Bridesmaids Director Paul Feig Talks About Toxicity And His Ghostbusters Reboot

The Ghostbusters director has no regrets about making the female-led reboot.


Paul Feig, director of the 2016 Ghostbusters, recently sat down with Collider to chat about his work, revealing some interesting details on why the Ghostbusters reboot happened the way it did.

From Feig's telling of it, Sony Pictures was courting him for some time to direct a new Ghostbusters movie, and even had a script for a direct sequel to the originals. Feig didn't like the idea; with only two of the original cast members returning, he said it would have felt like "them handing off their legacy to somebody else."

It seems like Sony struggled to struggled to find a director interested in this sequel, with Sony Pictures' Amy Pascal asking Feig, "Why doesn't anybody want to do this?"

It was only when Feig started thinking about his own idea of a new Ghostbusters film that the reboot started becoming a possibility.

"I was just kind of like, if I could kind of reboot this and start a new origin story," he told Collider. "I have all these funny women who I work with who I'm dying to get into a 'supergroup', why don't I just make it them? Then it won't compete with the memory of Bill and Dan and Harold and Ernie."

From Feig's telling of it, the film was never conceptualized as a genderbent reboot, beyond the director wanting to work with the funniest actors he knew--who all happened to be women.

"I thought it was the best way to avoid all the pitfalls [of remaking a classic]," Feig said. "So when suddenly it became this big thing, that that was our big pitfall, I kind of couldn't compute."

The director also wanted to clarify his comments, complaining that he had been misquoted as saying that everyone who hated the movie was a misogynist. "The attacks became so misogynistic, the ones that I was getting," he explained. "That was all I saw, but I know a lot of people just didn't want it rebooted."

But beyond all the toxicity, Feige says he has no regrets about making the film--though he does regret some of the cut sequences that ended up out of budget. "That Times Square fight had a few extra beats that I wish we could have had in there, with Leslie Jones," he said. "There was a really fun sequence that we didn't get to shoot, where Leslie Jones goes into a haunted FAO Schwarz and has to fight this giant Barbie doll."

Despite the film's box office not living up to expectations, and the overwhelming hate directed at the female-led film, Feig called out one particularly inspiring moment in the film's lifespan.

"After we'd not done that great at the box office and all the trolls were celebrating, we won Best Feature Film at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards," he said, adding that the film beat out heavy hitters like Star Wars: Rogue One and Captain America: Civil War. "After getting yelled at for three or four years about 'thanks for ruining my childhood' from a bunch of middle-aged guys, well maybe some kids in their actual childhood have something that they like now."

A new Ghostbusters movie is currently in the works, this time as a direct sequel to the original films. Some of the original cast are returning, while Ant-Man's Paul Rudd and Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard are newcomers to the franchise. You can check out the first trailer for the film here.

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