'Ghostbusters' Premiere: Tom Rothman, Kate McKinnon, Amy Pascal, Paul Feig Talk Importance of Female Writers
"I love these women and this movie was really important to me," says co-writer Katie Dippold.
The number of female scribes writing for female leads lately has been sparse.
There were no women writers credited for Neighbors 2, which featured female leads played by Chloe Grace Moretz and Rose Byrne. More recently, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, starring Zac Efron and Adam DeVine, has female lead counterparts in Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, but no female scribes. In fact, they're the same writers for the Neighbors sequel.
And that's not all. The upcoming comedy Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn and Christina Applegate, was written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The film, fittingly about moms behaving badly, wasn't written by, well, moms.
So, what about the Ghostbusters reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones? They have Katie Dippold with Paul Feig behind them.
"If you have Katie Dippold, you're in good shape no matter what," producer Amy Pascal told The Hollywood Reporter at the comedy's premiere on Saturday.
"It's probably the most important thing. You need it," said McKinnon. "Other kinds of voices need to be given a chance, and Paul and Sony gave us all this opportunity. You just have to give people an opportunity and let them run with it."
Added Sony movie chief Tom Rothman: "It's important for female writers, directors, cinematographers. I think it's important for females, behind the camera talent, on any movie. Yes, maybe it's particularly relevant here, but I think it's a generalized imperative."
And writer-director Feig thinks it's crucial to have both men and women teaming up to pen the script.
"I really think it's important that women write for women, but I also think it's important that men and women work together, so you don't have one gender stereotyping the other one. What happens on my sets is we both are a system of checks and balances for each other and on top of it the actors, be they men or women, are saying, 'Oh I wouldn't do this, I wouldn't do that.' So if we listen to them, then we get a three-dimensional realistic portrayal."
Added Dippold: "I would like to think I could write male characters. So I can't beat down on men writing female characters. I tried to do the best I can. I love these women and this movie was really important to me. They did a lot of improv, especially Chris Hemsworth, which was surprising. That whole interview scene he was improvising left and right. He was the last character to get really fleshed out. He was at first a guy who was really apathetic, and then Chris came and brought this weirdness to it."
Dippold had Sony's full support, too. "They were pretty good," she said. "As far as it goes in the scriptwriting process, they were excited about the early drafts, so they weren't too hands-on."
Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15.