Apparently it will be the end of the Patriarchy (*long tired sigh.*) Can something that never existed ever end?
Anyway if you haven't seen the damn thing by now. Here is the trailer for Feminist Ghostbusters;
So what we...have...here...
Okay this is going to take some effort on my part and I don't want to expend it.
In the meantime here is the trailer for the original.
So they aren't exactly remaking The Lion In Winter here. They aren't even remaking the Life of Brian.
They are remaking a middle of the road special effects comedy, that dates from a time when they were new and Bill Murray was still moving tickets.
Okay basic premise of the original was lovable losers make it big, then lose everything and then save the day. There was a sequel that wasn't as good that repeated everything and added a "we're getting the band back together" theme. It also added thirty pounds to Dan Aykroyd.
This franchise has been sitting dead on the shelf for decades largely for one reason. There wasn't enough money in the world to make Bill Murray spend weeks covered in slime trying to be funny in front of a green screen.
Then Harold Ramis died and interest in the project faded completely.
OR DID IT?
Clearly it could not. Not did not, could not.
Did you know that 94% of all new movies last year were franchise releases of some kind or another? I didn't make that statistic up. Almost everything now is a sequel, a reboot or came from another title (Comics, YA lit and so on)
Because of Netflix, Hulu, youtube, Crackle, Fear.net. a billion cable channels and on and on, there has now been a Blurring Effect in pop culture entertainment. When Ghostbusters came out you could hype the hell out a new property and buy back your percentage through heavy marketing. One well placed TV ad could reach tens of millions. You could spend your way to cultural impact. That sure as hell ain't happening anymore. It just isn't possible to reach that big of an audience.
Movies are a business and in a business you need to minimize risk. The surest way to do that is to pick a property that is immune to the Blurring Effect. You pick something that already has a cultural impact.
Anything made before 1995 that was popular fits the bill.
Consequently there was no way in hell that Ghostbusters was going to be allowed to stay on the shelf. In this environment some kind of reboot was inevitable. If Jem became a live action movie, Ghostbusters the...Ghostbusters was absolutely going to happen.
The pitch meeting clearly went something like this.
Studio Executive: What about Ghostbusters?
Producer: Dude no! Those guys are either dead or in their sixties. Ghostbusters was a wish fulfillment movie about losers who win big. A huge part of that film's success was that they were everyjoes and you wanted to be one of them. Probably Bill Murray.
Studio Executive: So what's the problem?
Producer: They're old now. Nobody wants to be an old wish fulfillment character. Remember Indiana Jones and the Alien Skull Thing? The main reason for that film's failure was that nobody wanted to be Indy with a bad hip.
Studio Executive: It made $800 million worldwide. You have an odd definition of failure.
Producer: Also Bill Murray won't do it.
Studio Executive: Shit
Producer: Okay then what about a reboot?
Studio Executive: Perfect! Reboots always work. What's the hook?
Producer: All girl cast.
Studio Executive: We-e-e-ll it might work. So we get bunch of chicks that can do comedy right? JLaw, ScarJo, maybe Kaley Cuoco, and...
Producer: Nah, Not in the budget we can't go over seventy million here.
Studio Executive: Then what?
Producer: Lesser known, less attractive actresses. If we keep the budget under control and hype it as a backdoor feminist movie we should be in the black. No problem.
Studio Executive: How do you do that?
Producer: During the trailer, have one of them talk about getting slime in her hooty-hoo.
Studio Executive: YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!
Producer: Lets do lunch.
And so feminist Ghostbusters was born. They cast Jenny McCarthy's fat cousin as the lead and hired her favorite director, Paul Feig. This team has delivered movies that have routinely made $200 million worldwide so the idea is defensible. Although it should be remembered the original Ghostbusters made half a billion and that was in 1985 dollars. Call it a billion today.
There is also some nerd-fan-rage here that will have to be negotiated as well. It's not Star Trek but the audience will have certain expectations. In the trailer the women go on and on about being the best of the best in their fields. In the original, Egon might have been but the other three sure as hell weren't. So how are they going to keep the lovable losers vibe but still make them the best in their field? I'm afraid the answer is probably to make them oppressed women.
It should also be remembered that the original film was a backdoor right wing flick., so we have definitely lost ground yet again. Or...maybe not. A lot of the original creative team is inboard for this one. So who knows?
Maybe I will give it a shot.