A lightning rod of controversy since its debut, the trailer for Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot continues to draw strong opinions, both for and against. While the trailer recently being named the most disliked in YouTube’s history seemed to clinch an overall negative opinion of both the clip and its corresponding film, a Fandango poll was then released suggesting that Ghostbusters is still the most anticipated comedy of the summer. Now, a new voice has entered the debate on the negative side, and it’s one most would never expect to criticize anything to do with Ghostbusters: co-leading star Melissa McCarthy.
Naturally, McCarthy’s criticisms of her own film’s trailer aren’t nearly as forceful as those offered by online viewers, but she does wholeheartedly agree with one major complaint many have expressed.
“It’s a reboot, not a remake. I know it’s weird that they say [in the trailer] “30 years ago,” but in this movie it’s like the first one didn’t happen. It’s a great story but told totally differently. It’s the same thing of four unlikely heroes, it’s in New York city, ghosts are taking over. It’s the same classic story, but it’s not a ’30 years later.’ Believe me, the question was asked. I think it’s very confusing.”
This falls right in line with one of the most common criticisms of the trailer, putting McCarthy in the surprising spot of agreeing with the clip’s haters, at least on that particular issue. While Feig has repeatedly stated that his Ghostbusters has no narrative connection to the original two movies beyond its basic premise and ideas, the trailer for the film completely contradicts that in its opening seconds.
As has become well-discussed since, the trailer immediately references the fact that 30 years earlier, four scientists — itself an error, as Winston was not a scientist — saved New York and suggests that a new team is out to take up their mantle. This led to much confusion among fans as to whether Feig’s film was indeed tied to the original Ghostbusters continuity after all.
That said, it’s not unusual in Hollywood for stars or even directors to have little to no control over how their film is marketed, especially when it’s handled by a large studio like Sony. It’s entirely plausible that Sony has taken the uproar around Feig’s Ghostbusters to heart, and assumed that tying the project directly to the classic franchise would increase its chances of box-office success. The world will soon find out if this “confusing” marketing strategy was in fact a good idea.
Ghostbusters opens in U.S. theaters on July 15, 2016.