Casting Call: Ghost

Published December 20, 2013

In which we suggest who would star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

Die-hard fans of the 1990 film Ghost (which includes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) can start holding their breath: the supernatural thriller and love story is coming to the small screen. With Paramount Pictures busy sorting out development, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinker are co-writing a pilot episode, which means that you can expect to see the linguistic excellence of A Beautiful Mind, Fringe, and Alias between scenes of erotic pottery-making, levitating pennies, and rather reprehensible money laundering.

Sam Wheat (originally played by Patrick Swayze), a young banker in New York, notices suspicious discrepancies between multiple bank accounts and unwisely relates his concerns to friend and colleague Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn). As the guilty party himself, Bruner hires a thug named Willie Lopez (Rick Aviles) to make Sam disappear, a request Willie fulfills by gunning down Sam on the street. Sam’s potter girlfriend Molly (Demi Moore) is extremely distraught at his death, although Sam has not died, exactly—if you haven’t guessed, he’s become a ghost, the better to watch over Molly and bring Carl to justice. Sam luckily stumbles across the spurious psychic parlor of Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), who discovers legitimate psychic abilities as the only one who can see Sam. In an especially emotional scene, the two manage to convince Molly that Sam is still around, as a ghost. Putting her skills as a former forger and con artist to good use, Oda Mae manages to successfully stymie Carl’s financial operations (if also incur his murderous rage in the process). Sam undergoes psychokinetic tutelage by a subway poltergeist to flex his new ghost muscles and learn some very Matilda-like stunts to pull on Carl. In a final showdown, Sam inhabits Oda Mae’s body to prevent Carl from murdering Molly and Oda Mae. The ending is, of course, a rosy one: Carl takes a fatal glass shard to the stomach and is carried off by shadowy demons, and Molly is finally able to hear Sam just before he says goodbye and walks into a heavenly light.

Quite a lot to pack into just two hours, but plenty of loose ends to pick from if the pilot turns into a whole season! Dream a little bigger, and Ghost could well become the Buffy of the next generation. Click through the slideshow above to see who we’d like to  fill the shoes of Swayze, Goldberg, and Moore in a perfect, budget-free world.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.