think Feig is a great choice for director. Can we have Sigourney Weaver on the team? Maybe she’s their boss. How about Kristen Wig? She’d be a stellar Ghostbuster. Yeah, OK. Let’s do this thing. Seriously…
If you liked what Sam had to say, he’s running a Kickstarter right now to fund his own ghost-busting comicbook, THE PROJECTIONIST. (I’m a backer.) I’ve read early drafts of the story and it’s really damn good. Trust me, the boy can write. You can check out the Kickstarter HERE.