Mindy Kaling predicted the female-led ‘Ghostbusters’ 5 years ago — and the ensuing uproar
The female cast-led Ghostbusters reboot has been making headlines and stirring debate since August 2014. But well before then, when Bill Murray was still expected to star in a Ghostbusters 3, Mindy Kaling fantasy-cast an estrogen-powered Ghostbusters.
ICYMI: The Office actress wrote a paragraph about a reimagined squad of the paranormal experts in her first book, 2011 memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) in a chapter titled “Franchises I Would Like to Reboot.”
Now, Mindy Kaling being rom-com-loving Mindy Kaling, she pitched this reboot as a tale of four otherwise-normal ladies in New York struggling to balance their ghostbusting duties with the pursuit of true love. She also readily acknowledged that everyone might not be on board with this idea:
“I’m not an idiot,” she wrote. “I know the demographic for Ghostbusters is teenage boys, and I know they would kill themselves if two ghostbusters had a makeover at Sephora.”
Well, it turned out to be more boys who were teenagers in the 1980s having extreme reactions to Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, and that wasn’t even with a trip to the gals’ favorite chain makeup store. But, still, Kaling foresaw a certain faction having very strong reactions to a reboot of their sacred Ghostbusters. Meanwhile, these young girls eagerly strapped on their proton packs for their local con. This 5-year-old girl cosplayed along with all the boys invited to a Ghostbusters fan event. And this woman rocked her ghostbusting jumpsuit when her man in matching attire proposed to her. Demographic schmemographic.
Kaling didn’t picture Ghostbusters as being quite the comedienne powerhouse that the new movie is, but she did cast her own comedically talented self in the movie, along with Emily Blunt, Taraji P. Henson, and Natalie Portman.
Here’s Kaling’s full pitch from her book:
“I always wanted the reboot of Ghostbusters to be four girl-ghostbusters. Like, four normal, plucky women living in New York City searching for Mr. Right and trying to find jobs — but who also bust ghosts. I’m not an idiot, though. I know the demographic for Ghostbusters is teenage boys, and I know they would kill themselves if two ghostbusters had a makeover at Sephora. I just have always wanted to see a cool girl having her first kiss with a guy she’s had a crush on, and then have to excuse herself to go trap the pissed-off ghosts of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire or something. In my imagination, I am, of course, one of the ghostbusters, with the likes of say, Emily Blunt, Taraji Henson, and Natalie Portman. Even if I’m not the ringleader, I’m definitely the one who gets to say, ‘I ain’t afraid a no ghost.’ At least the first time.”
When the Ghostbusters reboot became a reality, though, Kaling went all humble and told Vulture, “I love Paul, and I would never deign to take up his time by lobbying [for a part]. It’s such a amazing movie, that the whole area of speculating on it is … I think it’s out of my pay grade.”
But c’mon, TinseltownSequeLandia, we know there’s gonna be a sequel to this summer’s Ghostbusters, and there’s gotta be room for Kaling in that follow-up. A confident, brash, unabashedly lip gloss-loving lady could be an excellent fifth Ghostbuster (or, fine, sixth, if we have to let Chris Hemsworth join the club).