Ernie Hudson, star of the original “Ghostbusters” movies, has joined the cast of Sony’s all-female reboot, although his involvement is being kept underwraps for now.
Hudson joins fellow returning “Ghostbusters” stars Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in the reboot , so one can only assume that they all will be reprising their roles from the original franchise, maybe as a kind of “hand-off” to the all-woman team. Time will tell.
To be directed by Paul Feig, the reboot stars Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.
Paul Feig also directed McCarthy and Wiig in “Bridesmaids” by the way.
“Ghostbusters” hits theaters on July 22, 2016.
Of interest to S&A readers is, of course, Leslie Jones, who was promoted to series cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” last October, from her previous position in the writers’ room.
Let’s hope she doesn’t get shafted like Ernie Hudson was when he appeared in the original movie franchise. Briefly, in what was essentially an “open letter” published on the Entertainment Weekly website last November, Ernie Hudson got personal, sharing that he didn’t feel the acting career that taking the role (Winston Zeddemore, in “Ghostbusters”) promised, ever fully materialized, because, as he stated in the article, the role he was initially offered isn’t the role that he ended up playing. In the original script, the character was far meatier than the character that you see in the film that was released 30 years ago.
As he stated: “Now I’ve heard, over the years, that the part had been written for Eddie Murphy – all of which Ivan Reitman says is not true. But it was a bigger part, and Winston was there all the way through the movie. After a long audition process, I finally got the part and made the awful mistake of letting it be known that I really, really wanted it. In Hollywood in those days, you set your quote – so if anybody calls about wanting to work with you, they had to meet your quote. I had just worked with Columbia on ‘Spacehunter,’ and my quote was pretty decent. For Ghostbusters, they came in at only half of my quote, because they said this role was going to make my career. I said to my agent, “I don’t care. Just take it, because I believe that.” So we go to New York and we rehearse for three weeks or whatever and I’m ready to roll. The night before filming begins, however, I get this new script and it was shocking. The character was gone. Instead of coming in at the very beginning of the movie, like page 8, the character came in on page 68 after the Ghostbusters were established. His elaborate background was all gone, replaced by me walking in and saying, “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.” So that was pretty devastating.”
You can read the rest of that piece here.
So will Leslie Jones’ character be the Winston Zeddermore of the upcoming all-female “Ghostbusters”? Let’s hope not. Using M. Asli Dukan’s 5 basic criteria used to determine whether a black character in a movie is fully realized:
1. Character (is the character primary)
2. Agency (does the character have the ability to make their own choices)
3. Survival (does the character live until the end of the film)
4. Boglesque (does the character appear as a stereotype)
5. Relevance (does the character have historical, political or social relevance)
Let’s see how many of those 5 listed criteria Leslie Jones’ character in “Ghostbusters” meets (or doesn’t), when the movie is released next summer (2016).