Will Melissa McCarthy fire up a proton pack?
Columbia’s Ghostbusters reboot slowly is putting together its cast, starting with its poltergeist-punishing leading lady.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Melissa McCarthy is in early talks to star in the female-focused reboot of the classic comedy, directed by The Heat and Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig.
But there are several hurdles that need to be overcome before McCarthy can reteam with Feig for what would be their fourth movie together.
McCarthy has a very complicated schedule due to her CBS TV show, Mike & Molly, and an already pack movie slate. She is committed to shoot the Universal comedy Michelle Darnell, which is being directed by her husband and Tammy collaborator Ben Falcone.
But sources say that talks are underway that would see McCarthy, who became a movie star working with Feig in Bridesmaids, shoot Michelle Darnell in mid-March, allowing her then to shoot Ghostbusters in June.
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Sources also caution that there is a chance the schedule will not work out. In addition, certain creative meetings need to take place with McCarthy.
The Ghostbusters reboot is said to be an origin story of new characters who take up ghostbusting and not a “hand-off” movie from the original 1984 film (though there is a small chance that surviving Busters Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson could make cameo appearances).
Actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone have surfaced as being on the “interest” list for the high-profile project while Rebel Wilson, when promoting Night at the Museum 3 in December, said she met with producer Ivan Reitman for it.
Lawrence is not seen as a contender at this stage and neither is Wilson. Stone is said to be available (she was offered a role in J.C. Chandor‘s Deepwater Horizon and passed as the script is still being worked on and is leaving her summer open) but at this stage the focus is on McCarthy, who is seen as the lynchpin.
THR has also learned that Jillian Bell from Workaholics, and Saturday Night Live comedienne Cecily Strong are due to meet with with Feig regarding the movie.
Insiders warn that there is no official offer to McCarthy (or anyone else, for that matter) at this stage but acknowledge strong discussions. The studio is also compiling backup names in the event McCarthy cannot star.
The studio had no comment.
McCarthy recently wrapped her third movie with Feig, Spy, which will be released by Fox on May 22. She is repped by CAA and The Schiff Co.