Paul Feig is one of the most exciting directors around and he has returned to the director's chair this week with his new film Ghostbusters, which comes over twenty-five years since the release of Ghostbusters II back in 1989.

Paul Feig

Paul Feig

This time around, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones will star as we are introduced to the characters of Abby Yates, Erin Gilbert, Jillian Holtzmann, and Patty Tolan for the very first time. Chris Hemsworth and Charles Dance complete an exciting cast list.

To celebrate the release of Ghostbusters, we take a look back at Feig's career so far and the great movies that he has brought to the big screen.

- I Am David (2003)

Feig kicked off his career as an actor in both television and film, before making the movie to directing and writing. He had enjoyed success as one of the creators of the much-loved but short series Freaks and Geeks before making the leap into features for the first time. In 2003, he made his feature film directorial debut with I Am David.

I Am David was an adaptation of the novel by Anne Holm and saw Feig on both directing and writing duties. The film also saw him team up with actor Jim Caviezel and Ben Tibber for the first time as they took on the central roles of Johannes and David.

A 12-year-old boy escapes from a Bulgarian Communist concentration camp and sets out on a journey to reach Denmark.

Feig may have been no stranger to the director's chair by the time he made I Am David, but it was not to be a triumphant debut for the writer/filmmaker as the movie struggled critically. He lacked the experience to tackle such a heavy story and tough subject matter.

I Am David is a movie that does lack real emotional depth - the film does explore a rather harrowing subject matter but it fails to really deliver that knockout punch. While this is not the worst movie that you will ever see, I Am David is perhaps not as intriguing a film as it could be.

I Am David may have been a film that did struggle both critically and commercially, but it allowed Feig to make that leap into the director's chair and did kick of what would go on to be a successful filmmaking career.

I Am David

- Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

Three years later, Feig returned to the director's chair as he helmed Unaccompanied Minors, which saw him return to the comedy genre. While he had worked in the comedy genre in television, this was the first time that he had directed a comedy film. Jacob Meszaros and Mya Stark teamed up to pen the film's screenplay.

A group of unaccompanied minors bond while snowed in at the Midwestern Hoover International Airport during the holiday season and ultimately create a makeshift holiday themselves. Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama, Tyler James Williams, Dyllan Christopher, Brett Kelly, Gia Mantegna, and Quinn Shephard all came together to star.

Sadly, or Feig, Unaccompanied Minors was another movie that missed that mark as he, once again, struggled to win over the critics. By the end of its theatrical run, the movie had taken just $21.9 million - failing to make back its $26 million budget.

While the predominately-young cast do all give some solid central performances, the script really does let them down. It lacks those real laugh out loud moments and there are other films in this genre that are better and funnier - which is a real shame as the cast did the best with what they had.

Unaccompanied Minors could have been a funny festive film - much in the vein of Home Alone - but Feig just doesn't quite pull it off.

Unaccompanied Minors

- Bridesmaids (2011)

The course of Feig's career changed back in 2011 when he teamed up with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig for the firs time for comedy Bridesmaids. Feig was in the director's chair for the film while Wiig teamed up with Annie Mumolo to be the film's screenplay. Judd Apatow was also on board as a producer.

The movie also sent the stars of Wiig and McCarthy rocketing and they were joined on the cast list by Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Chris O'Dowd, and Jon Hamm.

Bridesmaids follows Annie (Wiig), a simple and single 30-something Midwestern girl (with poor dating track record) who is asked to be her best friend Lillian's (Rudolph) maid of honour. However, having never done the job, she struggles to please the snobby, rich bridesmaids at every pre-wedding event. And one of Lillian's best friends is essentially the bridesmaid from hell (Byrne) - who attempts to take over the maid of honour duties from the inexperienced Annie.

Brilliantly written, Bridesmaids is a smart and funny comedy that is as much about the character development as it is about getting laughs. The movie also gives us a great insight into women's friendships, which is something that doesn't get explored in comedy all that often.

Couple that we some great direction from Feig, who clearly gave the cast space to create their characters and the humour, without ever overstretching the material or going over the top.

Bridesmaids went on to be a huge critical and commercial hit as it grossed over $288 million worldwide - easily making back its $32.5 million budget. It was the most successful Feig directed film to date and was one of the biggest female driven film projects of 2011.

The film went on to pick up two Oscar nominations; Best Original Screenplay for Wiig and Mumolo while McCarthy was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category.


- The Heat (2013)

Two years after the success of Bridesmaids, Feig reunited with McCarthy for action/comedy the Heat, which saw the filmmaker team up with Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock for the very first time. Katie Dippold was also on board having penned the film's screenplay.

Uptight FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) and foul-mouthed Boston cop Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) couldn't be more incompatible. But when they join forces to bring down a ruthless drug lord, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies.

The Heat was one of the big comedy hits of the summer and it was great to be treated to a comedy film that was actually funny. The script is sharp and fast paced while Bullock and McCarthy make a terrific comedic team that brings this great writing to life. They really did make a fantastic comedy team.

Of course, this movie does borrow from the buddy cop movie formula - there has been no reinventing the wheel in that aspect - but that doesn't because Bullock and McCarthy do make it see very fresh.

The Heat was another box office hit for Feig as he continued to show that there was an audience for female-driven comedy movies. By the end of its theatrical run, the movie had grossed $229.9 million at the global box office. It ended 2013 as the second highest-grossing comedy movie - We're The Millers topped the list with a gross of $269 million.

The Heat

- Spy (2015)

Over the last few years, Feig and McCarthy had proved that they were a great director/actor team and they worked together on their third film project in 2015... Of course, I am talking about action/comedy Spy.

As well as being in the director's chair, Feig was also on writing duties while Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Jason Statham, Allison Janney and Miranda Hart joined McCarthy on an excited and very talented cast list. It was another great leading role for McCarthy and allowed her to flex her comedy muscles once again.

Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency's most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.

Spy once again showed that Feig and McCarthy bring out the best in one another, as Spy was another terrifically fun comedy movie. Feig strikes the perfect balance between action and comedy while the film allows McCarthy show off her prowess as a comedy actress - she really is terrific from start to finish.

The movie was a big critical hit last summer with McCarthy and Statham receiving much of the praise for their fab comedic performances. Spy went on to be another big box office hit as it grossed $235.7 million worldwide - easily making back its $65 million budget.

Spy went on to pick up two Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for McCarthy.


Ghostbusters is out now.

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