So far talk of who might appear in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters has been limited to mere speculation, based on chatter stolen from hacked Sony emails, basic assumptions made about who Paul Feig likes to work with, and the terrifying vistas that stream behind the fluttering eyelids of man, straining to forestall the madness of gazing upon Feig’s waking nightmare. One name yielded by all those sources is Melissa McCarthy, whose participation felt like a given the second Feig signed on to direct, and whose performance could more or less already be imagined once he hired the co-writer of The Heat. Indeed, like the return of Gozer the Gozerian—only possibly with less property damage—the coming of Melissa McCarthy seemed to be foretold.
However, The Hollywood Reporter now confirms that, while McCarthy is wanted for one of the leads—in fact, she’s seen as the film’s “lynchpin”—there are still complications with her movie and TV shooting schedule that could prevent her from fulfilling that destiny in time for Ghostbusters’ planned June shoot. There are also “certain creative meetings” that have to take place first, ostensibly regarding what kind of Melissa McCarthy role they want her to play: the kind where she’s unapologetically tactless, or the kind where she’s unapologetically tactless, yet she gets results. (That the film is not titled Ghostbotherers hints at the latter.)
THR also mentions several other names that have been floated in recent weeks via means illegally obtained and otherwise, including Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Rebel Wilson, with only Stone apparently still in contention. It also says that Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong and Workaholics’ Jillian Bell are both due to meet with Feig about being considered—in addition to, one assumes, every funny woman in Hollywood. But it sounds like the defining element of this new Ghostbusters will be Melissa McCarthy, as predicted by everyone from Bill Murray to anyone who’s seen a Paul Feig movie lately.
Of course, on the off chance that McCarthy declines, THR says the studio is also compiling a list of “backup names” that could possibly replace her, a group that presumably includes Dame Helen Mirren, the cartoon Janine from The Real Ghostbusters, and Dan Aykroyd. But let’s be real here.