Leslie Jones’ Controversial Ghostbusters Role Was Originally Written For Melissa McCarthy

Movies News Melissa McCarthy

Sony’s all-female Ghostbusters has been generating buzz since it was announced last year. The first full trailer was no different in its ability to stir up rather conflicting buzz about the film.

Some of that chatter has come from critics vocalizing discomfort with the way that Leslie Jones’ character, Patty Tolan, was portrayed, noting that Patty felt—to put it nicely—stereotypical. The comedian and actress came out in defense of her character over Twitter, which were followed by threats to leave the Twitter-sphere.

Now the film’s director and co-writer Paul Feig has spoken out in defense of Jones’ and her acting chops, after revealing in an interview with Empire that role itself wasn’t originally written for Jones.

“We had written the role with Melissa in mind, but then I thought I’ve seen Melissa play a brash, larger-than-life character. She’s done it in my movies before!” Feig told Empire just two days ago.

Apparently, Feig was impressed by Jones’ comedic presence, and like most directors, wanted to find a way to use that for his big screen story.

“She’s one of my favorite people on the planet,” Feig said. “I don’t normally like comedy that’s big and loud, but she is able to pull that off in a way that feels real, and it’s her. 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.”

Feig also took his feelings directly to Twitter in support of the comedian.

Whether the role being written for someone else negates the criticism is up for debate, but this debacle is certainly an interesting look at the relationship between writing and casting characters.

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