Ivan Reitman, the director behind the original 1984 Ghostbusters, says the controversy surrounding the upcoming all-female reboot has nothing to do with sexism, despite what the new film’s creative team has repeatedly claimed.
“I think there’s way too much talk about gender [in terms of criticism for this film],” Reitman told Mashable in a recent interview.
“I think that many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the [original] movie, not haters of women.”
The all-female-led Ghostbusters reboot — starring Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as the titular ghoul-hunting heroes — has quickly become the most divisive film of the summer as its creative team, including director Paul Feig, have claimed that the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the film’s trailer stemmed from sexism and misogyny due to its female cast.
After its release in March, the Ghostbusters trailer quickly earned the dubious distinction of becoming the most hated trailer in YouTube history, with nearly 900,000 “dislikes” as of Friday morning.
The film’s stars and director have come out swinging against critics of the film. Earlier this month, actress Melissa McCarthy suggested that the film’s critics are middle-aged white men who live in their mother’s basement, while director Paul Feig called those trashing the new film “misogynistic,” “right-wing radio monsters.”
Feig’s friend and collaborator Judd Apatow went so far as to blame the criticism of the all-female Ghostbusters reboot on the popularity of Republican presidential contender Donald Trump.
“I would assume there’s a very large crossover of people who are doubtful Ghostbusters will be great and people excited about the Donald Trump candidacy,” Apatow said earlier this month.
However, Reitman, who also directed 1989’s Ghostbusters II and serves as a producer on the upcoming reboot, insists that the criticism of the new film stems from nostalgia for the original.
“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,” he said. “That’s something that can’t be minimized, and I totally respect that love.”
The Ghostbusters reboot hits theaters July 15.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson