Screenwriter brings the heat to the 'Ghostbusters' reboot

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Like most kids of the 1980s, "Ghostbusters" played on a near constant loop in screenwriter Katie Dippold's home. For one Halloween, her mother even made a Slimer costume — not for the children, for herself.

"It's actually pretty good," Dippold, 36, said, wondering aloud if she was too young to be watching so many scary movies. "It may be why I'm a neurotic writer."

At the very least, it established a lifetime affinity for the spooky, which she got to meld with her comedic sensibilities when Paul Feig asked her to write "Ghostbusters," out Friday.

"There was a moment when they were making the final deals and I remember thinking, 'would it be the worst thing if it fell apart? Is this going to be too much?'" Dippold said. "It still hasn't really hit me."

She'd cut her teeth writing for MADtv and "Parks and Recreation" before making a big screen splash with the original comedy "The Heat," which Feig directed with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock starring.

Costing only $43 million to make, "The Heat" grossed $229.9 million globally in 2013. It's the kind of success that can secure a screenwriter a place at the table when a studio wants to pour $150 million into resurrecting a dormant franchise with a new cast.

"She's very specific. She doesn't write typical jokes," Kristen Wiig said. "In real life she's just a funny, nice, easy going person. That shines through in her writing."

Next up is a mother/daughter road trip comedy with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. It's currently shooting in Hawaii and set for release in May 2017.

The idea for the film came from her own relationship with her mother. Dippold noticed that her mom has gotten a little more cautious in life since she retired, and wanted to explore what would happen if they tried to shake things up. (Dippold is saving the actual trip with her mother for after the film).

As she waits to see how the public receives "Ghostbusters," she's looking forward to a little break. She's cautiously optimistic about the idea for a sequel, too, which has been left open-ended.

"I'm envious of the original 'Ghostbusters' for a billion reasons, but one being what that must have been like not knowing what it was going to be. There was no pressure, no bar. They were just making a crazy movie where they were fighting ghosts and having a good time. It made me really anxious to create something completely new," she said.

"I can almost hear an internet troll saying 'well why didn't you do that this time?' It's like OK, I hear you, but for now I just want to celebrate 'Ghostbusters.' I'll do that next."