You read that headline right: the wealth of insider information and leaks following the hacking of Sony's top executives continues, with a possible Ghostbusters film starring Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) being pitched by one of the actors themselves. This film would be separate from the plans of an all-female Ghostbusters movie.
Already revealed in the fallout of the hacking scandal is the talent being sought by Sony - Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone among them - with Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) confirming he's on board to direct. And if the newest reports are to be believed, then Feig may have a lot more work on his plate in the coming years.
That's according to TheDailyBeast, who have uncovered (in more leaked emails) an exchange between Tatum and Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal. Having given the studio one of its most surprising reboots in 21 Jump Street and its sequel, and garnering praise for his role in Foxcatcher (developed under Sony's indie banner), it seems Tatum is able to share his hopes for the Ghostbusters series informally, judging by an email reportedly sent by the actor to Pascal on August 21, 2014:
Let us show the world The DarkSide and let us fight it with all the glory and epicness of a HUGE BATMAN BEGINS MOVIE. I know we can make this a huge franchise. Fun adventure craziness. COME OONNNN!!!
Though enthusiastic, Tatum's desire to headline in a potential blockbuster alongside his 10 Years (2011) co-star Chris Pratt isn't a story on its own. But the continuous rise of both actors' stars is something Sony isn't looking to pass up, as the following day Columbia Pictures' co-president of production Hannah Minghella sent a more detailed statement to her fellow executives:
So… in a curious turn of events - the Russos and Channing want to develop Ghostbusters as a vehicle for Channing and Chris Pratt to do together...The Russos, Channing and Reid have been brainstorming ideas and want to create a whole new mythology that would support multiple movies (the way that Nolan reinvented Batman). To be clear - the Russos want to produce (not direct) and while Channing and Chris are looking for a movie to do together they haven't mentioned this to him yet because they weren't sure how we'd react.
The 'Russos' mentioned in the email are Anthony and Joe Russo, directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and more recently revealed to be helming both Avengers: Infinity War movies. The pair have apparently discussed plenty with Sony, with plans to produce a new Spider-Man series also surfacing as part of the studio's hacking.
The 'Reid' mentioned is Reid Carolin, Tatum's producing partner. The wording of the email is vague, but it seems that all parties involved have kept Pratt out of the loop, presumably wanting to hear the feasibility of the project from Sony first. It's hard to say if Pratt would want to add yet another major franchise to his increasingly-packed schedule - but a Ghostbusters reboot would be hard for any comedic actor to turn down, given the right talent.
Despite the time that's passed since then, it's possible Pratt is finding out these plans along with the rest of the world. It's still wise to take this news with a grain of salt, since both Tatum and Pratt have plenty of work already in place for the coming year(s), including Sony's own 23 Jump Street.
Whether this film gains steam or not, the extra details offered by Minghella show that Paul Feig's promise of a truly terrifying Ghostbusters reboot really is the overall goal for not just one movie, but any potential shared universe:
They want to make it simultaneously super scary while also super funny. They love the idea that they are mortal heroes who are believers in the paranormal and the only people who can defend mankind from a paranormal threat. I know we're mid negotiations with Paul [Feig]. I'm not sure whether we'd ever develop two different versions simultaneously. Joe Russo is open to the idea that both movies could be developed in partnership so they compliment one another within the same Ghostbusters universe. Apparently the Russos are very close to Paul and Joe suggested Paul could be attached to direct both. Personally I think it's possible for the female version to co-exist with this other version so maybe they're not mutually exclusive.
Vague plans are nothing new when a potential reboot (or reboots) are in development, but the private nature of these emails implies that a Pratt/Tatum Ghostbusters is a very real possibility. With the Russos, Feig, Tatum and his producer all obviously on board, it's hard to think of what could throw a wrench in the works (since it's safe to say this plan would be more warmly received by skeptics than its all-female counterpart). However, with even a 21 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover being discussed, we wouldn't recommend any fans hold their breath.
[Updated: More leaked info, including emails from October 3rd, indicate that plans for Paul Feig's all-female Ghostbusters reboot has only one lead male role and that Ryan Gosling was interested. Read about it here. The Tatum/Pratt vehicle would be a potential spinoff of that.]
What do you think of these potential plans? Is this a Ghostbusters movie you could see as a safer bet? Or are you still on the fence? Share your thoughts or concerns for a Ghostbusters shared universe in the comments below.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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