Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ivan Reitman on 'Ghosbusters' Reboot Challenges, from Nostalgia to Gender Issues

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ivan Reitman on 'Ghosbusters' Reboot Challenges, from Nostalgia to Gender Issues

Article excerpt

Ivan Reitman on 'Ghostbusters' challenge


TORONTO - As Ivan Reitman sees it, much of the premature "Ghostbusters" reboot backlash that's splattered across social media like Slimer ectoplasm is due to nostalgia.

When the female-led reboot of Reitman's 1984 comedy was first announced in August 2014, some fans objected to both the idea of a new version and one featuring women. Then when a trailer emerged last March, the video garnered substantially more "dislikes" than "likes" on YouTube.

"When we released the very first trailer, it hit me: Well, you've got this large population of mostly men who are now in their late 30s or early 40s, they saw 'Ghostbusters' when they were like eight or nine years old and remarkably, it became kind of an important film in their lives," says Reitman, who produced the reboot.

"On one hand it was this amazing compliment to the movie, to me. But now there's this great fear that somehow we're going to screw up this thing and this love," adds the Toronto-raised filmmaker, whose other credits include "Animal House" and "Meatballs."

"Particularly when we released the first trailer, however good or bad it may have been -- and it was somewhere in between those two things -- there was no way for that minute and a half to capture what was burning in the hearts of these people who held that movie dear to their hearts."

It's a similar issue when it comes to the negative reaction over the female cast, he adds.

"Gender issues are really complicated and they have more to do with society, obviously, than with film, per se," says Reitman.

"I'm hoping in some small way that this 'Ghostbusters' contributes to tearing down those cliches or those stereotypes. But my instinct was that the issues ... go beyond gender politics and had a lot to do with just regular people's love of something and not wanting to see it soiled."

Reitman is hopeful fans will be satisfied when the new flick hits theatres on Friday.

He says feedback from a recent preview in Toronto was positive. He also got positive feedback from original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson, who appear in the reboot and watched it together in a private screening. …

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