Nowadays, if you go to your local newsagents and pick up a movie magazine, chances are that 99% of the films mentioned on the front cover will be one of three things: a comic book movie, a reboot, or a sequel. In spite of this, sequels and reboots are a touchy subject. The mere mention of going back to the well with certain movies and TV shows sets certain circles of fans around the world into a veritable frenzy of rage. Such was the case when, in August of 2014, Columbia Pictures announced that there was going to be a reboot of Ghostbusters, with writer-director Paul Feig at the helm. That was distressing enough for some, but people got even more furious when they realised the spin that was being put on the flick: it was to have an all-female lead cast. This lead to posts like this one appearing on Twitter:
This is as good an example as any of the kind of stupid, ignorant, horrible comments online about the Ghostbusters reboot. Are these people maintaining that a sequel with an all new cast is okay as long as it’s only with men in it? Some of them seem to be, yes. Which is beyond ridiculous. To quote Donna Dickens of website http://www.hitfix.com/:
Look, “Ghostbusters” might be amazing. It might be awful. But despite the protests of a vocal minority, the quality of the film will have exactly zero relation to the reproductive organs of the starring cast.
This isn’t the first time people have vented frustration at the casting choices for movies either. Just look at the Batman franchise. Warner Brothers received thousands of letters of complaint for the casting of Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. A similar reaction happened online when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008. It’s fair to say that both of those actors proved their respective naysayers wrong. Here’s hoping Ben Affleck can do the same for next years Batman Vs. Superman.
Meanwhile, there’s other circles of people claiming that any Ghostbusters sequel, female starring or otherwise will be awful and/or will ruin their childhood. On the one hand, assuming a film will be terrible before it’s even released is understandable in a lot of cases. If you heard that Back to the Future was being remade with Justin Bieber starring in it, would you be positively horrified? Of course you would. People have every right to expect Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters will be terrible too, even if I personally don’t share that expectation. On the other hand, I have a number of issues with the mindset that this sequel is going to ruin anyones childhood. First of all, the people making this kind of stupid statement aren’t children. Their childhoods have already happened. No one can unmake your childhood, and no one can unmake the original Ghostbusters films. As an example, when last years Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie came out, I was interested given how much I loved (and still love) the 1990 movie as well as the cartoon from around the same era. Sadly, Michael Bay being involved, coupled with the horrible reaction the movie seemed to get from pretty much everyone put me off bothering to see it. But did it ruin my childhood? No, of course not because I’m not an idiot. No matter who remakes or reboots the Turtles franchise, my love for it will remain intact, thanks to those early movies and cartoons.
In any case, I would argue that Ghostbusters is in good hands. Remember, this is Paul Feig we’re talking about. I’m aware that Bridesmaids wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea (I thought it was hysterically funny) but regardless, Paul Feig created Freaks and Geeks. In case you don’t know, Geeks was pretty much the starting point for Seth Rogen, James Franco, Linda Cardellini and comedy juggernaut Judd Apatow et al. When one of your favourite comedies of all time has its sequel/reboot under the guidance of the man who created Freaks and Geeks, it’s fair to say it’s in safe hands. It also helps that I am a fan of both Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (who divides many people). Are there too many sequels and reboots these days? Yes, definitely. It’s getting ludicrous at this point. But if the inevitable is going to happen and if Ghostbusters is going to be brought back to life for a new generation whether you or I like it or not, then I’m delighted Paul Feig is the one making it.
Fancy a revisit to the original two Ghostbusters movies? Then head to the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield tonight for a double Bill (no pun intended) of Ghostbusters 1 & 2 back to back. I know I will be!