For the second time this week actor Dan Aykroyd is sliming the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, and this time he’s harping on the use of the “originators” in the film. Released in 1984, Ghostbusters marked the beginning of one of the most trying franchises in movie history. Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, it took five years before the original Ghostbusters followed up its blockbuster success with Ghostbusters II in 1989.
Naturally, inquiries about a third film followed the sequel, and for 25 years the actors and director couldn’t come up with any good reason why another Ghostbusters film wasn’t being produced, other than the inability of the production to get Murray to reprise his role. The creatives (apart of from Ramis, who died in 2014), seemed to find a solution, however, in 2016, with a complete reboot of the franchise with a female spin, and director Paul Feig cast Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the title characters.
Apart from die-hards who criticized the new direction of the film before it was released, the film garnered favorable reviews and went on to gross $229 million worldwide (with $128.3 million of that coming from domestic ticket sales) against a production budget of $144 million. Aykroyd earlier this week ripped Feig over his spending on reshoots, and in a new post on the actor’s Facebook page, his criticisms seem more personal.
In the post, Aykroyd seems praises the cast like he did on Tuesday, and says, “Paul Feig made a good movie” before adding, “We just wish he had been more inclusive to the originators.” See the full post below.
While Aykroyd stayed away from addressing his initial claim that the film’s reshoots cost in the neighborhood of $30 million to $40 (Sony Pictures countered in a statement issued to Deadline that the reshoots cost $3 million to $4 million), the focus of his latest message clearly is on the use of the original actors in the film. Murray clearly had the largest role of the remaining three actors from the original (Ramis got a nod with a golden bust bearing his likeness at the beginning of the film), followed by Hudson and Aykroyd – who arguably had the shortest and most thankless cameo in the film.
If Aykroyd’s main gripe with the film is the fact that he wasn’t in it enough, he should just come out and say it directly, rather than imply it by alluding to the “originators.” As one of the screenwriters on the 1984 original (along with Ramis), Aykroyd certainly has a good reason to be upset.
Sure, he was an executive producer on the Ghostbusters reboot as well, but was unlikely in editing room and undoubtedly surprised (obviously not in a good way) with the final product. It’s hard to imagine he took things well when his role was billed in the end credits simply as “Cabbie,” when Murray’s and Hudson’s characters actually had names. Aykroyd has certainly made a name for himself in Hollywood over the past 40 years, and he deserves the respect – especially when it comes to his own creations.