Monday, June 8, 2009

Ghostbusters 3 Hypothetical Casting


This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Ghostbusters, a movie which I may have mentioned I liked previously. Furthermore, writers Gene Stupinsky and Lee Eisenberg, best known currently for The (American version of the) Office, and soon for the hilarious looking Harold Ramis-directed Year One (I know cardinal sin #1 is to judge a movie by it’s trailer, but by God it’s an appealing trailer.) Dan Aykroyd has stated in interviews that he wants the likes of Alyssa Milano to play part of a generation of “younger Ghostbusters” who almost literally receive the franchise off the backs of Ramis, Ayrkoyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson.

So sorta like this. Sorta.

The script isn’t even finished yet, although they’re pushing for a 2012 release. With that in mind, here is what I thought of when I contemplated a hypothetical casting of Ghostbusters 3. I broke the four main parts into the main sort of archetypes they filled, starting with...

“The Heart” (Dan Aykroyd/Ray Stantz): Kenan Thompson

People slightly younger than me and slightly older than me may not as fondly remember Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy program All That (if this were a broader blog, I’d probably end up rambling on about it, and other parts of the SNICK lineup ad nauseum.) These same people may also remember the Good Burger movie (which unfortunately let the plague known as Brian Robbins [Norbit] loose on Hollywood.) These people should hopefully not remember some other Kenan vehicles (the Geneva-convention-breaking The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Fat Albert in particular.) Most should now know him as the only black guy currently on SNL.

A lot of Kenan’s characters and routine on SNL have some edge and bite to them, much like Aykroyd’s (Fred Garvin: Male Prostitute immediately springs to mind for the latter.) But under that vitrol, Kenan and Aykroyd both possess an overabundance of heart, and the Ray Stantz character embodied that enthusiasm and optimism and wide-eyed wonder that would actually try to reason with a genocidal Sumerian god by posing as a representative of the “city, county, and state of New York.” Looking at some of Kenan’s past work, I think he could play that kind of character very well.

“The Mouth” (Bill Murray/Peter Venkmann): Paul Rudd

Type-casting, I know.

But somebody needs to provide the mouthy dry humor and withering “you got to be kidding me” sort of deliveries that Murray filled the first two movies with, and if I trust anybody to be dry and mouthy and hilarious, it’s Paul Rudd. This is perhaps the most direct translation from one to the other.

“The Brain” (Harold Ramis/Egon Spengler): Ellen Page

My thoughts on Juno are not a factor here. The core of this choice is deadpan. Ellen Paige is capable of delivering that kind of delivery, and she’s more high profile and slightly younger than my original choice for the role (Thora Birch.) And she’s a girl. Yay for diversity.

“The Punch-Clock Schmoe” (Ernie Hudson/Winston Zeddemore): Seth Rogen

C’mon, Seth Rogan is nothing if not perpetually laid back and laconic. Winston Zeddemore was a guy who was interested in getting paid and the fact that ghosts existed and were in need of busting was of secondary importance. I could similarly see Rogen being the kind of guy who could approach ghostbusting with a blasé attitude. He’d be the “blue collar” or “relatable” one.

Also, I know this isn’t my usual gig. Scott over at He Shot Cyrus does these considerably more often, and his are usually much more spot on and funny. Check ‘em out!

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