Paul Feig Wants New ‘Ghostbusters’ to be Scarier Than the Original

By December 30, 2014
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When word got out that Paul Feig, creator of “Freaks and Geeks,” and the writer/director of Bridesmaids, would be spearheading a new Ghostbusters film with a primarily female cast, some thought it would be a gimmick. In a new interview with Empire magazine, Feig explains some of his methodology in creating a new Ghostbusters film, and how he wants it to stand out and apart from the 1984 original directed by Ivan Reitman.

The first thing he wants is for it to be scarier than the original. In the interview, he speaks about the tone of the film he’s envisioning, and what he wants to do in order to make it just as tense as it will be funny. He said,

I want ours to be scarier than the original, to be quite honest. (Co-writer) Katie Dippold and I are so focused on wanting to do scary comedy. We don’t want to hold back…The reason I do a lot of R-Rated comedies is that you want a movie to feel honest. But the Ghostbusters world doesn’t need that level of swearing. We’ll have to be PG-13 with this one. I would like to make it R-Rated, but I won’t. You want the biggest number of people to watch it and not be put off by it.

In regards to creating the first new Ghostbusters film since 1989’s Ghostbusters II, Feig has made it clear that the reason the new film is going to be narratively separate from the other films is because of a major respect for the work of the original creators and actors.

I have too much respect for the original one [to do a sequel]. There’s also the feeling that once the world knows ghosts and has seen them busted on such a large scale, they run the risk of becoming pedestrian. There’s something fun about introducing our world, which has never seen ghosts to the phenomenon of ghosts. I love origin stories and to introduce new characters.

Feig also responded to the criticism of some in going with a primarily female cast, since some feel that it’s merely a hook that the creators wish to apply to a popular franchise. Feig doesn’t feel that way at all, even throwing in a sarcastic title suggestion. He says,

A lot of people accused it of being a gimmick. I guess I can see the cynics’ view of it, but for me I just love working with funny women. People said, ‘Why don’t you do a mix?’ I’m just more interested in the idea of lady Ghostbusters. It’s the way my brain works…It won’t be called Lady Ghostbusters! Certainly not…Ghostbustieres is the way to go.

The director would also go on to say that casting is pretty far off, since its just too early in the process. Overall, it sounds like Feig is putting a lot of thought into the way that this film could work. While the untimely death of Harold Ramis likely meant that a sequel with the original cast would be out of the question, Feig has certainly proven himself as a capable director with his last couple of films, and if a new Ghostbusters is a vehicle toward the same kind of fun at the movies, then maybe it’s okay to see some new faces stopping some ghosts.

(h/t CBM)

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.