The sexist trolling that led to the new and disappointing “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”

When Jason Reitman first announced Ghostbusters: the afterlife, the Oscar nominee (and son of original director Ivan Reitman) vowed that his iteration “would make the movie go to the fans.” Unfortunately, it looks like the movie being “rendered” is a bit lackluster.

Reitman’s 2019 description of the project raised eyebrows, given the sexist backlash that brought the woman led by Paul Feig to her knees ghost hunters a few years earlier. by Feig ghost hunters debuted in 2016, and cast some of the most popular comedians of the time: Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig. But that didn’t stop the tweriest corners of the fandom from ruthlessly denigrating the film, its cast, and its creators even before its release. Leslie Jones received the most vile comments of all, as racism – and a hate campaign by right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos – compounded so-called “fan” horror of women running the franchise itself. for a single movie. The controversy surrounding the film, along with poor reviews and producers’ failure to secure a Chinese release, hampered its box office performance. Especially given the film’s inflated budget, the box office tally was a serious disappointment. The sequel plans quickly fell apart as critics tried to predict what this might mean for the future of female-led franchise films.

Then entered Reitman. The Oscar nominee, whose films include Young adult, Juno, and In the air, announced his ghost hunters in 2019, and promised it would take place in the universe of the original films. (Feig’s interpretation was a reboot.) As Reitman said Weekly entertainment at the time, “I always considered myself the first ghost hunters fan, when I was 6 and visiting the set. I wanted to make a movie for all the other fans. Regarding Feig’s version, Reitman added, “I have so much respect for what Paul created with these brilliant actresses, and I would love to see more stories from them. However, this new film will follow the trajectory of the original film.

Weeks later, during a podcast appearance, Reitman accidentally made his point a little more explicit: his film, he said, “would revert to the original technique and return the film to the fans.” .

The implication that Feig ghost hunters hadn’t been “to the fans” felt like a dog whistle, especially after months of sustained and misogynistic hostility. Leslie Jones best summed up the apparent message: “Like, fuck us.”

The fatigue and resentment of the fans who would have preferred to watch the long debate still not done Ghostbusters III certainly amortized ghost hunters (2016) at the box office, as was the idea that the film was just a “cash grab”. But as Feig himself pointed out, Hollywood never really made a movie for altruistic reasons, and many other reboots have come and gone without too many mishaps. Reitman’s promise to make this franchise “back” to fans validated the idea that Feig’s film, which included plenty of callbacks and cameos that tied it to the original, was made for someone else. Perhaps even worse, it played into Donald Trump’s incessant whining about female-led reboots.

Reitman said he hadn’t thought of making his own ghost hunters until recently. At a fan event in 2019, he told audiences that the idea of Life after death It came to him as a kind of vision: “I thought I was going to be this independent guy who made Sundance movies, and then this character came to me,” he said. “It was a 12 year old girl. I didn’t know who she was or why she had occurred to me, but I saw her with a proton pack in her hand. And I wrote this story… It started with a girl and all of a sudden it was a family. And finally, I knew this film that I had to make, that I had to write.

Notice for Ghostbusters: the afterlife have been a mixed bag, and many insist on its over-reliance on Easter eggs and nostalgia. While 2016 ghost hunters has been accused of straying too far from the original’s nostalgic legacy, it seems this movie’s biggest flaw is getting too close. At least he seems to be enjoying a troll-free version. (Well, I wonder why!)

The controversy surrounding these movies, or really any upcoming movie that claims it’s not afraid of any ghosts, mostly seems to point to where we’ve come as a culture. The ghost hunters mishegas foreshadowed a wave of hateful online ‘fan’ campaigns to come, such as Star wars Harassing “fans” The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran, this attempt to Captain Marvel boycott, and the racist fake news campaign that claimed that whites Black Panther theatergoers were targeted and attacked for racial ends.

In many ways, however, the dust of 2016 looks the most ridiculous. While most franchises revere and emphasize their cultural significance, you would think that Ghost hunters’ devout irreverence would prevent the public from developing such a value towards him. Again, are these conflicts really about the real “fans?”

James C. Tibbs