‘Ghostbusters’: Paul Feig Says Leslie Jones Role Was Originally Intended for Melissa McCarthy

Ghostbusters reboot
Courtesy of Sony

The 2016 “Ghostbusters” remake has become a subject of racial controversy after the film’s first trailer premiered last week, featuring Leslie Jones, the only African-American female lead, as a subway worker while the other three Caucasian leads play scientists.

Paul Feig revealed that Jones’ role, however, was originally written for Melissa McCarthy.

“When Katie (Dippold, co-writer) and I wrote the script, we had written the role with Melissa in mind,” Feig said in an interview with Empire. “But then I thought, I’ve seen Melissa play a brash, larger than life character.”


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Feig added of Jones,”She’s one of my favorite people on the planet. I don’t normally like comedy that’s big and loud, but she is able to pull that off in a way that feels real and it’s her.”

The director told Empire he prefers finding the funniest people he knows and finding the funniest thing about them when casting for films. Fieg said he believed the role of Patty would allow Jones to shine comedically.

“I wanted to unleash Leslie on the public in the same way we unleashed Melissa on the public in ‘Bridesmaids,’ with a very showy role,” Feig said.

Twitter erupted in criticism after the trailer dropped, accusing the film of perpetuating racial stereotypes — and as a result pushing Jones to contemplate leaving the social media site.


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That’s when Feig stepped in.

“Haters, attack me all you want but when you attack and insult my cast, you’ve crossed the line,” Feig tweeted. “Grow up and leave my cast alone.”

The film’s trailer brought in 24 million views in 24 hours, topping “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “The Legend of Tarzan” in opening day trailer views.

“Ghostbusters” bows July 15.

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  1. He should have left it to being Melissa’s role. The problem is that Melissa will have way more opportunities in the future to portray a variety of roles compared to Leslie. Minorities in general already have a standing issue with unfair representation on the big screen through racially stereotypical character portrayals. So yes, making Leslie one of the smart ones would’ve been a much better move rather than making her the “loud”, “street”, dare I say even “ghetto” black woman character.

  2. Revo Lucas says:

    Yeah right. First of all, Winston was an everyman relatable to the audience. He was intended to be ex-military. He has some very funny lines in the film and doesn’t exist to be laughed at. Patty on the other hand is a loud obnoxious black stereotype and exists to be laughed AT. Leslie Jones should be ashamed of herself. She is, for lack of a better term, ‘cooning’. You may as well have a white woman in black-face in her role.

  3. Jennifer Stinkwhistle says:

    Bull. The Heat was terrible, shelve this turd and save some face and moola.

  4. Jagvino007 says:

    ummm.It looks like they are following the path of the original. Ackroyd, Murray and Ramis were the 3 white guy scientist. Hudson was the African American down on his luck guy looking for a job.

    • Revo Lucas says:

      Sir, Winston was a vehicle for the audience. He explained exposition in layman’s terms for the audience and was given some very funny one-liners. According to all the original scripts for Ghostbusters Winston wasn’t down on his luck, he was intended to be an educated military school graduate looking for a security job. Patty is straight up offensive, every time she is on screen the trailer is screaming “Hey! Look! It’s a loud obnoxious nigger on screen, laugh!” It is absolutely disgusting.

  5. On the surface it does look stereotypical that the 3 white women are scientists and the only black woman brings “street smarts” to the group. However, there’s no reason to believe Patty isn’t smart just because she works in the subway and has a loud personality. There’s no reason to believe she can’t outsmart the other ladies. There’s no reason to believe she can’t eventually become a scientist herself.

  6. Tim says:

    Racism, racism, racism, racism, racism…My family is staying home.

  7. IT--2--IT@hotmail.com says:

    INTEL RUN Hollywood
    —————-‘stepped OVER’
    ————————–the 65th Anniversary
    ——————————————-of the KOREAN WAR ? ? ?
    —————————————————-to bring us franchise slum rehashes?
    ———————————————————————————————– – – -like this? ? ?

  8. therealeverton says:

    As I recall she thought about quitting because of the racist and sexist hate, not people arguing the toss on her character’s traits.

  9. victor says:

    Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. Aristotle

  10. taffy says:

    MM was going to play the Angry Black Woman stereotype? Or does everything Leslie Jones do immediately turn into that stereotype?

    • Ken says:

      Ms. Jones herself perpetuates that stereotype 99% of the time on SNL. It’s her shtick…and it’s becoming very tiresome.

  11. Phil says:

    Seems like there is just no way to get it right. You can be sure, however that none of them are going to be nominated for a Academy Award. AMPAS will never be diverse enough to nominate any actress for appearing in a comedy.

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