Ever since Jason Reitman teased that he would be “rebooting” the “Ghostbusters” franchise (yet again), social justice warriors who clamored to support the middling all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot from several years ago have been complaining about the decision. Now that a trailer has debuted, the anger has hit a fever pitch.
Reitman is the son of the original “Ghostbusters” director, Ivan Reitman, and his decision to jump start the “Ghostbusters” franchise after the disastrous 2016 effort came as a welcome surprise to Sony Pictures, which had all but written off “Ghostbusters” save for a possible cartoon television series or kids movie. A teaser dropped earlier this year, but a full trailer dropped this week.
The trailer isn’t being met with widespread applause, to be fair. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is a darker and, it seems, more serious turn for the series, and while it brings back familiar characters, it introduces a “new generation” of young Ghostbusters. The film is less in the vein of early 80s sci-fi comedy thrillers and more in the vein of 2010s straight-to-streaming properties, like “Stranger Things.”
It’s not a surprising turn of events for fans, who guessed at a “Stranger Things” style refresh months ago, especially in light of how modern filmmakers rebooted the Stephen King masterpiece, “It,” but it has critics a bit bewildered and concerned that the lighthearted, funny aspects of the franchise aren’t being embraced.
That said, there’s no one angrier about the trailer than social justice warriors who saw 2016’s all-female Ghostbusters as a win for diversity in filmmaking, even if the movie itself was pretty awful.
Leslie Jones, who starred in the 2016 remake, led the way, several months ago, comparing Reitman’s reboot to “something Trump would do,” likely implying institutionalized racism and sexism.
“So insulting. Like f*ck us. We [don’t] 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 f*ck I’m saying something!!”
Comic book and entertainment journalists held their fire until the trailer debuted.
James McMahon tweeted, “F**k that Ghostbusters trailer. You don’t reward regressive fanboys – many of whom created an atmosphere of racist, misogynist toxicity that led to a leading lady leaving this very platform – by MAKING THE VERY FILM THEY WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.”
How dare film studios respond to audiences! They should be focused on social justice!
Oh, and how dare they respond to American values and make a movie in line with what parents who saw the movie in theaters in their youth might want, now that they get to share the Ghostbusters experience with their children.
“lmao of course Ghostbusters: Afterlife is about family and lineage and legacy and all these other fucking white patriarchal American values. It’s literally a reaction to the idea of 4 women, including one Black woman. The franchise must assert its “REAL” predecessor,” a social media feminist added.
At least one “fan” admitted that the trailer looks pretty good — but that they’d prefer the movie be terrible just to spite those who criticized the 201 film. ” I love Ghostbusters 2016. And while I WANT to be excited for the new film (and Paul Rudd who is perfect, always) it’s hard to let go of the bitterness towards the REAL FANS that acted horrifically toward the last film, cast, crew and fans.”
Unfortunately for Reitman’s critics, it wasn’t just “white men” and “misogynists” who made 2016’s all-female Ghostbusters an epic disaster — it was audiences in general. The Hollywood Reporter noted in 2016 that the film was an epic loser for Sony Pictures studios, and the $70 million it lost likely meant Sony would have had to table any future plans for the franchise, even though it desperately wanted to make good on the Ghostbusters trademark, especially in light of a resurgence of 1980s nostalgia.
Reitman isn’t limiting his creative work on Ghostbusters to the upcoming film, so the mental angish may continue. He now owns a multi-media production company called Ghost Corps., and seems to be planning to turn the Ghostbusters “universe” into a multi-dimensional franchise for Sony the way Kevin Feig is doing with Marvel for Disney. A television series, “Ghostbusters: Ecto Force” is in the works for 2020.