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4 movie franchises ready for a female cast

Posted July 27

Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) (Deseret Photo)

I remember back in 2014, reading about an interview that had taken place at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Bill Murray had been asked his thoughts concerning a female-driven Ghostbusters remake, to which he replied, “I would go to that movie.” Murray then went on to offer a few casting suggestions which included Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Linda Cardellini — a team which was half-realized for the 2016 remake opening this weekend.

I specifically remember reading Murray’s comments because until that moment, until I’d considered Murray’s Ghostbusters cast, nothing about a possible sequel/remake had caught my interest. Stone, McCarthy, Wiig and Cardellini, however — that felt right. That was a Ghostbusters I’d pay to see.

This got me wondering, of course, what other films currently staring at sequels, remakes or spin-offs might benefit from the right female cast? Sure, we can all agree Ronda Rousey in a “Road House” remake is brilliant, but what other stories are ready for a female protagonist?

Mission Impossible

I’m going to begin with Mission Impossible for two reasons. First, I want to make it clear studios don’t need to totally reboot a franchise to employe a strong female lead. Seeing as the next chapter of the Mission Impossible series will enjoy the MI6 abbreviation, it makes sense that said mission would focus on the British Intelligence Agency. Thanks to “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation,” we now know the most interesting British agent in the Mission Impossible universe is Rebecca Ferguson’s Isla Faust. Having Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) assist Faust in “MI6” much like Faust assisted Hunt in “MI5” could be really compelling. To quote Murray, “I’d see that film.”

Second, the Mission Impossible franchise has setup a perfect playground to promote characters and shift focus depending on the adventure. The series has already done this with multiple cast members including Ving Rhames. Cruise could easily move in and out of the spotlight throughout future movies in the same way Tony Stark moves through the Marvel cinematic universe. Of all my choices on this list, I feel Mission Impossible is the most natural selection.

The Goonies

There have been rumors circling a Goonies sequel since it was first released in 1985.

Usually, the rumors involve something about the original cast passing the torch to a younger generation of Goonies, so to be clear, I’m not advocating Mikey and Brand become Michelle and Brandi. But if Mikey had a daughter who wanted to find the landing place of the pirate ship her father sent sailing out to sea, and she found the right gang to join her on the adventure, I think that could be a lot of fun.

“The Goonies” is one of those properties that, like “Ghostbusters,” enjoys a dedicated and vocal fanbase, so there might be a similar backlash if studios ever moved this direction. Ironically, if negative publicity for “Ghostbusters” equals revenue at the box-office, angry fans might be the driving force behind a “Goonies II” reality.

Ocean’s 11 (Ocean’s Ocho)

This actually isn’t my idea at all, but I’m bringing it up because it’s already in the works with, if rumors are to be believed, a pretty fantastic cast.

Word on the street is Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth Banks, Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling are on board to take over for the previous crew, leaving at least three more heisters to be recruited. Details surrounding the project are still pretty hush-hush, so whether this is a complete remake or spin-off to the original is still anyone’s guess.

Iron Man

If you’ve been following comic book news at all, you’ve heard that after the “Civil War II” story finishes playing out, Tony Stark will be stepping down as Iron Man to make way for a black, 15-year-old girl genius MIT enrollee named Riri Williams.

Generally, Marvel’s Iron Man announcement is being well received, which is causing a lot of fans to ask the next obvious question: how does this decision change the cinematic universe?

Personally, I hope the title-passing is already being worked into Marvel’s movie storyline. Forgive the spoiler if you haven’t seen “Captain America: Civil War,” but since the latest film leaves Tony Stark considering his involvement in the Avengers and possibly focusing more of his time as a mentor to Peter Parker, Stark seeking out and training a replacement for his Iron Manning ways seems completely reasonable. If “Iron Man 4” turns out to be an origin story for Williams, I’d be one happy moviegoer.

Travis has been covering movie news, film reviews and live events for Deseret News and KSL.com since 2010 and currently co-hosts the KSL Popcorn Report. Follow Travis on Twitter @tspoppleton.

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