Who’d have thought that one of the most divisive films of 2016 would be the Ghostbusters reboot? But here we are, a couple of months out from release, and not only have there been incredibly vocal detractors to the idea of a female-fronted Ghostbusters, but some folks were so upset by the film (a reminder: this is a movie, not martial law) that an internet campaign was launched to downvote the film’s first trailer on YouTube into oblivion.
It’s disheartening that people are so upset at the mere prospect of this film without even seeing the damn thing, but at the end of the day it’s general audiences that will vote with their wallets, not the internet. Co-writer/director Paul Feig has been somewhat taken aback at the backlash to the movie, and in an interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, he addressed the angry fans head-on:
“Fellas, we have over 60 million hits. So let’s put it in context a little bit. … All I can ask is, people, either give us a chance, or you don’t have to see it. I’m really proud of it. … I think it’s fun. I’m so proud of my cast. I think the cast is so good, and they can stand in the footsteps of who came before, because they’re such funny people but they’re different. That’s all you really want out of a comedy at the end of the day, is something different and new, and to just see great people do it.”
Feige also addressed the reaction to the film’s first trailer, which was somewhat lukewarm for a major blockbuster:
“You get your first bite of the apple watching a trailer. Everyone has a million different ideas of what this movie is going to be. I think a lot of people thought we were going to take the original script and just flip it, so that Melissa’s going to be Venkman, and Kate’s going to be Ray Stantz! And you’re like, ‘Well, no, we would never do that.’ Nobody knows what you’re doing, so it could be anything. … For us, we just needed to plant a flag and go, ‘Here’s kind of how some of the stuff in the movie is!’”
The filmmaker went on to add that the comedy in his movies is tough to market, which is true—both Bridesmaids and Spy turned out to be much funnier than their trailers would have led us to believe:
“My movies, for some reason, are really hard to do trailers for, because my comedy all comes from context, really. I’m not the guy who’s like joke-joke-joke, and here’s a one-liner one-liner one-liner. I do have those, but you have to get to know the characters, you have to settle in with them to get to know their personalities, saying, ‘Oh, that’s funny because that character doesn’t normally do this.’”
The movie’s most recent trailer, which debuted today, is an improvement and showcases the film’s impressive visuals, but Feig summed up the online reaction pretty perfectly:
“People are always going to react the way they’re going to react, and that’s the joy and the terribleness of the Internet.”
Indeed, sir. Indeed. Ghostbusters opens in theaters on July 15th and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Chris Hemsworth, Cecily Strong, and Andy Garcia.