There's something strange in the neighborhood, something weird. Hollywood may finally be learning the lesson behind that newly-minted conservative axiom – get woke, go broke. Nothing better illustrates that than Sony's reported decision to completely shelve the 2016 box office flop that was the feminist "Ghostbusters" remake in favor of a new movie that continues the original 1980s storyline unaltered, the one where a couple of scientists save the world by creating their own business while defying the EPA.
Unsurprisingly, the woke-scolds are deeply offended by the change of plans. Writing over at Forbes, entertainment reporter Scott Mendelson denounced Sony's decision as placating "misogynistic trolls," because apparently, incels in their parents' basement are to blame for the box office failure that was the 2016 feminist reboot.
Starting with the release of its first trailer, the 2016 "Ghostbusters" instantly became a political hot topic when it broke records by becoming the most disliked movie trailer on YouTube (it currently holds 1.1 million downvotes versus just 305 thousand upvotes). While critics, many of whom lean left, appreciated the film, it failed to draw audiences and grossed a tepid $229 million worldwide on a massive production budget of $144 million plus marketing costs.
The new version will be directed by Jason Reitman, son of original "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman, and will most likely feature a reprisal of the principal characters passing the torch off to a new generation. In his piece, "Jason Reitman Is Directing 'Ghostbusters 3,' And It's All Your Fault," Scott Mendelson characterizes Sony's choice of Reitman as a glaring example of white male privilege at work:
To say that I have mixed feelings about this is an understatement. On one hand, you're rewarding a white male director whose last five movies bombed (and of those, only the two starring Charlize Theron and penned by Diablo Cody received positive reviews) the keys to a hugely valuable franchise mostly because he's the son of the guy who directed those first two Ghostbusters movies. And yes, unintentional or not, you're essentially rewarding the specific demographics who reacted in the very worst way to the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot with the thing they claimed to want instead of the ... horrors ... all-female sci-fi comedy.
While Mendelson certainly understands the economic benefits for Sony to give fans what they actually want from their beloved franchise, he ultimately feels the 2016 version got undercut by its bloated budget and would have profited nicely if Sony had let it run for $90 million. In fact, after watching the extended cut, he thinks the Melissa McCarthy version is every bit as good as the 1984 original. Worst of all, he fears that Sony may have unintentionally allowed the misogynists to do a victory dance.
"The idea of giving the most disrespectful 'Ghostbusters' fanboys, like the ones who temporarily drove Leslie Jones off of Twitter, even a little of what they want is (unintentionally?) odious," he writes.
Of course, the ghoulish trolls who cruelly harassed Leslie Jones on Twitter were a vocal minority, not the whole base of disgruntled "Ghostbusters" fans, and while Mendelson seems to somewhat understand that, he still believes that a great injustice has been done.
"I hate that this is happening. I hate that the misogynistic Ghostbusters trolls (and if that's not you, then this isn't about you) are getting what they want," he concludes.
People have voiced similar opinions on Twitter: