Emma Stone Turned Down ‘Ghostbusters’, Plus Story Details on Female-Led Reboot

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Photo: Fox Searchlight / Columbia Pictures

When I first heard there was going to be a female-led Ghostbusters reboot, my very first thought, alongside “I really hope Melissa McCarthy isn’t in this” (she is) was “I really hope Emma Stone is in it” (she isn’t). As it turns out, Stone was indeed offered a role, though she ultimately chose to turn it down.

“The script was really funny,” Stone told The Wall Street Journal (via A.V. Club), but given she just got done with two (not very good) Spider-Man films, “It just didn’t feel like the right time for me. A franchise is a big commitment — it’s a whole thing. I think maybe I need a minute before I dive back into that water.”

Probably not a bad idea for Stone to take herself away from the big franchise game with a little self-enforced cooling-off period, but if there is a franchise reboot out there that would play well to Stone’s sensibilities, I can’t think of many better than Ghostbusters. Sad day for fans of Ms. Stone — myself included — but at the same time I understand her decision.

In other Ghostbusters news, The Boston Herald apparently has a few “script spies” — their words, not mine — in their office who have snuck a peek at the “super secret” script. Spoilers ahead for anyone looking to go on about their day with as little Ghostbusters reboot info as possible, but according to the paper:

[Kristen] Wiig and McCarthy play a pair of unheralded authors who write a book positing that ghosts are real. Flash forward a few years and Wiig lands a prestigious teaching position at Columbia [University]. (Like the original, the story takes place in New York City, even though it’s being shot in Boston.) Which is pretty sweet, until her book resurfaces and she is laughed out of academia.

Wiig reunites with McCarthy and the other two proton pack-packing phantom wranglers, and she gets some sweet revenge when ghosts invade Manhattan and she and her team have to save the world.

So I guess there you have it, that’s more or less the story director Paul Feig is moving forward with, though The Boston Herald also notes the script has undergone numerous revisions recently and could still be revised before and perhaps even after the movie begins shooting this week, which should surprise no one because apparently this happens all the time in Hollywood.

There’s a bit more information to be found over at The Boston Herald, including ideas about which characters may or may not be returning in Feig’s film, so if you want to read more you can go ahead and check that out here. Additionally, Dan Aykroyd​ told Comic Book Resoucres (via ComingSoon.net) that Feig’s film would refer to the first two Ghostbusters films “in a really neat, classy way,” and he also said this new reboot is “going to be hot!” and “going to be big!” Holy buzzwords, Akroyd! He continues:

“The interplay, and with each of [the characters], their individual voices are so well defined. They’re just such different characters, and there’s a friction. There’s a dynamic there. I’m not going to spoil it for people, but it’s going to be big, big! … This is all going to introduce [the franchise] to a whole new generation of girls that are going to want to be Ghostbusters. We always needed them.”

So we don’t know exactly how this new Ghostbusters project will refer to the first two films, just that it’s going to be neat, classy, hot and big, which is to say we really haven’t gained any new information on that front. Sorry, folks. As for what we do know, the cast includes McCarthy and Wiig, who headline alongside Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth, the latter of which was just last week announced to be playing the Ghostbusters’ receptionist, which seems a pretty clever idea if you ask me. I guess that’s at least some consolation for Stone passing on the project.