'Ghostbusters' Director Ivan Reitman Says Reboot Criticism Stems From Nostalgia Over Original Film

Madame Tussauds New York/ Cindy Ord for Getty Images
Ivan Reitman at Madame Tussauds' 'Ghostbusters' exhibit.

"There was no one-and-a-half-minute trailer that was going to stand up to that emotionality of what that experience was like," the director of the first two 'Ghostbusters' films told THR about the negative reaction to the reboot trailer.

Ivan Reitman, director of 1984's Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel, has joined Paul Feig, Sony's Tom Rothman and the cast of the upcoming reboot in speaking out in defense of the film.

Talking to The Hollywood Reporter at the unveiling of Madame Tussauds' newest Ghostbusters exhibit, Reitman explained that online backlash toward the movie featuring an all-female team of Ghostbusters is most likely driven by fans' emotional attachment to the original film, rather than misogyny. 

"It surprised me a little bit, but then I realized many of the people who are writing were about eight or nine years old when the 1984 Ghostbusters movie came out. It was kind of a seminal moment in their lives," he told THR. "Look, it's a nice compliment to me, that the film has sort of held up for them as an important cinematic experience in their lives."

He admitted that while there may have been a certain amount of gender bias against the new cast, "I wouldn't put it at that as much as some sense of disappointment for people who went through this experience themselves."

Reitman, who serves as a producer on the reboot, commended director Paul Feig for choosing Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon to lead the film, likening the actresses' chemistry to that of the original cast — Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.

"The most important thing is the four women are spectacular together," he said. "They're exactly at this point in their lives that my Ghostbusters were as well, in terms of their accomplishments. That's why I'm so confident in this screening that's coming up. When people see them together, all the questions get answered really quickly."

On the topic of the film's widely criticized trailer, which racked up a record number of dislikes for a movie trailer on YouTube, he added, "There was no one-and-a-half-minute trailer that was going to stand up to that emotionality of what that experience was like. It goes beyond how good or bad a movie is. It goes to kind of a life experience."

In an interview with THR, Rothman called the online hate "the greatest thing that ever happened," while McCarthy has said of internet trolls: "I just hope they find a friend."

Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15.

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