Paul Feig has been on a bit of a roll in the last few years. While his foray into feature filmmaking was the poorly-received Unaccompanied Minors, in 2011 he silenced all critics with the hit Bridesmaids. Not only was that movie a blockbuster success - pulling in $288 million globally on a reported $32.5 million budget - he followed it up with The Heat, which performed on the same high level (making $229 million on a $43 million budget). He's currently in post-production on his next project, the Melissa McCarthy-led action comedy Spy, but now reports say that he is ready to jump on to his first major franchise.
Insider sources have informed The Hollywood Reporter that Paul Feig is now the number one candidate to take over the director's chair for Ghostbusters 3. The position has been vacant since March, as Ivan Reitman - the filmmaker behind Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II - decided to step away following the death of original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis. Reitman is still on-board as a producer, and Sony is continuing to move forward with the script they have written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (though it has been altered since Ramis' passing).
At this point Feig is the frontrunner, but it is not yet a done deal. The filmmaker has "shown interest" in the project, but formal negotiations have not yet started. The trade report doesn't mention any other directors who are potentially up for the job, but they do mention 22 Jump Street's Phil Lord and Chris Miller - who were rumored for the job mere days after Reitman left his post. THR says that the reports about Lord and Miller were inaccurate, though they did address the story when we talked to them in June.
While the director search drags on, the really interesting tidbit just dropped into the middle of the new report is the mention that the film will center on a team of female Ghostbusters - which actually makes Feig a solid choice. Not only have both of Feig's last two features been female driven (three if you include Spy), he also was the brilliant mind behind the short-lived series Freaks and Geeks - which centered on Linda Cardellini's angsty teenager character Lindsay Weir and her personal struggles growing up in mid-80s Michigan. I wouldn't be too surprised if some of the many funny women Feig has worked with in the past wind up joining him on this new adventure.
Ghostbusters 3 is aiming to start production at the start of 2015, and while Sony has not yet set a release date, we can probably assume the theatrical release will happen sometime in 2016. Dan Aykroyd is committed to return as Dr. Raymond Stantz, though Bill Murray has said no to coming back as Dr. Peter Venkman. Ernie Hudson, who played Winston Zeddmore, is a bit of a question mark at this stage, as he was quoted saying, "There can't be another Ghostbusters without Harold."
Would you like to see Paul Feig take the reins of Ghostbusters 3? Tell us what you think in the comments below.