It would be fair to say that the upcoming women-led Ghostbusters reboot from director Paul Feig is a divisive topic among moviegoers on the Internet. Ever since the movie was announced, it has had its detractors. There has been plenty of debate over how much of the backlash against the film has been due to plain old misogyny, with many simply being opposed to the idea of an all-female ghostbusting team, and how much of it has been due to reboot fatigue and/or an unimpressive marketing campaign.
For their part, the last generation of Ghostbusters have voiced their support for the new movie. Ernie Hudson said the movie had a “great script” and that “the girls are really funny.” The famously sequel-shy Bill Murray echoed Hudson’s comments and added, “you’ll delight in the film,” and Dan Akroyd said “it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films.” Director Ivan Reitman has been a little more tight-lipped in his response to the reboot, but that changed with some recent comments.
In an interview with Mashable, Reitman offered his own praise of the new Ghostbusters, while at the same time coming to the defense of the reboot’s naysayers. His opinion on the movie itself once again echoed comments made by the original movie’s cast, namely that Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Melissa McCarthy (pictured in the new movie poster below) make an excellent ghostbusting team:
“How wonderful those four women are together. Individually and together, they’re as unique as Bill Murray and Aykroyd and Ramis and Hudson were. They look like they should be together. You can’t explain it until you see them moving and talking.”
As far as backlash to the reboot, Reitman joined cast member Melissa McCarthy in thinking that its trailer did not do it any favors:
“I think we got off to a bad start. It wasn’t so much that the trailer was bad or terrible. In its minute and a half, it couldn’t represent what the movie actually is.”
Besides the lackluster trailer, Reitman also believes that the reboot has nostalgia working against it. While much of the focus in discussing the backlash has been about the misogyny aspect of it, with some on the Internet expressing that they simply didn’t want to see women in the lead roles, Reitman thinks that discussion is a bit overblown:
“I think there’s way too much talk about gender [when it comes to this film]. I think that many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the [original] movie, not haters of women. I think the lovers of the [original] movie felt there was some kind of sacrilege to re-do it, because it was a seminal part of their moviegoing experience as a 7- or 8-year-old. That’s something that can’t be minimized, and I totally respect that love.”
No doubt Reitman is correct in his assertion that misogyny is not the only reason for backlash against the movie, but as with the recent Gamergate controversy in the video game world, the sheer level of vitriol coming from those with an axe to grind against women tends to overshadow the more reasonable voices in the anti-reboot camp. For his part, though, Reitman hopes that no matter the reason for their skepticism, everyone approach the movie with an open mind:
“All I am asking is that they give the film a shot. I think it is a very satisfying and wonderful experience on its own [and] I think most people are going to go with it.”
With the movie set to hit theaters in just a few weeks, audiences will finally get the chance to decide for themselves whether or not they like the new Ghostbusters rather than relying on Internet thinkpieces and social media buzz. If all the praise from the older generation of Ghostbusters holds true, then hopefully the movie will be able to overcome its negative perceptions on the Internet. If not, then there’s always the upcoming animated series to look forward to.
Ghostbusters arrives in U.S. theaters on July 15, 2016.