By Adam M. Wilcox
On January 15th, it was announced all over social media that Ghostbusters 3 was getting a reboot. Not long after, a teaser trailer was released. Access journalists were quick to report that Sony has been well into the development cycle of Ghostbusters 3, which will abandon all of the characters in the 2016 reboot, and continue with the original characters from the first two movies. The movie will be directed by Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman.
Not long after this article hit the web, old wounds that were just beginning to heal started opening up, revealing that the grudges on both sides of this movie’s political narrative are still very real. Leslie Jones, first fired off on twitter how disrespectful it is to ignore the reboot cast in favor of an all male cast, even blaming Donald Trump, even the original movie happened to have an all male cast to begin with. 2016 director Paul Feig has said some similar things as well. Not long after, access journalists in favor of politics over entertainment have taken to the web, and are now blaming fans….AGAIN for this movie that has ultimately been in development Hell since the 90s. It is very clear that Jones, Feig, and the rest of the world never left 2016, and still fail to realize that you can’t use politics to defect criticism. I will even argue that it is the fact that this basic comedy was used as a symbol for social political arguments from everyone up to and including our presidential candidates is one of the chief reasons that this movie tanked so badly at the box office.
I have a very different opinion on the matter. I actually believe that Sony STILL thinks they can milk some money out of this franchise, but I don’t personally believe that this movie is as far along in development as they would like you to believe. I think they are using these media outlets to see if there is any marketability in this franchise post 2016. A lot of business men lost a lot of return on this property that they were convinced would be a huge success. They are trying to get back any of that money they can. I also believe, that people in favor of the 2016 symbol—I mean movie, are fully aware of just how tired people are of hearing about Ghostbusters, and are wasting no time to fire back on fans, and start up a debate that started in 2016, and never finished. They are floating these articles around to get people stirred up about this damn movie again, hoping they can generate enough negative press to halt production on the film. I find it hard to believe that there is much more than a storyboard, and maybe some post it notes, considering the cast is not even solidified at the time of this writing.
What is my stance on all of this? I wish the politics of male vs. female cast would just stop already. I was not personally offended by the casting choice. I anticipated this to be a very funny movie. What I DIDN’T anticipate, was simply taking an existing property, advertising that it is a soft reboot, but then revealing that it was a complete reboot, with a gender swapped cast, that was ultimately not very well written, not that funny, and kind of insulting to fans. Then like many franchises now, audiences are told that if you don’t support this mediocre comedy, you are a bad person. This kind of ideology is ludicrous, and it’s being ported into every single piece of entertainment. Plain and simple people don’t like being told what they are supposed to like. People need to be won over by old fashioned things like character development, pacing, plots, old fashioned writing. Actual structured jokes, rather than on camera ad lib humor. When you take an existing property, and bring it back out of moth balls, you need to respect the original source material. I don’t think the fans appreciated seeing the guy that played Peter Venkman, one of the original cast members hurled out of a window just so Leslie Jones can make a joke out of it. I think that is a pretty fair assessment. If you want to reboot all of these old franchises nobody is going to stop it, but there ARE ways in which you can do this and win over new and both audiences. You have your old characters return, but you adapt those characters’ personalities to fit a modern setting. You make the new characters the focus of your story, but you have the old characters to bring wisdom and experience to the story. Just go watch the Creed movies or Cobra Kai…you don’t see old fans scoffing about those, and politics doesn’t have shit to do with it either.
In my opinion, they should just leave it in the garage. This news of Ghostbusters 3 doesn’t excite me much. I mean I like Ghostbusters 2, but a lot of people didn’t which is why a third film never happened in the first place. Ghostbusters 2016, or Answer the Call…or whatever the fuck you call it, is both a political and financial disaster. I could see maybe making a new animated film or even a TV series similar to Cobra Kai. Making a third movie however, is not just beating a dead horse, it is hooking electrodes up to it’s neck, trying to channel a single bolt of lightning yelling “GIVE MY CREATION LIFE!!!”