In terms of trivial movie information setting the world on fire, the Ghostbuster’s reboot represents the second blunder this week that I have to discuss with the internet at large. The net’s majority seems to be, in my opinion, lost on what makes a good or bad movie. It seems to have forgotten that it doesn’t matter what the ‘gimmick’ is, but what the story and purpose of the movie actually is.
If you follow any movie news blogs/sites/Facebook pages or Twitter feeds you probably heard about the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot featuring an all-female cast. For those that haven’t managed to be inundated with the news already, it looks like this: Ghostbusters is officially getting the phoenix-treatment with Paul Feig heading up the project to bring together a female cast of Ghostbusters, now confirmed as: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
Upon the announcement of the cast, and date (July 22, 2016) the internet exploded.
Of course that’s predictable, it explodes every day for a variety of reasons both legitimate and less so. However, what was surprising was the reason and scope of the explosion. Fans were upset about the casting for a variety of reasons ranging from blatant sexism to disapproval of a potential SNL/Bridesmaids reunion.
Somehow in the mess of all the casting news (which I honestly don’t care about), people ignored the small bits of information that Feig gave us with regards to the plot and tone of the film. Why? When in the hell did we start, as a collective, not caring about the script so much as the actors?
Haven’t we been shown, on multiple occasions, that people we would have NEVER assumed had a range, managed to dig deep and find it thanks to a particularly brilliant script or director? Not to say that’s the thing I want to talk about where Ghostbusters is concerned either though… I’m certainly not going to leave you thinking that ‘brilliant’ is the idea left in my head when reading the brief information provided about the tone the new Ghostbusters is going for.
“Dark,” “Scary,” and having “Nothing to do with the original” were all key phases used to “sell” the direction of the new film (now scheduled for just slightly over a year away).
Never mind that I’ve already unleashed my thoughts about “dark and gritty” re-dos of existing franchises on the internet, you don’t want to have anything at all in common with the original (insanely successful) film series?
Where is the logic in that? Actively seeking to remove yourself from the original story and tone of the Ghostbusters makes this feel like an endeavour that probably could (and should) have been done under its own branding. There’s no reason a paranormal capture/extermination team couldn’t exist and NOT be the Ghostbusters, is there?
I’d happily have let Paul Feig create a Frightener’s-esque storyline with the cast he’s choosen, and maybe even enjoyed it! But if you’re taking something beloved by so, so many fans… taking that branding power and lineage and actively saying “Naaaah, I don’t want anything to do with the actual film itself I just want the name/logo” then screw you specifically.
Look, no camp is “right” in this debate. Not yet. All we have is a date, a cast, and two lines of concept for the tone of the film. Until we get a bit more information it’s impossible to say this is going to be a good or bad take on the franchise and characters. With that being said, when all you have to go on is the person in charge saying they want to avoid the tropes of the first films, it becomes enough to raise a red flag in my mind.
That’s what we should have been talking about, not the quality or sex of the damned cast.