We’ve known for months that “Ghostbusters,” the classic 1984 film starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, is getting a reboot. But if the trailer for the upcoming new movie, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones is any indication, the film is not going to be welcomed with open arms.
In fact, a big chunk of fans really “dislike” it.
The film’s first official trailer was released March 3. It has been viewed more than 29 million times, but it has also been “disliked” more than 610,000 times, the highest for any movie trailer in YouTube history.
(Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black top YouTube’s “Most Disliked Videos” list. Bieber’s “Baby” song featuring Ludacris has more than 6 million dislikes. Black’s “Friday” has more than 2 million.)
What’s the big complaint? The female cast, for starters.
On the day of the trailer’s release, according to The Hollywood Reporter, director Paul Feig told journalists and fans: “I was a comedy fan, but I had not seen something like this — combining comedy with science and the supernatural and action … I love the idea that a new generation is going to have their own Ghostbusters … It was important to capture the heart of what we loved about the original but also bring something new.”
And then the haters came out, some of them targeting “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones, who responded by Tweeting that she might just quit social media. Feig urged her not to on Twitter, calling her a “goddess & one of the warmest, funniest forces of nature I know.”
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The massive number of “dislikes” doesn’t seem to be organic, notes ScreenCrush.com, which calls them “part of a coordinated attack on the film by people who are opposed to its very existence.” The site doesn’t cite specifically who is behind the attack, but says “there’s a culture of misogyny and toxicity” to YouTube comments.
Kristen Wiig felt it during filming. She told the Los Angeles Times that she has never been involved in a project that garnered so much attention and controversy while it was being shot. “And the fact there was so much controversy because we were women was surprising to me,” Wiig said. “Some people said some really not nice things about the fact that there were women.”
The hating didn’t stop with the women in the film. Another trailer, focusing on Chris Hemsworth in the role of the Ghostbusters’ assistant — a role originated by actress Annie Potts — has also been criticized, because he’s presented as a “Ken doll with the insides scooped out.”
So while “Ghostbusters” is celebrating women, it’s smacking down men. “Stop objectifying men,” one commenter wrote.
Someone else wrote: “Not only there are no men Ghostbusters, but contrary to the spirit of the original, the only male character is a complete imbecile. Both female characters in the original were smart and witty. Great job Sony!”
And: “Dumb dumb dumb (for being in this movie).”
So will all the haters keep people out of theaters when the film opens July 15? Of course not. Feig’s track record includes “Spy,” “Bridesmaids,” and “The Heat” — all hits. And on Rotten Tomatoes “Ghostbusters” has a 95% “want to see” score. Controversy can be a good thing.
And if you just want to stay loyal to the original film, Variety reports that Fathom Events is re-releasing “Ghostbusters” in some 750 theaters across the nation on June 8 for the film’s 34th anniversary, with an encore date set for June 12.