Herd think in Hollywood is everywhere and it extends to all facets of the business, beyond trying to Xerox copy the success of your rival executive or studio. So it means when you’re hot, everyone wants you, regardless if you’re right for a project or not. It’s kind of like some kid in high school being declared the coolest person and all the shallow, insecure people rushing to become his friend. Hollywood is much the same. When a talent is hot, everyone wants to be in business with them, which is why names like Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, more recently Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, etc. are always up for plum lead roles.
It works like this with filmmakers too. Two of the hottest directors on the planet right now are Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Their Midas touch created two huge hits in 2014, “The Lego Movie” and “22 Jump Street,” and obviously illustrates their versatility in both the live-action and animated fields. “The Lego Movie” was such a sensation Warner Bros. soon announced a vast and shared universe ‘Lego’ empire. Four spin-off films are already in the works, including a new one from Jason Segel and hot screenwriter Drew Pierce (“Iron Man 3”).
Word on the street is (via a Latino Review and Wrap reporter) is that Warner Bros. wants Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct ‘The Flash,” which would star indie actor Ezra Miller, who was already cast as the character several months ago. The Flash’s alter ego, Barry Allen, may turn up in “Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice” as that movie is being used as a lynchpin to set up the “Justice League” movie.
So are Lord and Miller really wanted for this gig? Sure they are. Just like Leonardo DiCaprio, who is basically offered every leading part on the planet because he’s still super in demand. What’s slightly more interesting is that there’s a tug of war between WB and Sony as the latter studio still wants Lord and Miller for a “Ghostbusters” movie, even though they famously turned that project down last year.
The wrinkle of course is that Lord and Miller turned down the Dan Aykroyd‘s version that tried to take the classic “Ghostbusters” characters and use them as mentors for a new generation — they’d essentially be guns for hire, more or less, or at least not working from a script they generated. But the “Ghostbusters” universe has now been completely changed. Paul Feig is making a female “Ghostbusters” film that basically has nothing to do with the ones that starred Bill Murray and co. Secondly, Sony is developing, with the Russo Brothers (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), yet another “Ghostbusters” project, said to be more traditional, with men, but likely still excluding the original classic team.
So essentially, the “Ghostbusters” universe is a mostly blank slate and Lord and Miller, should they choose to be enticed by this alleged offer, would be able to add their creative stamp to the project and really only have to inherent the brand and its basic trappings. Considering they basically did the same for both the ‘Jump Street’ and “The Lego Movie” — they leveraged those brands and used them for their own purposes — an open book “Ghostbusters” film seems like it could be totally up their alley.
But it’s still all wishlist stuff at this point. WB apparently wants them for “The Flash” and Sony still wants them for “The Ghostbusters.” It works in their favor that the Russo brothers are going to be making the two-part ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ relatively soon and won’t be able to start on a “Ghostbusters” film until mid 2019, which is likely too late for Sony. The bigger question is: are Lord and Miller even interested?
“The Flash” doesn’t seem like the right fit for their sensibilities (WB is going too serious), but if anyone could revive the “Ghostbusters” franchise, outside of Paul Feig, we couldn’t think of anyone better. But they did turn down what would the version coming in 2016 citing fatigue and they seem to be non-cynical about the project. “I think that there’s a good ‘Ghostbusters’ movie out there. It’s such a fun franchise,” they said last year. “Obviously, we don’t have the same attitude as people who hate stuff before it’s even made. It’s a fun idea and it’s a fun world and I think it will work.” And the male version of “Ghostbusters” will likely star Channing Tatum and possibly Chris Pratt, two actors Lord and Miller have intimately worked with these last few years.
But the ball’s really in their court. Do they want to continue to be franchise-reviving guys or do they have greater ambitions to generate their own material? (In case you’re wondering, “The Last Man on Earth” is more Will Forte’s creation.) Time will tell. In the meantime, watch this space.