Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters may be one of the biggest surprise hits of the year, but you wouldn’t know that from the YouTube statistics or word of mouth. The director has officially chimed in, defending his Ghostbusters remake and slamming “geek culture” in the process.
When the Ghostbusters remake was first announced, Sony Pictures might not have realized the storm they were stirring. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis’ classic comedy about four scientists who find their calling by taking out the “dead” population of Manhattan is among one of the most loved films of all time. For many fans it’s the same as trying to reboot Star Wars: It’s just not something which needed to be done.
Comedy director Paul Feig thinks Ghostbusters is getting unfair amounts of hate for attempting to replace Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston with women. After all, many of the original starring cast are expected to make cameos, giving it their blessing.
One thing Paul probably wasn’t counting on was that when you mess with a classic franchise, the internet is going to dog-pile you if you get even a minor detail wrong in their opinion. For example, look at the reputation Michael Bay now has for bringing Transformers to the silver screen with a touch of humor. The first film was critically acceptable, but when he was forced to rush Revenge of the Fallen to meet a deadline, the fans decided that Bay was synonymous with horrible directing. They believe he can’t do anything right in the public’s eye, because he screwed up one film, a movie he actually apologized for.
This is where Paul Feig’s point about Ghostbusters came in when he defended the film, slamming its critics.
“Geek culture is home to some of the biggest a**holes I’ve ever met in my life. Especially after being attacked by them for months because of this Ghostbusters project. I don’t care what shape or size or color or anything they are. I live or die on what things are funny and whether or not people will be entertained by them.”
Further criticism from the general fan base has pointed to the common opinion that his frequent collaborator, Melissa McCarthy, is overweight and unfunny. Many who saw Spy just because it had Jason Statham in it were disappointed because the starring actor was only in it for maybe 10 minutes. Melissa McCarthy seemed like a common scapegoat for why the movie was a failure. Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is getting the same reaction before it’s even been released.
On criticism about McCarthy, Paul added, “I don’t care what she looks like. As long as she’s funny and is a professional. She’s hilarious.” It may be affecting her, however, as she’s been attempting to shed the weight.
When Paul realized what was happening with the Ghostbusters trailer on YouTube, which is officially the most hated video in YouTube history, he chalked it up to the fanboys attacking it because its existence offended them. Many critics are saying it was confusing and pandered to stereotypes, especially Leslie Jones’ character.
Paul Feig Slams ‘Geek Culture’ Critics Of New Ghostbusters https://t.co/vx83XzQnNv
— Reel Film (@Reel_Film) May 6, 2016
Jones plays a black woman who doesn’t understand science, is street-wise, and resorts to yelling and violence when confronted with a problem (that problem being Melissa McCarthy’s character being possessed). That stereotype could have been played down, and her character could have been made to look more intelligent.
The trailer for Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters may just be getting attacked as a kind of game, but the “thumbs down” ratings are there as long as the accounts which made them (and the trailer itself) exist. It doesn’t appear that the hate is going to stop any time soon, but Paul may have a point. It may just be an unfair reaction from fanboys on the proverbial bandwagon, just like the hype behind any upcoming Michael Bay or Adam Sandler film.
[Feature image via Ghostbusters/Sony Pictures]