Since making a gigantic splash (in a airplane toilet) with the female-led R-rated Bridesmaids, filmmaker Paul Feig has been having a blast playing up and twisting around genre conventions, particularly when it comes to preconceived gender roles. His most recent example is the laugh-out-loud funny Spy, in which frumpy motormouth Melissa McCarthy ends up being a better action hero superspy than Jason Statham and Jude Law.
And this genre defying approach will definitely continue with Feig’s upcoming all-female Ghostbusters reboot, as the writer/director has revealed via Twitter that he has cast Chris Hemsworth to play this new team’s receptionist.
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) June 10, 2015
In Ivan Reitman’s original Ghostbusters, the paranormal-busting team’s receptionist, Janine Melnitz, was played by Annie Potts, a character which she would not only reprise for the 1989 sequel, but which also feature prominently in the popular The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. And in case you haven’t notice, Annie Potts is a far cry from the freaking God of Thunder!
Since becoming a superstar thanks to his role as the superheroic Thor in Marvel’s movies, Hemsworth and his never-far-behind 6-pack have become an alpha-male sex symbol, so sticking him behind a desk to be a receptionist sounds exactly like the type of gender-role switcheroo that Feig has been pulling for years now. It’s uncertain if Hemsworth character will be gender swapped version of Janine Melnitz or something new entirely.
Based on his recent showings on SNL, as well as his (and his hammer’s) appearance in the trailers for the Vacation reboot, Hemsworth definitely has some comedy chops, so he should be able to hold his own against the team of funny lady Ghostbusters that Feig has assembled for this reboot, which include that aforementioned McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
Feig’s Ghostbusters is set to start production soon, and has targeted a July 22, 2016 release date.
Last Updated: June 15, 2015