My Perfect Cast For “Ghostbusters 3”

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So I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that “Ghostbusters 3” is happening, after a quarter century of rumors about it. Now, given that Bill Murray has said for a while that he wants nothing to do with it, and Harold Ramis has sadly left us, we already knew that the original cast wasn’t an option. So instead, they’re taking it in a whole new direction. Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) is directing, and it will have an all female cast. Even though this probably means Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are locks to be in the movie, I’m gonna put on my casting director pants, and play “what if” just for the hell of it.

Now, my main man Billy Murray has suggested a cast of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Linda Cardellini, and Emma Stone. I’m leaving all of them off this list for a few reasons. First, everyone’s already talked this potential cast to death. Secondly, I don’t particularly agree. I don’t have the same disdain for Melissa McCarthy that it seems a lot of the viewing public does, but let’s be honest, she’s overexposed at this point. Plus, she’s very hit or miss for me. Linda Cardellini and Emma Stone’s comedic sensibilities also line up too much for my taste. They’re both wry, dry, and sarcastic. It’d be like casting Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg in the same movie. We’re talking about chemistry here, people!

So here are my picks. This is in an ideal world where star power doesn’t matter, and I get to choose the best ladies possible for the job.

Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) – Chelsea Peretti

This is the role that will probably make or break the movie, because you can make a pretty convincing argument that Ghostbusters wouldn’t have been half the phenomenon it was without Bill Murray’s dry, deadpan demeanor. In all likelihood, the Venkman role will go to someone with A-list recognizability, but since this is my fake casting session, I call the shots here. Chelsea’s got the same type of humor that you want for Venkman. It’s not as simple as just being funny. You need someone who can tread the line between asshole and likeable. Remember, Venkman is basically a creep. It’s only Murray’s personality that makes him so good. Ol’ Peretti’s got that same gene.

“But Knox, didn’t you JUST put Chelsea Peretti in a column yesterday? Someone’s crushin’.” I swear to god, hypothetical reader I made up, I’m gonna kick your ass before this column is over. Yes, I did just get done singing Chelsea Peretti’s praises, but that’s because she’s that fucking funny. I’m calling it now, she’s the next big female comedy star. In fact, if Paulie Feig reads this column and decides to put Chelsea in Ghostbusters, that’ll probably be what puts me on the map. Chelsea, you can thank me later.

Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) – Anna Faris

For as great a comedic actress as Anna Faris is, she’s really gotten a raw deal as far as her career goes. People seem to forget how out-of-nowhere hilarious she was in “Scary Movie.” Since then, she’s had great supporting characters in “Waiting,” “Just Friends,” “Observe and Report,” and “Take Me Home Tonight,” and starring roles in several forgettable movies that weren’t her fault. I haven’t seen her sitcom, but I can tell you she deserves better than living out her comedy career as the mouthpiece of a Chuck Lorre show. She’s got the perfect amount of earnestness, physical humor, and verbal delivery to nail the Dan Aykroyd role.

Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) – Anna Chlumsky

Two Annas?! Well, technically Anna Faris’ name is pronounced AH-nuh, so no. This will be a tricky role, as Harry Ramis is dead, and people are going to be very touchy about someone filling his shoes. Anna Chlumsky is a phenomenal actress. She’s one of my favorite actors working now who hasn’t really hit it big yet. She’s got dramatic chops, but it’s her role as the neurotic, over-caffeinated aide to Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep that wins her this role. Spengler is a neurotic, socially weird nerd, and Chlumsky’s weird demeanor is exactly what we need for Spengler.

Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) – Ernie Hudson

CURVEBALL ALERT. This is the toughest role for them to cast in my opinion, because simply choosing a black actress to be the stand in for Winston will come off like an effort to “add some color” to the cast. And it’ll come off that way, because that’s exactly what it would be. See, with the original, Aykroyd and Ramis wrote the movie, and were always going to be in the cast, where Murray took over the part originally meant for John Belushi. They all just happened to be white guys. Winston’s character was originally supposed to be this ex-soldier badass who also had multiple PhDs, and was sort of the perfect version of what someone who fights ghosts should be. They changed his character to be an everyman stand-in for the audience so that there would be someone to put everything into simple terms the average viewer would understand. He didn’t get cast because he was black, and we certainly shouldn’t just throw in Aisha Tyler/Queen Latifah just because he was black. I say bring back Winston’s character, in the role he was originally intended to be, an old, grizzled, expert ghost hunter, who is the one who teaches the new team how to battle slimers and such.

Now, before I let you go do whatever it is you do for the rest of the day, let’s briefly discuss the elephant in the room.

THEY’RE WOMEN AND THIS IS GONNA BE SO NOT FUNNY RIGHT?

I’ve already heard a lot of people make the serious argument that this is gonna be “Sex and the City” with ghosts. Yes, really. So using the parameters that the only similarity between those two films is that they have four female leads, then I maintain that the base level template for movies with four male leads is Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.” So “The Usual Suspects” is “Grown Ups” with crime and murder, “Hot Tub Time Machine” is “Grown Ups” with comedic time travel, and “Glengarry Glen Ross” is “Grown Ups” with swear words and sales leads. I don’t care if “Grown Ups” came after those movies, that’s how this game works!

Seriously, do you people even logic, bro?

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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