(Pssst, it’s this news .)
I’m a child of the late 80s and the 90s, as such, I grew up with repeats of both Ghostbuster films, the first cartoon series, my cousins’ obsession with their replica ghost catching toys (I think a trap landed on my foot at least one). Later on, one of the first videogames I was paid to review was the Ghostbusters game that was created for the Wii, and like its more realistic looking 360/PS3 counterparts, was meant to be a direct sequel to the second film. What I’m saying is: I’ve got a history with the franchise and I like it a lot (traps on foot not withstanding).
It’s a reboot
Let’s face it, unless they spent a lot of money making a convincing Harold Ramis CG ghost and finally pinned Bill Murray down (his indecisive nature towards being on board has been well documented elsewhere, but check out this recent IGN timeline to see how indecisive he’s been) it’s no longer possible to make a direct sequel to the second film with the original actors. Sure, they could have replaced them with other actors… But at this point, and considering the age of the original films and Hollywood’s current tastes, the more likely choice was going to be a reboot.
Now, whether this reboot will hark back to the events of the original films in some way and thus make it a soft reboot – I don’t know. But considering how much the world has moved on since the 80s and 90s, a reboot wouldn’t look out of place.
I like the original films quite a bit, but I do feel a direct sequel would be messy at this point without having a really contrived storyline (hey, look, they started franchising, or… look, they’re all retired now and had a bunch of kids who are now stepping into their shoes, or some such other piece of swill). I mean, I was okay with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but I know most of you hated it and that was a direct sequel to a well loved franchise (and I also know that most objections to that film extended beyond a certain actor’s casting).
Probably the biggest issue for many (but not me) about the recent Ghostbuster announcements is that it looks like the core team of Ghostbusters are going to all be women. This is no surprise for me since Paul Feig is now one of the main creative forces for the film, both as director and scriptwriter. When you look at Feig’s film and TV career , you’ll see that he tends to work on stuff with mainly female leads. Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids), Melissa McCarthy (SNL, Bridesmaids, The Heat, Tammy), Leslie Jones (SNL), and Kate McKinnon (SNL) are currently slated for taking on the film’s main roles .
I’ve had people say to me that these women aren’t funny, this despite the fact that they’ve all got comedy careers that echo the early years’ of the original Ghostbusters stars (Aykroyd and Murray were both on SNL at some point). These actresses/comedians already get paid to be funny… no one would pay them to be funny if no one thought they were funny. This leads me to suspect that a great many of the people against this reboot on the grounds of the all women team (remember, technically the original team didn’t have to be all men) are objecting because they believe in the bullshit, sexist stereotype that women are, apparently, incapable of being funny.
Why is this stereotype bullshit? It’s based on historical, perceived gender norms that have no damn basis in reality. This has been explored many times elsewhere, but I like the way Kathy Benjamin showed this in her Cracked article: ” 4 Ways We’re Programmed to Think Women Aren’t Funny “.
Personally, I’ve found Melissa McCartney funny in all the films I mentioned earlier and I found Kristen Wiig’s performance in Bridesmaids to be funny. In general I can’t speak about female comedians from the US (themselves and their material are rarely shown in the UK on free channels), but there are many female comedians based in the UK that I love to see perform stand-up (like Jo Brand, Sarah Millican and Shappi Khorsandi) and actresses who act well as funny characters in TV and films (like Tamsin Greig, Katherine Parkinson, Jessica Hynes and Michelle Gomez).
I won’t automatically believe this film is going to be bad. I’m not going ape shit about it in a negative or positive way and I’ll watch it the same way as I’ve watched all other recent reboots of older films, waiting until the credits roll to pass judgement – sometime in July 2016.