The same thing is said at the beginning of every year, but really, 2016 is going to be a huge year for film. There’s Deadpool, Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Creed, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad, and yes, even Zoolander 2.
But there’s one film that really stands out for me, and I wait in nervous anticipation for its release this Summer, Ghostbusters.
I say nervous anticipation because I am hoping and praying that I am not disappointed. I so badly want this film to work, but let’s face it, it has a lot to live up to. We’ve spoken at length in numerous episodes about the seemingly endless stream of reboots flying off Hollywood’s production line, particularly in Episode 15 and Episode 32 so head on over and have a listen if you want to hear more on that.
Why does it have a lot to live up to? Well simply put, the original two films were just so damn good. Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz, Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler and Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddmore.
The first film especially, really does have it all. It really is very funny, but at times it is also downright scary and I don’t just mean cheap jump scares, there are some genuinely chilling moments. At least I used to think so. Perhaps I’m in need of a rewatch?
For want of a more sophisticated way of saying it, the originals were just so much fun! The entire cast really got into it and the comedic elements are just fantastic. However, I must tear myself away from the original films now because although I could praise them all day long, I want to talk about the upcoming reboot.
So who are the new phantom fighters? Melissa McCarthy (Spy) plays Abby Yates, the brains of the group and who director Paul Feig describes as a “paranormal researcher, supernatural scientist, entity trapper”.
Next up we have Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) who plays Jillian Holtzmann, a “nuclear engineer, munitions expert, proton wrangler” according to Feig.
Then we have Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) playing Erin Gilbert, a “particle physicist, academic firebrand, spectral warrior”.
Last but by no means least is Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) who plays the role of Patty Tolan, the braun of the group. She’s a “ghost tracker, municipal historian, metaphysical commando”. Whatever that means.
So what do I make of this fearsome foursome? Well before we get to me, what has Bill Murray had to say about them? “A great hope” is how the actor described the new cast. He also said: “I like those girls a lot. I mean, I really do. They are tough to say no to.”
And who am I to argue with Bill Murray? Admittedly, I don’t know an awful lot about Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones but I am familiar with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. The immediate thought that springs to mind when I think of those two is a simple one: hit and miss. Both actresses are capable of being extremely funny, and I am expecting a strong comedic performance in this film and I think they will bounce off each other very well too.
Yes, I am aware there’s an elephant in the room and I am a big admirer of said elephant. I think it’s a very bold, refreshing move to go with an all-female lineup, and from what I understand the reaction has been positive, and why shouldn’t it be? The whole point of a reboot isn’t to just make a carbon copy of the original because if people wanted that they would just watch the original. It’s critical when making a reboot to bring in new, fresh ideas and shake things up a bit, while at the same time sticking to the principles that made the original so brilliant. And what better way to shake things up? I wholeheartedly applaud this decision.
Something else to look forward to is the cameo appearances of Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts. Sadly Harold Ramis passed away in 2014. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they are incorporated into this new film, and their appearance will only further strengthen the feeling of nostalgia which I’m sure will be pretty strong anyway.
The film is set to act as an origins story for the new crew, and we will also meet Chris Hemsworth (Thor) who plays the new secretary, and Neil Casey (Saturday Night Live) in the form of Rowan, a villain.
“I wasn’t viewing this as a reboot” says Paul Feig, “because I wanted to come to a world that hadn’t been through a ghost crisis before.” Interesting.
The director may not be viewing this as a reboot, but I most certainly am, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I just hope they don’t try too hard and overdo it all, subtlety is important.
So for the next six months, I’m keeping everything crossed.
Ghostbusters opens on July 15th.