If there’s something strange
In your neighborhood
who you gonna call?
Whenever Hollywood casts any actor to play a character that has already been established in popular culture, I always am amused by the public reaction.
Remember when people flipped out when Ben Affleck was tabbed for Batman?
I just don’t think it’s worth expending any amount of energy towards being mad about a movie character. I mean, unless the character in question really is near and dear to your heart. But that’s an exception.
For example: if Lil’ Bow Wow was cast as Harry Potter years ago, then OK, that demands criticism. But for the most part, Hollywood studios tend to get these things right — Topher Grace as Venom in Spiderman 3 excluded.
This has been happening for years with British actors playing iconic American characters. The most recent portrayers of Batman, Spiderman and Superman were all played by Brits. Shit, Martin Luther King was just by played by an English actor. This is hidden, though, with an accent.
Now there’s “miscastings” that even an accent can’t hide. I’m talking black Annie. NBC just had a woman play Peter Pan. There’s rumors of a black James Bond.
And now … female Ghostbusters.
What’s amused me most about this is that the criticism I’ve heard regarding the four women pegged to play the classic Ghostbusters is basically just passive aggressive sexism.
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are the foursome who will lug around Proton packs chasing ghosts in the fictional Ghostbusters universe.
This pretty much sums up the response to these choices:
Melissa McCarthy: Really, her again? She was a standout in Bridesmaids, but enough is enough.
Leslie Jones: The older chick from SNL? Please don’t tell me she’s only in this to play the Sassy Black Girl.
Kate McKinnon: Who? Oh, that other SNL chick. Hopefully she has a makeout scene with Kristen Wiig.
Kristen Wiig: She’s cool.
The immediate response appears to be negative. And I wish people would just be outright and say why they don’t like it — because they never wanted women to play the Ghostbusters.
Why are we so afraid to be labeled as a sexist? If that’s how you feel, then just be honest. Why waste your time nitpicking these actresses if you can sum it up in two words: No women.
In reality, this will probably make a fortune. But the success of the project comes down to the same formula for any movie: if there’s a solid script and direction, it’ll succeed.
But to be fair, I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who never wanted a remake, regardless of who was cast, men or women, unless original Ghostbusters Bill Murray or Dan Akroyd were involved.
Either way, I’m more than willing to give it a chance. Individually, these women are all funny. Combined, there could be something pretty special there.
Or it could suck. There’s only one way to find out.
But I’ll admit that I will be disappointed if Wiig and McKinnon don’t at least give each other an extended hug.