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The upcoming all-female rendition of Ghostbusters seems stacked with comedic talent. Yet, interestingly enough, last year’s hacked e-mails over at Sony revealed that the film was intent on landing one of the big screen’s scintillating starlets in Emma Stone. Now, the actress reveals why she passed on the property’s potentially lucrative cinematic ectoplasmic encounters.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Stone discusses the state of her increasingly upward trajectory, which recently manifested earlier this year with an Oscar-nomination for Birdman. At this point in her career, she seems to be looking to avoid commitment-heavy projects that creatively constrain her desire to increase her range. It seems that she saw Ghostbusters as being one such project. According to Stone:
The script was really funny. 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.
The "water" to which Stone likely refers are her two appearances as the destined-to-be-doomed damsel, Gwen Stacy in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel. Being the first real big franchise that she tackled, the experience was clearly unlike anything she had experienced up to that point. While she apparently found romance with her co-star, Andrew Garfield, it had to be a pressure cooker experience, chock-full of expectations from fervent fans and loaded with exceptionally demanding promotional commitments. Stone seems to want more leeway with her roles, at least, at this point in her career.
Additionally, despite Stone providing the most powerful highlight scene of the series with Gwen Stacy’s death, The Amazing Spider-Man films generally experienced difficulty gaining acceptance, due to the surprisingly quick turnover from the last iteration with Tobey Maguire just a few years prior. Compounding that, it was quickly rendered obsolete when it was revealed earlier this year that Sony was already going back to the drawing board, teaming up with Marvel Studios to create a Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Spider-Man that, in all likelihood, will leave the Garfield/Stone films feeling like a bad memory. Even with the loose idea floating out there for an alternate reality spinoff film focusing on Gwen Stacy’s transformation into "Spider-Gwen," the experience had to have left Emma Stone with a sour impression of tackling such properties.
Consequently, Emma Stone’s apparent self-imposed embargo of franchise projects seems to be a deliberate attempt to steer away from roles that have her not only compared to some person or character from the past, but avoiding the unwanted externality of falling into a typecasting cycle. While Stone did not get into the specifics of her would-be Ghostbusters role, her clear desire to diversify the breadth of her roles is likely a good indication that it was not a particularly potent prospect.
On a side-note, director, Paul Feig recently revealed that while the film will be an ensemble piece featuring the talents of Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, the proper protagonist of the film will actually be Kristen Wiig’s character. Thus, from a business standpoint, it’s hard to imagine that Stone would be accepting supporting roles; especially given her current intended avoidance of franchises.
Regardless, an Emma-Stone-less Ghostbusters will, indeed, be hitting theaters on July 22, 2016.