Casting a New Class of Ghostbusters: A Wishlist

Last week saw stories break that not just one, but two actors have had discussions about being in the oft-rumored and much-fervored for Ghostbusters III. Those actors? Dane Cook and Ashton Kutcher. Reading this, I found myself staring at my computer screen wondering if we’d all been punked. Cook and Kutcher in a Ghostbusters movie is the comedic equivalent of the Jonas Brothers joining Paul and Ringo for a “reunion” tour.

I’d say that most diehard fans want this movie to happen. There hasn’t been anything like Ghostbusters since the glory days of Hook and Ladder #8, even the Carpathian-tastic sequel. The deadpan jokes, the surprisingly spooky moments, the love story — it’s all a very fine line for any movie to walk. That’s what made Venkman, Spengler and Stanz household names. Names that endure enough to warrant such a passionate response and mainstream interest 27 years after Stay Puft.

This begs the question, who would fit the jumpsuit if they’re looking for a new class of Ghostbusters? It’s not like there’s a lack of fresh, young comedic talent to fill the roles of the cadets that Dan Aykroyd has mentioned in interviews past. If anything, this is the time to cast those cadets. So, from SNL stalwarts to Oscar nominees, ladies and gentlemen, some potential Ghostbusters:

Bill Hader: It would be more than slightly poetic for another SNL Bill to take on the heavy lifting as the comedic center of the movie. He’s an outspoken fanboy, even writing an Amazing Spider-Man special with SNL cohort Seth Meyers. Hader’s got the wit, the charm the chops to pull it off. Plus, he’s shied away at the question before, saying he’s “flattered.” Of course he is. Who wouldn’t be? But Hader might just be the perfect man for the job.

Seth Rogen: Unlike Hader, Rogen’s a bona fide movie star. He’s done action-comedy, he’s done drama and now he’s even an alien. I’d imagine Rogen’s stoned-buster trying to use a proton pack to light a joint and telling Egon just how much he loved the Ghostbusters when he was a kid. Seth Rogen, living out our dreams so we don’t have to. So much so, that he once said that Ghostbusters III was “a terrible idea.” Which is exactly why he’d be perfect.

Donald Glover: Glover’s one of the most entertaining young actors in Hollywood, seeming to sum up the passion of nerdy twentysomethings everywhere, whether it be through Derrick Comedy, his stand-up or as Troy Barnes. He’s an outspoken nerd. Hell, Mystery Team may have been the closest thing we have to the original spirit of Ghostbusters. Plus, wouldn’t you like to see Childish Gambino spit a 2011 version of “two in the box, ready to go?”

Jesse Eisenberg: And why not? His neuroticism makes him an ideal scientist, especially of the paranormal variety. His comedy is scone-dry. Plus, post-Zombieland, how meta would it be to see Eisenberg and Murray together on-screen, in an actual Ghostbusters movie?

Aubrey Plaza: Since Aykroyd said the cadets would be both “boys and girls,” Parks and Recreation’s slightly hidden human highlight reel is a perfect addition to the mix. Imagine the frustration of April Ludgate lethargically chasing an apparition down some Brooklyn street, stopping instead for a drink and a game of Pac-Man.

Patton Oswalt: I’m not one for stunt cameos, but if any one comedian/actor should randomly make an appearance in this movie, it would be Patton. Not that he has any ties to the franchise or anyone in it, to the best of our knowledge, but dammit, this should happen.

Jay Baruchel: Maybe he’s a little too much like Jesse Eisenberg, but Baruchel’s one of the most underrated young comedic actors in the game. Tell me Stephen Karp wouldn’t make an awkward rookie ‘buster just as good as an awkward college freshman.

TJ Miller: Another underrated She’s Out Of My League cast member, Miller’s got a certain dorky bravado — I mean, he was in Cloverfield, another movie maybe-franchise that has had its way with Lady Liberty. No doubt, he’d kill the “token goofball” part of Ray Stanz’ personality. If any young comedic actor could tackle a ghost depantsing like Aykroyd, it’d be TJ Miller.

Lizzy Caplan: Another Cloverfield-er, Caplan absolutely killed it on Party Down, every single week. You’d be hard pressed to find a better woman to fill a cute, smart, funny role of either a female cadet or love interest. Plus, her stint on True Blood gives her some background with the paranormal.

James Franco: Because honestly, we can make an educated assumption that he’s already talked about it…somehow.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: This could be a stretch, but considering his age, his personality and the range of amazing performances he’s turned in over the years, why not? He’s young. He’s fun. He wears Joy Division shirts. I love the guy. So do you.

Mindy Kaling: Maybe her Office co-writers would decide to adopt the Kelly Kapoor minority training program storyline over from their day job, as some Walter Peck-esque government suit would be wont to do, or maybe the idea of Kaling as a young cadet frustrating the hell out of the old guard (again, Kelly Kapoor style) is just too good to pass up.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse: His turn as Red Mist proved he could make a convincingly dorky bad-ass, for one. And just go with me on this for a second — the eventual child of Louis Tulley and Janine Melnitz? You can’t unthink that, can you? Me either.

There’s something we have to remember about the original Ghostbusters: these guys were not special. Pete, Ray and Egon were some regular scientists who just happened to stumble upon some serious shit — a big Twinkie, if you will. Right place, right time, right guys. But the right cast for the new movie depends entirely on where our original 3 (or 4, depending on what you count as original) paranormal investigators and eliminators are a decade plus into the 21st Century.

Is Venkman actually going to be dead? Does baby Oscar grow up to take over the team? What’s Egon’s take on the current state of print media? The questions are burning. Here’s hoping we get some answers. It doesn’t have to be done soon, it just has to be done right — whatever that is.

Steve Ciccarelli’s writing has appeared most recently on, and on his blog about sad books and unattainable women. Follow him on Twitter if you’d like to hear his stance on basketball, bars and whatever’s on his television.

Casting a New Class of Ghostbusters: A Wishlist