Ghostbusters’ (2016) extended cut was released on BluRay last week, and there’s a few deleted scenes worth mentioning. In fact, there is one whole character that got completely cut from the theatrical version altogether – Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) had a love interest boyfriend Columbia colleague named Phil (played by Justin Kirk, star of Weeds).
Let’s all have a moment of silence for Justin Kirk, who worked on one of the most-talked about films of the year without any recognition or evidence that he was even a part of the movie, until now.
Was Phil cut from the movie to avoid the criticism that a female Ghostbuster doesn’t need a love interest or unnecessary romantic subplot? Or was he simply just cut for time? These are answers we do not yet have from director Paul Feig.
Regardless of the editorial reasoning, the three scenes with Phil are objectively funny, and do add some context to the theatrical version that was inherently missing.
We first see Phil introducing Erin Gilbert to his female colleague (who is played by Elizabeth Perkins, Kirk’s co-star on Weeds). Here, Dr. Gilbert affirms that she is proud to be published. She has a back and forth quips with the female colleague – and overall this scene adds to the fact that Dr. Gilbert really wants to be respected in the scientific community.
We next see Phil briefly when Dr. Gilbert is fired from her tenure at Columbia and she is seen leaving her office with a box of her belongings. He doesn’t acknowledge her or look her in the eye as she leaves. This is probably a direct result of the viral video of her screaming “GHOSTS ARE REAL!” which would have made him ~an intellectual~ to avoid her gaze.
The last and most important scene with Phil is right before the Ghostbusters go to capture the demon ghost at the metal concert. Phil shows up and pulls Gilbert aside on the sidewalk asking her what she is doing – and she responds that she has to go and that they’re [the ghostbusters] doing real work. This scene is notable not so much because of their interaction, but rather the fact that fellow ghostbusters Dr. Abby Yates and Patty Tolan hilariously judge Phil from afar. Here is that scene.
I question why this character was cut and would love to know how the decision was made to scrap all of his traces in the theatrical version entirely.
Whatever the reason, RIP PHIL (2016-2016). We will miss you and our probable double v-necks.