Restarting a long-dormant but beloved franchise is undoubtedly a daunting task. Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters has garnered a lot of curiosity and a lot of derision from its very inception, for that very reason. After its trailer launched to a mixed reception, many fans of the original and even casual audience aren’t sure who exactly what they’re in for at this point.
With a couple months before the new team of professional paranormal investigators and eliminators takes the screen, Sony Pictures' marketing campaign for the Ghostbusters reboot has begun to ramp up. In addition, Feig's The Heat and Ghostbusters co-writer Katie Dippold has spoken about the task of re-imagining the original beloved Ghostbusters film (and, in turn, the backlash).
During an interview with the L.A. Times, Dippold delved into recreating the vibe of the original Ghostbusters film. The screenwriter and comedian cut her teeth with Upright Citizen’s Brigade, also serving on the writing staff of MADtv and Parks and Recreation. Her improv skills served her well on-set during the reboot's production, when adjusting the script for the spur-of-the-moment antics of Melissa McCarthy and cast (most of whom are Saturday Night Live vets much like the original Ghostbusters star Bill Murray and costar/writer Dan Aykroyd before them).
First, though, new Ghostbusters covers have been released by Empire Magazine - have a look, below:
Before the reboot of the 1984 film even started shooting, though, Dippold found herself under fire for choosing to remake Ghostbusters, especially with a female cast. Responding to online commenters who harassed her, even wishing her harm (for remaking a film) she says:
“At first I let myself read a lot of it and then I realized it wasn't doing me any good. It's interesting to me that some people want it to fail. What if you watched it and loved it? Why would that be bad?”
Baffled to some degree by the backlash, she does understand the overall risk involved. Dippold has a deep appreciation for the Ghostbusters franchise and its cast. In rebooting the film, she tried to keep the tone as close as possible to the original, but she does admit that crafting a great horror comedy like the 1984 film or Shaun of the Dead or Cabin in the Woods is tricky:
“I've always loved horror comedy, and I think it's really hard to pull off. Ghostbusters is so special to me 'cause there's an umbrella that holds both fun and scary.”
She also addresses the backlash over Leslie Jones’ Patty Tolar character being a transit worker. Dippold says she’d initially pictured McCarthy in the role, but that Jones nailed the role:
“I think some people think we wrote this character for a black actress. No, we wrote what we thought was a good character and then cast the best person to play her.”
A new batch of Ghostbusters character posters recently launched, featuring the entire cast minus McCarthy. Whether or not fans love the new look (or the marketing), the Empire covers are definitely doing their best to channel the flavor of the original film. The Slimer cover is just fun nostalgia, and the action shot of the cast, featuring Erin (McCarthy), Jillian (Kate McKinnon), Abby (Kristen Wiig), and Patty (Jones) definitely resembles a mockup of the original team. It’s also reminiscent of the popular Real Ghostbusters cartoon show, certainly by design. The real trick to the rebooted Ghostbusters is capturing the flavor of the original without stepping into each of its footstep.
Whether or not you’re looking forward to the Ghostbusters reboot, it does have a strong cast, a talented writer, and a proven director. Although Feig’s reboot shouldn’t be judged solely on its predecessors, it also acts as an entry into the overall series – something the studio and the production team clearly understands. Hopefully, Dippold and Feig will successfully blend elements from the original yet craft something which stands on its own, too.
Ghostbusters hits U.S. theaters on July 15th, 2016.