Leslie Jones Ghostbusters role was originally written for Melissa McCarthy
Who ya gonna call? Well, originally, a slightly different arrangement of Ghostbusters.
Speaking with Empire in a breakdown of the first Ghostbusters trailer, director Paul Feig revealed the character played by Leslie Jones in the film was originally written for Spy and Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy.
“Actually, when Katie [Dippold] and I wrote the script, we had written the role with Melissa in mind, but then I thought I’ve seen Melissa play a brash, larger than life character,” Feig told Empire.
Feig went on to note the switch was made, in part, to give Jones a chance to breakout among the cast.
“If you’ve ever seen her do stand-up, it’s just who she is,” he said of the character. “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.”
Empire noted that their interview with Feig occurred before Jones’ role in the film was criticized online. The actress hit back against those critiques, which focused on the fact that her character, an MTA worker, was the only member of the Ghostbusters team who isn’t a scientist. (The other three Ghostbusters are played by white actresses.)
“Why can’t a regular person be a Ghostbuster,” Jones tweeted in her defense of the character. Feig also jumped in after Jones said she considered leaving the social media platform. “Attack me all you want but when you attack and insult my cast, you’ve crossed the line. Grow up and leave my cast alone,” he wrote.
Ghostbusters, which also stars Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon alongside McCarthy and Jones, hits theaters on July 15.