Ghostbusters is an important film in 80’s film culture. The story of four proton pack-carrying men and their green ghost friend Slimer was a fun comedy that remains popular even today. Now like everything else in Hollywood, it’s getting remade. Naturally, such a beloved film getting rebooted is going to spark a backlash from the devoted fanbase. Though the interesting part about the Ghostbusters reboot is the fact it’s no longer about four proton pack carrying men.
It’s actually about four proton-pack carrying women.
Thus with this fact, it puts a spin on the backlash. Is the outrage because Hollywood is daring to touch a sacred comedy and put a new spin on it? The trailer set a record for the most dislikes in YouTube history. At this point, it can’t be just angry fanboys and girls who are upset that another film is getting a modern update.
Could it be a bunch of misogynistic people who simply can’t stand to see it starring women?
Paul Feig, director of the Ghostbusters reboot, believes so. As does Melissa McCarthy, who stars in the reboot. McCarthy described those opposed to the film as 45-year-old men who live in their mother’s basement. Feig himself blamed “right wing radio monsters” while describing the backlash.
Is it true that those opposing the all-female Ghostbusters reboot are sexist?
Original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman says no, instead taking a more thorough and mature assessment of the situation. Being the one at the helm of the original, Reitman understands how important the film is to many people. He notes that the backlash likely has more to do with nostalgia than sexism. This generally is true of most reboots and remakes.
Why does everything in movie history need to be remade?
Now it is true there are likely those opposed who do so purely because it’s an all-female lead cast, but to say that’s the basis of the backlash is likely stretching it. As Reitman himself notes, this film was a big part of many people’s childhood. Nostalgia really tugs at the heart.
This really reflects where we’re at as a culture however. It’s impossible just not like something.
Looking back at when then-Senator Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign, and opponents were labeled as racist. Were they? While there was likely a racist minority, a bulk of those opposed to him were doing so because of his views and perspectives. After eight neoconservative years under the Bush Administration, a progressive left administration is a hard turn and many people didn’t like the idea.
The same goes for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. Are opponents of her candidacy sexist? Do people not want her as President because they don’t want a female in the Oval Office or does it have more to do with what she stands for?
In terms of film culture, the new Ghostbusters film could be an excellent film and the all-female reboot could be a hit. It could also fall flat and fail to capture the magic of the original. But whether it fails or succeeds will not be due to the sex of those carrying the proton packs and fighting ghosts. It will be based on the work of people like Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy, and others involved in the film.