Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Hollywood Babble On & On #1214: All-Girl Ghostbusters - the Perils & Pitfalls

Well, it's pretty much all but official.

The long simmering all-women reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise has entered final negotiations with the cast Paul Feig wants to don the proton packs. 

Melissa McCarthy is signed on, and final talks are going on with Bridesmaids co-star Kristin Wiig, and Saturday Night Live cast-members Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon.

This event is being touted as the biggest victory for feminism since women got the vote.

But is it?

Think about it for a minute.

We're not talking about Hollywood developing an original, female-driven franchise.

What we are talking about is Hollywood tossing women a franchise that's been considered more or less dead since 1989, and even then it was only because the original cast was unavailable due to busyness, contrariness, or mortality.

To me that's not a victory, but more like getting the scraps of something unwanted by the people that Hollywood views as more important.

That's considered a victory?

I think it's a trap.

If the new all-women Ghostbusters under performs by any metric of comparison with the original, then Hollywood will  declare it a failure and use it as an excuse to not develop women-led franchise films.

I think a victory would be the creation of a new female-driven film with franchise potential and to let it fly or flop on its own merits without the baggage of a long dead franchise whose only sequel was considered a flop by everyone involved because it only made globally what the first film made domestically.

It's not hard to come up with a female-centric high-concept movie. Back during the more sexist Golden Age of Movies they used to put out "women's pictures" with great regularity and in a wide variety of genres and styles. They made the expected romantic comedies and weepy melodramas, but they also made female-driven thrillers, mysteries, broader slapstick farces, adventure films, and even horror films.

They didn't do that because people demanded it in the name of fairness, the studios did it because it was a practical business decision. Those films made money.

I demonstrated how easy it is when I whipped up a "women's picture" premise literally on the fly during a previous discussion of this issue.

Anyone can do it, and let's come up with another one and do it for this cast:

THE POOL: This is an action comedy set in the 1960s. They play a group of women who want to be spies, but, despite their training and talent, are trapped doing secretarial work for the National Intelligence Agency because the swaggering men running the place won't admit they're able. When they uncover a plot involving traitors selling the agency out to a super villain, they go out in the field, have all kinds of Connery-era James Bond style hijinks and settle the bad guys' hash and save the world.

Easy peasy.

Why won't Hollywood do it?

Because they think it's a "risk" because it involves both originality and women, two things Hollywood fears the most.

That's what I think.

What do you think?


  1. They already had a successful all women action franchise. "Charlie's Angels". The first movie was very successful. The second, however, sucked big time and flopped. The difference? The first one was actually an action girl anime like satire featuring cute young giggling sexy chicks doing all that male butt kicking stuff while trying to impress their boyfriends and keep their hair from getting mussed. The second was trying to substitute women for men in an average action flick without the cute fun stuff. IOWs, bomb.

    If the girly Ghostbusters follows the first Charley movie, they make make money. If not the only people going will be bull dykes and SJWs trying to support the cause.

  2. I think I am tired of the movie industry's constant Social Engineering.