To say there’s been a lot of talk about the cast of the new Ghostbusters is putting it mildly. Ever since we learned the Paul Feig-directed film will be a female-fronted reboot there’s been chatter, and now that we know who the four primary players are going to be—Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon—the intensity has ratcheted up a few notches. A couple of the original Ghostbusters have already sounded off on the subject of a female-centric cast, and now Dan Aykroyd has added his two cents.
Bill Murray threw his support behind a female team of paranormal investigators early on, while Ernie Hudson made his displeasure with the set up known. Over the years, Aykroyd has always been one of the big proponents of a Ghostbusters 3, and any time the topic cropped up his name was always in the mix somewhere as one of the people pushing for more. Because of this, I didn’t expect him to be super supportive of the new film, not necessarily because of the gender of the heroes, but because his vision of the future of the franchise was always tied to its history, and this is very, very different. But I was wrong.
Talking to the Hollywood Reporter, Aykroyd was remarkably positive and had nothing but wonderful things to say about the cast and the film. He said:
The Aykroyd family is delighted by this inheritance of the Ghostbusters torch by these most magnificent women in comedy.
My great grandfather, Dr. Sam Aykroyd, the original Ghostbuster, was a man who empowered women in his day, and this is a beautiful development in the legacy of our family business.
Though we don’t know which actor will play which part, we do know a little bit about the four main roles in Ghostbusters. One is named Erin Gabler, and she is a tenure-track academic at Columbia University; there’s Abby Bergman, who hunts ghosts for a living, but is more on the pop, fringe science side of things; Abby has a hunting partner named Jillian; and then there’s Patty, who is subway worker for the MTA in New York, and she is the first person to encounter the main ghost. There have been rumors that McCarthy will play Patty, but right now that’s all just hearsay.
In addition to the four main women, it’s been said that Murray is being sought for a non-Peter Venkman role. He would play Martin Heiss, a professional paranormal debunker who makes it his mission to prove that the team is a bunch of frauds. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage has been mentioned as topping the wish list to play the main villain, a so-called “creepy mechanical genius.”
In the wake of this casting news, Feig also revealed on Twitter that Ghostbusters will hit theaters July 22, 2016