In the latest example of Hollywood not knowing when to stop while they’re ahead, the planned sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife has added four new members to its cast, including two actors whose appearances may polarize some audiences.
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Per a March 24th exclusive from Deadline, James Acaster (Cinderella (2021)), Emily Alyn Lind (Gossip Girl (2021)), Patton Oswalt (The Secret Life of Pets 2) and Kumail Nanjiani (Marvel’s Eternals) have now signed on to join returning cast members Paul Rudd and Carrie Coon in the the as-of-yet-untitled sequel.
Unfortunately for fans, outside of these castings and the confirmations that Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman and co-scribe Gil Kenan will be swapping their respective duties, details regarding the film’s actual plot are scarce.
As of writing, all that is known is that the film will reportedly bring the series back to its root with a return to both Manhattan and the Ghostbusters’ iconic firehouse.
However, as noted above, while Ghostbusters: Afterlife delivered fans with a commendable continuation to the original cinematic duology, the sequels’ casting of Oswalt and Nanjiani may cost Reitman and Kenan some of the series’ recently-recouped good.
In recent years, both actors have bought in to Hollywood’s rampant obsession with identity politics, often taking to the media to dismiss those – often insultingly – who disagree with their views.
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On Oswalt’s end, not only has the comedian-slash-actor spent the last six years suffering from one of the worst cases of ‘TDS’ quite possibly ever seen, but he earned himself little public favor when he capitulated to the outrage mob and apologized for sharing a picture of himself and Dave Chappelle to his personal Instagram after the letter’s views on transgender individuals drew the ire of the terminally online.
“We’ve known each other since we’re teens,” explained Oswalt as he begged for forgiveness for simply taking a photo with someone whose views on transgender individuals differed from the current narrative. “He’s a fellow comedian, the funniest l’ve ever met. I wanted to post a pic & an IG story about it – so I did. The friend is Dave Chapelle.”
“Thirty four YEARS we’ve been friends,” elaborated the comedian. “He’s refocused and refined ideas a lot of us took as settled about race & history & Life On Planet Earth and spun them around with a phrase or punchline.”
“We’ve done bad & good gigs, open mikes & TV tapings,” Oswalt continued. “But we also 100% disagree about transgender rights & representation. I support trans peoples’ rights – ANYONE’S rights – to live safely in the world as their fullest selves. For all the things he’s helped ME evolve on, I’ll always disagree with where he stands NOW on transgender issues.”
Though admittedly less abrasive, Nanjiani has likewise let a childish desire to ‘own’ his political opponents leak into his public persona.
In response to the media’s attempts to claim that Marvel’s Eternals – in which he stars as one of the titular team’s core members, Kingo – was on the receiving end of a pre-release review bombing due to its inclusion of a gay couple (rather than the general rejection of the studio’s attempt to paint the film as a ‘Social Milestone’), Nanjiani wrote in a now-deleted Tweet, “Looks like we’re upsetting the right people. Eternals opens on November 5th.”
Further, in a recent interview with Esquire, the actor complained about Hollywood having bought in to the very ‘diversification’ efforts that he and likeminded others aggressively campaigned for.
Agreeing with Esquire reporter Henry Wong’s summations that “The problem, Nanjiani wagers, is that good intentions can sometimes lead to misguided solutions: if the bad guy is a brown guy, what message is that sending?”, the actor opined, “And that’s just as limiting as anything else.”
“I want to play more bad guys,” he added. “[Sebastian Stan] does these big Marvel movies, and then he’ll play a psychopath. I was told that’s going to be hard because people don’t want to cast non-white people as bad guys.”
NEXT: Jason Reitman Confirms Ghostbusters: Afterlife Sequel In Production, Reveals A Return To New York City