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The much-anticipated Ghostbusters world premiere took over Los Angeles on Saturday at the TCL Chinese Theater.
There were dancers, fans dressed in full-on Ghostbusters gear alongside the slime-decorated black-and-green carpet and even a mega Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And of course, the stars were aligned as Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones reunited for the film’s showing.
Who was the most excited for fans to finally get spooked by the reboot? “What was going through my head this morning was, although I’ve been doing this for 30 years, I’m really a lucky guy because I was excited as hell,” Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s motion picture group, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I have waited for this moment for a year!” said the film’s producer Amy Pascal. “It’s going to be endless. People are going to love this movie so much that they’re going to demand more and more.”
The new Ghostbusters, which opens Friday, is currently receiving mixed reviews from critics, but any negativity toward the reboot started well before the film even began shooting.
“All that stuff has been great. It’s been great for the movie,” said Rothman. “The movie is a comedy, an entertaining comedy, but it is also now a real important part of the social conversation and you don’t usually get to do both of those things.”
And with the picture finally set to hit the big screen, Rothman, writer and director Paul Feig, and co-writer Katie Dippold made sure to fire back at the naysayers. “We were under the gun before we even started writing the script,” Feig told THR. “We didn’t want to take any revenge on anybody, we just wanted to go, ‘Look, we realize some people have problems with it, let’s just have a little fun.’ We’re in comedy. We like to make fun of everything.”
The move includes a scene in which the characters read harsh comments written about them on YouTube, but whether that scene was filmed before or after the film’s first trailer was bashed in the comments section on the global video-sharing website is still up for debate.
“I don’t know when it came in, but it’s our attitude towards the whole thing,” said Rothman.
Revealed Dippold: “There was always a version of it in the script. Because they’re trying to prove something to everyone through these videos online, there was always a storyline. To be honest, the original line in the script was a little graphic. A guy posts, ‘I want to slap dem with dis dick.'”
Other moments in the new Ghostbusters made sure to bring back nostalgia for the original, including the first scene.
“You want to really plant your flag,” said Feig. “That’s what the original movie did so well. I like to open a movie with a bang.”
And how did the original pic’s stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts figure into the reboot? “I cast people in roles because I say that is the role they will be the absolute funniest and showcase the best in,” said Feig. “That’s the only thing I put into my thought about what I cast somebody in.” The filmmaker said he had the original cast’s full support.
“It’s great to finally have a film that moves the franchise forward,” said Hudson. “It’ll be something the fans are going to love. I know there’s been a lot of different reactions, but when they see the movie, they’re going to love it.”
As for the new cast’s attitudes toward making the film? “It’s just the best time. Not just in myself, but watching Leslie, Kristen and Melissa do it was really a master class on how to be in a movie,” said McKinnon. “It was just very instructive to watch them from a front-row seat.”
Jones said her favorite scenes were “all the stunts!”
Asked if the cast will be back for another round of ghostbusting, McKinnon joked: “Oh, I don’t know. … I didn’t even see the first one yet!”
Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who brought his 12-year-old daughter to the premiere, hopes the film is not the last of the franchise. “I’m crazy for Ghostbusters!” he said.
Pascal, however is not crazy about real ghosts. And not just the haunt of the Sony hack. She’s talking about the possible paranormal roaming around. “Of course, I’m afraid of ghosts — aren’t you?” she told THR.
Rothman disagreed: “Am I afraid of ghosts? Actually, you know I hate to say it, I don’t really believe in ghosts. I guess I’m a rationalist. I don’t believe in ghosts. I just believe in the movies.”
The film was followed by a green-lit, fog-filled afterparty at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel with arcade games, marshmallow treats, light-up drinks and even a green pool. Original Ghostbusters creator Aykroyd was one of the last to arrive, but he caused one heck of a ruckus taking pictures with fans, signing autographs and even passing out samples of his Crystal Head Vodka.
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