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If there’s something strange with your comedy sequel, and things don’t look good, who you gonna call? Well, if the movie in question is Ghostbusters 3, you’re gonna call Paul Feig and hope that he can bring his golden touch to the troubled threequel. According to THR, the The Heat director is in talks to helm the film, which has been looking for someone to fill the opening left by Ivan Reitman, who left the project following Harold Ramis’ death in March. In addition to the new direction, Ghostbuster 3 will also be getting a makeover, and will reportedly center on an all-female team of parapsychologists.
Though the news has unsurprisingly been met with resistance from some fans who are reluctant to let go of the male characters they’re comfortable with, the general response from fans and critics has been positive with many looking forward to seeing the franchise get a breath of fresh air. And while it will likely be difficult seeing new faces in the ghostbusters’ jumpsuits – after all, who could possibly replace Bill Murray? – it shouldn’t be hard to find plenty of talented funny ladies who would be up for the challenge, and perfect for the roles. In case Feig is looking for a few casting suggestions, we’ve matched some of the best comedic actresses currently working with the original character archetypes to give him a sense of who would be perfect for Ghostbusters 3. You know, after Melissa McCarthy has been cast.
For the Peter Venkman Character: As the perpetually bored, slightly mischevious Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine Nine, Chelsea Peretti has proved that she has the right wit and attitude to take on Murray’s most famous role, along with just enough sweetness to match his heart of gold. Likewise, Jessica Williams has had the perfect showcase for her cynical, sarcastic side on The Daily Show, which would give the character the right amount of edge. And while Kaitlin Olson’s most famous character is better known for her jaded, sarcastic attitude and biting insults, the actress herself is equally capable of handling light-hearted moments, and she could use a breakout film role; as could Aisha Tyler, whose intelligent, dry wit and warm personality would make her an ideal team leader. Vote below, and read on to see who should play the Ray, the Egon, the Leon, and the Winston.
For the Ray Spatz Character: Though Kristen Schaal might be best-known for raunchy, shocking stand up persona, one only needs to watch a few episodes of Gravity Falls or Bob’s Burgers to know that she’s just as hilarious when playing wide-eyed, uninhibited enthusiasm... with an edge. Though they're often obnoxious and in-your-face, Jenny Slate's characters often still have some growing up to do, and her run as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On proves that she's equally adept at being innocent and adorable. Mindy Kaling’s over-the-top, goofy personality would also make her a solid fit for the childlike, excitable character, and if there’s anyone whose carved a niche in Hollywood with naïve, warm-hearted characters, it’s Kaling’s good friend Ellie Kemper, who had turned child-like innocence into an comedy gold. Vote below, and read on to see who should play the Egon, the Leon, and the Winston.
For the Egon Spengler Character: Playing a rigid, focused Egon Spengler-type requires someone who excels at playing the straight-man, and there’s nobody on television who currently does that better than Brooklyn Nine Nine’s Melissa Fumero, whose Amy Santiago is the perfect mix of goofy and Type-A. Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson is also at her most hilarious when she’s attempting to impose some kind of order on things that are beyond her control, and her talent at handling awkward situations is unparalleled. Many of Vanessa Bayer’s best SNL character exhibit a similar tightly-wound, nerdy awkwardness and she’s proven that she can earn laughs with just a few words. Meanwhile, Ana Gasteyer has brought dorky rigidity to new heights on Suburgatory, where she played the competitive perfectionist Shiela Shay. Vote below, and read on to see who should play the Leon and the Winston.
For the Leon Tully Character: Perhaps no actress has turned awkwardness into an art form quite like Miranda Hart, whose nerdy, well-meaning Chummy on Call the Midwife has nothing on the endearingly embarrassing title character in her sitcom Miranda. Likewise, Rachel Dratch has made a career playing a variety of hilarious, uncomfortable weirdoes from the fast-talking, PDA-friendly Denise to the socially-unaware Debbie Downer. But if there’s any actress who could be considered the female counterpart to Rick Moranis, it’s probably Amy Sedaris, whose iconic Jerri Blank is basically a warped version of the awkward, socially-inept but well-meaning nerds that Moranis has specialized in. Vote below, and read on to see who should play the Winston.
For the Winston Zeddemore Character: Though Rosa Diaz is a bit more violent and monotone than the straight-talking voice of reason that is Winston Zeddemore, Stephanie Beatriz has nonetheless proved herself talented at dishing out tough love to the idiots she surrounds herself with, as well as willing to go along with just about anything if there’s something in it for her. Shirley Bennet’s advice-giving, mothering would make Yvette Nicole Brown an excellent choice for the role as well, along with her talent for cutting through nonsense and ability to turn a sermon into a comedic showcase. Gina Torres has similarly specialized in tough, skeptical characters, and she’s especially good at imbuing them all with a slightly goofy sense of humor and warm heart, and though Nasim Pedrad has played plenty of weirdoes, she’s adept finding the funniest way to shake some sense into people – who’s a better voice of reason on SNL than her Arianna Huffington?
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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