Exclusive: Paul Feig Talks Ghostbusters
'Pulling it out of New York would be the biggest sin'
Paul Feig has a new film coming - it’s a newly-trailered espionage caper called Spy that has a cast straight out of our zaniest cheese dream – but he’s also beavering away on a certain Ghostbusters movie and he shared the latest on that with Empire on that threequel too. Firstly, he and co-writer Kate Dippold are not, repeat not, moving the setting away from its traditional home. “No, to me it’s such a New York movie and the biggest sin would be to pull it out of there,” stresses Feig. “I just love New York and, selfishly, I just want to shoot in New York.”
The plan is for an all-female team of Ghostbusters that will, promises the writer/director, boast “fun nods to the old movie” without ever lapsing into self-parody. Don’t expect a ‘Venkwoman’ or too many Easter eggs marshmallows, in other words. “We’re not recreating the old movie but we want to do just enough fun nods that the fans will go, ‘Oh, okay, they’re acknowledging that the other movie existed,’” he elaborates. “I like to watch parodies, but I don’t want to do them because they’re too referential. Comedy that’s too referential has such a short shelf life, whereas comedy that’s based around characters will be relatable 2000 years from now because people won’t change that much.”
While he wasn’t able to elaborate further on those Melissa McCarthy casting rumours (“It came out publically that we’re in talks with Melissa but there’s a lot to work out,” he cautions), he is keeping tabs on internet reactions. “There’s a lot of haters and I get it,” he laughs of feedback from north of the firewall. “The problem with the internet is that if 500 really angry men start bombarding me, I think, ‘Oh god, everybody hates this movie,’ but then you realise that it’s only 500 people. I don’t block anyone out or not read that stuff because I want to know what the most hardcore hater fan’s problem is.”
For Feig, there’s plenty of gas left in the Ecto-1 tanks. “A lot of people ask why I didn’t create my own thing but Ghostbusters never ran out of steam, it’s such a great idea,” he stresses. “It’s such a fun franchise so why not bring it to a new generation? The old movie is never going to not exist. It’s not my plan to erase every copy! Hopefully they can all live together.”
Like most of Sony’s planned output, the Ghostbusters 3 scripting process has been complicated by the hacking fallout. After an early email to Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman outlining ideas for the film appeared and then disappeared from the internet, no risks are being taken with screenplay drafts. “We’ve been working on laptops and passing flash drives back and forth,” explains Feig of his and co-writer Dippold’s collaboration. “It’s very old school. We’re using paper, god forbid.”
Before Ghostbusters 3 kicks up a gear, there's Spy to look forward to. That one opens in the UK on June 5 and Feig has talked us through its trailer right here.