No, this isn’t an Onion headline.
As news broke that Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the original Ghostbusters (1984), is moving forward with a continuation of that film franchise, grumbling erupted from supporters of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. Jason Reitman, you see, plans to continue the story from where Ghostbusters 2 (1989) left off, you know, as fans of the original films have always wanted.
As a kid, I loved the original Ghostbusters, and in my mind, it came as close to a perfect comedy as you can get. When the 2016 gimmicky reboot, which was a gender-swap of the franchise starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and directed by Paul Feig, came under fire for ignoring the original films and being generally terrible and unfunny, its apologists blamed “misogyny” and “toxic fandom.”
It annoys me that I have to say this, but I don’t have a problem with female-led films or with sequels and reboots highlighting diverse stories and characters. I’m also a fan of the Rocky franchise, and I thought Creed (2015) was a solid film in its own right and a good addition to the franchise. It went a different direction while still holding true to all the things that made Rocky great.
The 2016 Ghostbusters, in contrast, was a deliberate attempt to subvert, and even erase, everything fans had come to know and love about the Ghostbusters franchise. I think if Sony had simply made their own film about a team of female paranormal investigators and called it something else, there wouldn’t have been as much opposition to it. It’s not like Ghostbusters has a monopoly on paranormal-themed films.
A strong argument can be made that Jason Reitman’s new film should ignore the 2016 reboot, because the reboot isn’t actually part of the Ghostbusters franchise. It simply borrowed recognizable elements for promotional reasons. Leslie Jones, however, took to Twitter to unironically post this complaint about plans for the new film:
So insulting. Like fuck us. We dint count. It’s like something trump would do. (Trump voice) ”Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers” ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don’t give fuck I’m saying something!!”
Gee, you mean it’s annoying when someone takes something you love, replaces it with something completely different and pretends it never happened? I guess now she knows how fans of the original franchise felt when Sony made its shitty reboot.