After languishing in development hell for decades, Ghostbusters 3 finally saw a turning point a few months ago when The Heat team of director Paul Feig and writer Katie Dippold came onboard the project and shook things up, making it a reboot instead of a sequel and making plans for an all-female team of Ghostbusters. Since Feig became involved there’s been a sense of greater momentum for the project, with leaked e-mails from Sony indicating that casting is already underway.

Names that have been thrown into the mix include Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, Lizzy Caplan and Jennifer Lawrence, with other actors like Gillian Anderson, Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum also taking an interest. Not everyone is happy with the idea of an all-female team (to quote one of our commenters, “Who the hell wants to watch 4 women make sandwiches for ghosts and clean the house for an hour and a half?!“) but the box office profits for Feig’s last two female-led comedies give Sony plenty of reason to be confident.

Speaking in an interview in the latest issue of Empire, Feig reiterates that the idea of having an all-female team was what really sparked his interest in Ghostbusters in the first place.

“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.”

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After directing two successful feature films with female-led casts, Feig is used to facing down detractors who dismiss the idea that women can be funny. The director faced similar questions in an interview with EW earlier this year and responded, “I just don’t understand why it’s ever an issue anymore… why is a movie starring women considered a gimmick and a movie starring men is just a normal movie?

Another gripe that has come up in response to the (very few) details that are available about Ghostbusters is the idea of making it a reboot instead of a sequel. Since Bill Murray has repeatedly insisted that he would never star in another Ghostbusters movie and Harold Ramis sadly passed away in February 2014, it wouldn’t really be possible to get the old gang back together. And Feig says that he’d rather reveal ghosts to the world all over again.

“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.”

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Feig has also said in the past that he and Dippold are working to make the Ghostbusters reboot as scary as possible, despite the fact that it will carry a PG-13 rating instead of an R rating. Both The Heat and Bridesmaids were R rated, but that was mainly due to the amount of profanity, which Feig says won’t be an issue this time.

“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.”

We’ll keep you updated on the Ghostbusters reboot as more information becomes available.

Source: Empire (via CBM)