Paul Feig is a talented and successful filmmaker that’s shown a knack for crafting broad studio comedies that draw in a wide audience, receiving critical and commercial acclaim in the process, but he bit off more than he could chew when he rebooted Ghostbusters.
As soon as the project was announced, you could almost hear the internet’s knives beginning to sharpen. An all-female lead cast was deemed blasphemous, and it became One Of The most polarizing blockbusters in recent history, with the movie getting downvoted into oblivion on almost every platform that offers fans the chance to voice a positive or negative opinion ahead of release.
It didn’t help that it operated in a familiar universe, but wasn’t a direct sequel. There were callbacks and visual references to the original duology and several cast members dropped by for cameo appearances, but as completely different characters, leading to a very confused and muddled tone, as if Feig couldn’t decide what he really wanted his Ghostbusters to be.
What it turned out to be was a box office disappointment, with the widespread backlash clearly having an impact on the movie’s performance. Sony are now hoping to put things right with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and in a recent interview Ernie Hudson admitted that the whole reboot idea was a mistake that the fans never bought into.
“Afterlife is not a reboot. Because when you say reboot, which is the third movie, the one with the ladies, that I actually liked a lot. I definitely loved everybody who was in it. Paul Feig, I’m still fans of theirs, they tried to do a reboot. And a reboot, to me, means you’re trying to do the movie over. Another version of what we already did. And I think that was a mistake. It wasn’t a continuation or an extension. It was somehow a different universe there. You know what I mean? It’s kind of like us, but it’s us, but not us. In that universe, they’re women. I don’t know. That was a choice that was made.”
Based on what we’ve seen so far, Afterlife is looking to right those wrongs and deliver the Ghostbusters sequel people have been waiting for since 1989. Feig has teased that he wants a crossover in the future, but that seems very unlikely, although it would be hilarious if the studio released his three and a half hour Director’s Cut just to p*ss people off.