Dan Aykroyd, the comedy legend and Saturday Night Live alum who co-wrote the original Ghostbusters film in 1984, has given his authoritative stamp of approval for a revamp of the film announced this week to star an all-female cast, according to Emmet McDermott of The Hollywood Reporter.
Aykroyd, who played Dr. Raymond Stantz in the original film, is largely regarded as the shepherd of the franchise following death of close friend and Ghostbusters co-writer Harold Ramis last year. Aykroyd had previously announced plans for an expansion of the Ghostbusters universe following the film’s 30th anniversary celebration last year that saw a limited theatrical re-release and a special edition blu-ray release featuring Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2.
This week, it was announced that a reiteration of the iconic film is planned starring an SNL alumni-heavy cast of Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Melissa McCarthy, with Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig directing. The announcement was met with enthusiasm and criticism with some outlets such as Cinema Blend‘s Rich Knight offering reasons to celebrate the announcement, and others, such as mogul Donald Trump, were left “upset” and “confused,” according to Collier Meyerson of Jezebel.
Trump released an Instagram video whereby he spoke out against what he views as a violation of the integrity of the original iterations of Ghostbusters, and other iconic films and roles from pop culture, including a rumored Indiana Jones revamp.
“They’re remaking Indiana Jones without Harrison Ford, you can’t do that. And now they’re making Ghostbusters with only women. What’s going on?!”
Aykroyd spoke excitedly about the prospect of a Ghostbusters re-imagining with such a talented female cast.
“The Aykroyd family is delighted by this inheritance of the Ghostbusters torch by these most magnificent women in comedy.
“My great grandfather, Dr. Sam Aykroyd, the original Ghostbuster, was a man who empowered women in his day, and this is a beautiful development in the legacy of our family business.”
The online debate regarding the female Ghostbusters revamp has prompted passionate discourse on both sides of the argument. Just this week, comedian/host Chris Hardwick led an episode of his nightly comic game show @midnight with an impassioned rant explaining that an updated take on the 30-year-old Ghostbusters should not affect the fondness held by fans of the original because, “that’s not how memories work,” and chastising detractors such as Trump and what he identified as misogynistic ideology.
The female-led Ghostbusters is set for release in Summer of 2016.