The widespread proliferation of Sony’s internal documents, which were disseminated online by a hacking group dubbed “Guardians of Peace” have, despite Aaron Sorkin’s protestations, revealed plenty of eye-opening items, including a staggering gender pay gap within the upper echelons of Hollywood.
There have also been plenty of fascinating revelations concerning the studio’s planned all-women Ghostbusters franchise. Directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) and scheduled for release in 2016, it reportedly “isn't a sequel to the 80s movies and it is gonna be totally original with completely different characters,” according to an email sent in October from Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to Ivan Reitman, producer/director of the original Ghostbusters films. Pascal further alleges via email that Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, and Lizzy Caplan have all expressed interest in the project, and that Ryan Gosling has inquired about the film’s male role.
Now, emails uncovered by The Daily Beast have revealed that Sony and one of the studio’s biggest stars, Channing Tatum, are planning a Ghostbusters spin-off film starring pals Tatum and Chris Pratt. The two appeared in the 2012 movie 10 Years together, which was produced by Tatum as a starring vehicle for his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, and Tatum has a longstanding relationship with the studio, with the 21 Jump Street franchise and the recent Foxcatcher, the latter for indie shingle Sony Pictures Classics. Pratt, of course, just exploded with Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming lead in Jurassic World.
An email from Tatum to Pascal concerning Ghostbusters dated August 21 says, “Let us show the world The DarkSide and let us fight it with all the glory and epicness of a HUGE BATMAN BEGINS MOVIE. I know we can make this a huge franchise. Fun adventure craziness. COME OONNNN!!!”
The following day, an email from Hannah Minghella, co-president of production for Columbia Pictures, to Pascal and a team of Sony execs outlines Tatum’s plan: to star in a Ghostbusters spin-off film with Chris Pratt produced by the Russo brothers, who helmed Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
“So… in a curious turn of events - the Russos and Channing want to develop Ghostbusters as a vehicle for Channing and Chris Pratt to do together,” wrote Minghella. “The Russos, Channing and Reid have been brainstorming ideas and want to create a whole new mythology that would support multiple movies (the way that Nolan reinvented Batman). To be clear - the Russos want to produce (not direct) and while Channing and Chris are looking for a movie to do together they haven't mentioned this to him yet because they weren't sure how we'd react.”
Minghella adds, “They want to make it simultaneously super scary while also super funny. They love the idea that they are mortal heroes who are believers in the paranormal and the only people who can defend mankind from a paranormal threat. I know we're mid negotiations with Paul [Feig]. I'm not sure whether we'd ever develop two different versions simultaneously. Joe Russo is open to the idea that both movies could be developed in partnership so they compliment one another within the same Ghostbusters universe. Apparently the Russos are very close to Paul and Joe suggested Paul could be attached to direct both. Personally I think it's possible for the female version to co-exist with this other version so maybe they're not mutually exclusive.” The Sony execs all reply with extreme interest in the project, with Pascal simply writing, “fuckkk.”