It’s hard to think of a movie that’s more controversial this summer than Paul Feig‘s all-female reboot of Ghostbusters. The film has been dogged by criticisms, both legitimate and illegitimate, as people seem prepossessed to make sure that this film is cast in as negative a light as possible. Many people have been voices of reason saying let’s wait and see how good the movie is before deciding we hate it, but for those that have an absolute, vitriolic, negative reaction to the new Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman, director of the original film, fells your pain, and understands it.
In a new interview with Mashable, Reitman said he respects the haters, but he doesn’t think they’re being driven by a sense of misogyny, they’re just passionate people that don’t want to see Feig screw around with a good thing….
“I think there’s way too much talk about gender [when it comes to this film]. I think that many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the original movie, not haters of women… I think the lovers of the [original] movie felt there was some kind of sacrilege to re-do it, because it was a seminal part of their moviegoing experience as a 7- or 8-year-old. That’s something that can’t be minimized, and I totally respect that love.”
That respect will likely not stop Reitman from cashing his cheque as a producer on the film, or any of those residual cheques if the film turns out to be a surprise success. Reitman maybe right, and a great deal of the negativity around the film might be the sacred cow status of the 1984 original, but in much the same way that it became difficult to separate legitimate and rational reasoning from the racism of the Leave campaign during Brexit, the same can be said of critics of Ghostbusters. The narrative is that if you hate the Ghostbusters remake, you hate women, and while that’s not true in every case, it’s been significant enough to taint the conversation in any kind of rational way. Only a few more weeks till we know if the haters, whatever their reason, were right.
Ghostbusters will be in theaters everywhere on July 15.