On Jan. 15, Entertainment Weekly announced that a new Ghostbusters movie, directed by Jason Reitman, is set to come out in 2020, and many people's reaction was, say what? Reitman spoke to EW about taking the reins of the Ghostbusters saga, which his father, Ivan Reitman, first directed in the '80s. According to Reitman, the new movie won't address the events which took place in 2016's all-female reboot of Ghostbusters, starring Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. On Saturday, Leslie Jones tweeted that the new Ghostbusters is "insulting," and her anger is completely valid.
Jones addressed her strongly-worded tweet to her co-star McCarthy and the 2016 film's director Paul Feig, as well as Sony Pictures' and Reitman's Twitter accounts. Jones' full tweet read,
"So insulting. Like f*ck us. We dint count. It's like something trump would do. (Trump voice) "Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain't ghostbusteeeeers" ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don't give f*ck I'm saying something!!"
In his interview with EW, Reitman said that the new Ghostbusters would pick up where the original two — 2016's Ghostbusters was the third in the universe — left off, but set in the present time. Reitman addressed the 2016 movie, saying, "I have so much respect for what Paul [Feig] created with those brilliant actresses, and would love to see more stories from them. However, this new movie will follow the trajectory of the original film."
The day after Reitman's interview with EW came out, Sony released a teaser trailer which shows the Ecto-1, the 'buster-mobile, sitting in a barn. Next to the car, some of the Ghostbusters' equipment shoots off electric sparks, indicating that the classic Ghostbusters' gear will soon come back to life. That sort of reveal was likely supposed to spark (no pun intended) a wave of excitement among fans of the 1984 and 1989 movies, but wait — all of that '80s revival nostalgia already happened in 2016's Ghostbusters.
While it's true that the women Ghostbusters used a different car for their phantom-fighting business than the Ecto-1 from the original movie — which starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson — the 2016 movie included ghost-zapping equipment that was similar to the kind that the two '80s movies made famous. The big reveal that a new Ghostbusters would bring those relics back shouldn't be all that exciting considering they were already brought back a little bit over two years ago.
Jones' anger over the new movie's apparent plans to ignore the all-female Ghostbusters is even more understandable once you read some of the original cast members' remarks about the new film.
In an interview from November with AXS TV that The Hollywood Reporter unearthed amidst the reboot news, Aykroyd hinted at the 2020 movie well before its official announcement. "They're a good team and they are making an effort to bring back all the emotion and spirit of the first two movies and then take it into the 21st century with a vernacular that's needed today to get it across," Aykroyd said on the AXS TV show The Big Interview With Dan Rather. Did Aykroyd forget about how Feig's Ghostbusters brought the original two movies' spirit into the 21st century or was that the co-writer of the first Ghostbusters way of shading the 2016 film starring Jones?
Aykroyd's potential implication that 2016's Ghostbusters didn't capture the same magic of the original movie echoes much of the sexist backlash that the first movie received. Back in 2016, the all-female Ghostbusters received the same kind of misogynistic rebukes used during Gamergate, as The Atlantic pointed out, and the online trolling from "Ghost-bros"even caused Jones to delete her Twitter for a while around the movie's release.
The 2016 Ghostbusters had a disappointing box office performance which reportedly resulted in a $70 million or so loss for Sony, per The Hollywood Reporter. Between the sexist campaign against the 2016 film and its under performance in theaters, the 2016 Ghostbusters was sort of a mess — but for all of the wrong reasons. Now, with a new movie from Reitman promising to bring back everyone's favorite '80s classic story, it's incredibly insulting that the all-female reboot isn't at least being treated as part of the Ghostbusters canon. Jones' statements in her Twitter are totally valid, especially considering all of the vitriol she received back in 2016 for what was a funny film that rebooted the beloved franchise for a new generation.