When the Ghostbusters reboot was first announced, it was assumed by many that the upcoming film would be just the first installment of a new franchise featuring director Paul Feig's all-women cast. Yet despite an end-credits scene that hinted at a sequel (Zuul!), the film's disappointing box office take and mixed reception from critics dashed any hopes of a follow-up — or so it seemed. According to Feig, a sequel to Ghostbusters isn't totally out of the question — but it is totally out of his hands.
"Sadly, these movies are not cheap, and it’s not my call because I’m not the one paying for the movie," Feig tells Bustle with a laugh. "Honestly, there’s no way to know. I’m not bullsh*tting you. But we had a great time making this. This cast was so great, there’s definitely more stories to be told in this world, and if they wanted to one, we’d all think very seriously about doing one."
At the very moment, though, any plans for a sequel are "nowhere," Feig says. But, he adds, if enough fans show their interest in the film's Blu-Ray and DVD release (available now), then perhaps the studio can "justify the amount of money it takes to make a movie like this" and consider a follow-up film to be a real possibility. In the meantime, though, Feig and his cast are still basking in the effects of the first film; in addition to the stratospheric rise of stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, Ghostbusters' focus on four female leads and theme of feminist badassery have led to many women and girls emulating the characters through costume. From heartwarming photos of the cast meeting kids dressed as the Ghostbusters on the red carpet to the sheer amount of ladies planning on dressing as Holtzmann and co. on Halloween, the movie's female-driven focus has had an enormous effect.
"It’s so validating," Feig says. "Those are moments you go, oh, that’s why we did this... to see the response that these characters have had, to see young women dressing as Holtzmann and being empowered by that, dressing as Abby and dressing as Erin and dressing as Patty, and making these costumes and walking around and feeling cool and badass and not having to wear an overly sexualized costume... that’s so exciting."
It's also, Feig notes, a good reminder of why he made his movie in the first place. "You get caught in the controversy and you start to lose sight of what your pure vision was, which was, I just want to give a new generation their own heroes," he says, referring to the backlash surrounding the casting of an all-women Ghostbusters. When he sees ladies dressing as his characters, "those are moments you go, that’s right, that’s what, we can’t let the people who just want to create mayhem and ruin things for other people take that away from us."
Feig may have a good attitude about ignoring the haters now, but he admits it took some time to come to that realization. For awhile, he says, the massive backlash Ghostbusters received took a toll on him, and occasionally, he found himself giving in to the sexist Twitter trolls who wanted nothing more than to get a rise out of the director. "There are moments of social media that I probably would’ve handled a little differently," Feig says now. "I think I would’ve not really played into the hands of the very small but loud minority of people who had problems with the fact that the cast was women... that just amplifies a very small group of people and makes them seem bigger than they are."
Yet while he regrets that he "occasionally succumbed to wanting to tell people what I thought they should do to themselves," he admits with a laugh, he has no qualms about making the movie the way he did, with the cast it had. "I’m really proud of it and proud of what we did," Feig says. As he should be; Ghostbusters' female focus may have triggered the trolls, but it also led to an influx of women and girls who found new heroes and role models on-screen — exactly in line with the vision Feig had for his groundbreaking film.
Image: Columbia Pictures