A cursory perusal of any famous woman’s Twitter mentions show that men — men who probably have mothers — can be terrible, terrible people. Some websites have linked the all-star offenders for the purpose of Internet stoning but I don’t really want to read that shit and everyone already knows that social media is mean.
The announcement that four women will succeed four men as ghostbusters drew great vitriol. They declaimed Sony and director Paul Feig for besmirching the franchise, the blessed progenitors Aykroyd and Ramis, and perhaps, most grievously, the childhoods of adult men, who might even have jobs requiring them to treat females like real, actual people that think thoughts and talk words.
I’ve dreaded Ghostbusters 3 for years. Every time Dan Aykroyd, usually at PR events to foist his vodka upon us, the drinking public, spoke of his three-quel dreams, it sounded worse and worse — and not just because he’s nuts. Really, search the Internet for his original Ghostbusters ideas. But I do remain intrigued by Ghostbusters in Hell and love ridiculous movies. (Someone make Superman Lives.)
But Harold Ramis seemed to balance Aykroyd, helping to polish and sculpt his raw imagination matter and cohere it into what became an enduring comedy film, beloved by those who open-carried proton packs as children (and/or grownups) and may or may not, at age 25ish, asked their moms to get them the complete Ghostbusters cartoon series for Christmas.
Ghostbusters 3 was always a terrible idea. Ivan Reitman, who directed the originals, hasn’t made anything of note since the early 1990s. Ramis never seemed enthusiastic about it, although it would have been cool if he directed the third Ghostbusters, preferably right after Groundhog Day. Ernie Hudson is just bitter and Bill Murray refuses to have anything to do with it, unless they put it in writing that they’ll kill him off.
Rick Moranis quit acting. Annie Potts has been M.I.A. since Toy Story 2. Sigourney Weaver signed her life to James Cameron and his 37 Avatar sequels and whatever the hell with Ridley Scott, and no one knows if William Atherton managed to find a schwantz between doing everything he could to unintentionally help Hans Gruber.
That left Aykroyd alone with his dreams and his vodka. Then Harold Ramis died (we’re approaching the one-year anniversary). Hudson is still bitter. Murray remains opposed, etc.
But another Ghostbusters, as everyone knows it, was never going to happen. They couldn’t even make it work for Ghostbusters 2. Perhaps they had only one great Ghostbusters in them — and that’s cool because that one still exists. And thanks to science and those of large I.Q.’s, it exists better than ever, all immaculated by digital technology and available (with other movies) for $9 a month on Netflix.
The cartoons endure, too. So do the comic books, which are ongoing and good. They’ve even crossed over the Ghostbusters with the Ninja Turtles, making real the wet dreams of some.
So now the 50 percent of us with uteruses are going to be ghostbusters, fomenting righteous wrath and glorious indignation in those, the grown men whose voices have been muted by tyranny and the perfidious will of Chairman Feig and his deputation of vagi-troopers: McCarthy, McKinnon, Jones and Wiig.
The love for Ghostbusters is fine. We are a nostalgic people. (In addition to Ghostbusters, I’ve loved Dolly Parton since I was 3.) But to tweet-spew invective is subhuman and borderline sociopathic.
Ghostbusters, as it was, is gone. The actors are in their 60s. Ramis is dead. Murray doesn’t care. That Ghostbusters isn’t coming back but it’s also not gone. No one’s lighting the DVDs on fire or exploding whatever hard drive contains the digital files. And you can always write fan fiction that, one day, may be a best-selling self-published erotic novel.
Doing a 2016 Ghostbusters isn’t an affront to the 1984 Ghostbusters. (Aykroyd’s already said it’s totally cool. So has Bill Murray.) It’s just another comedy film that uses catching ghosts as its motivation. The two franchises have no connection beyond that. It’s just a transfer of concept, and to hate it because it won’t be exactly like the original — and because it stars women — is the intellectual equivalent of erectile dysfunction.
Everyone, it will be fine. And call your mom because she’s probably a woman.
My only request for the new movie: Please make the villain the Boogeyman from the cartoons. I’m 30 now so I should be able to watch it without crying.