Filmmakers Jason Reitman and Paul Feig have both shown decorum in a way others haven’t in the wake of quotes arising from a podcast interview with Reitman this week.
In 2016 Feig attempted a reboot of the beloved 1980s “Ghostbusters” film property, one boasting an all-female cast. Reviews were good (not great), but the box-office was disappointing – the film making just $229 million worldwide on a $144 million budget. The vocal backlash against the film online was also strong, leading to people decrying or supporting it sight unseen as it became something of a political football.
Then a few weeks ago it was announced that Reitman would follow in his father’s footsteps and helm a new film which would serve as a direct sequel to the first two movies and ignore the 2016 reboot. That too was met with divisive debate.
This week Reitman appeared on Bill Burr’s Monday Morning podcast and said some comments about his plans for the franchise – comments that have since yielded backlash of their own. Reitman says:
“I’m not making the ‘Juno’ of ‘Ghostbusters’ movies. This is going to be a love letter to ‘Ghostbusters’. I love this franchise. I grew up watching it. I consider myself the first ‘Ghostbusters’ fan. I was like seven years old when that movie came out and I love it. I want to make a movie for my fellow ‘Ghostbusters’ fans.”
He also discussed the work that went into creating that short teaser released earlier this year:
“We went back to the work files for the sound of the proton pack. And we went back to the stems of Elmer Berstein’s score. Just for where it says, in the teaser, ‘Summer 2020,’ we went back and found the original physical vinyl letters they used to create the ‘Ghostbusters’ poster in 1984. Rescanned them and then our titles guys reprinted them. We filmed the titles. Not like in a computer. We shot physical titles with a light and smoke effect because that’s how they would have done it back in the day. We are, in every way, trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans”
Since the interview quotes were published, they have been attacked for being condescending if not outright insulting. Reitman has realised he inadvertently further stoked the divisions over this franchise and says his remarks were misunderstood. He tweeted: “Wo, that came out wrong. I have nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016. They expanded the universe and made an amazing movie.”
Reitman also has one supporter in his corner – Paul Feig himself who tweeted: “Jason was a supporter of mine at a time when I couldn’t get movies made. He has always been a true gentleman to me and a supporter of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. I can’t wait to see his take on the Ghostbusters universe. Big love and respect to you, Jason. Your fan, Paul.”
For now it seems, Sony is better off not mentioning anything about the new one until some actual announcements start coming though.