The all female Ghostbusters remake has gained a lot of criticism since being announced. And while a lot of the attention has been on the sexist attitude some people have against the cast, there’s an even larger group of people who simply dislike the film for being a remake. The Ghostbusters remake is a film without a legitimate reason to exist at all even if the reboot consisted of an all male cast. Because there’s nothing Columbia Pictures can do to persuade die hard fans, and newcomers familiar with the Ghostbusters’ place in pop culture, that a reboot of any sorts was necessary for one of the most beloved franchises in nerd history.
The best way to explain why so many fans of the original Ghostbusters are dreading this film, and how Columbia Pictures should have handled the reboot, is to compare the film to Star War: The Force Awakens. Remaking a film so intertwined with pop culture, such as Ghostbusters, is like remaking Star Wars. There’s nothing to gain from it, and it will most likely end up being completely forgotten like the 2014 remake of Robocop. And considering that this film is suppose to be the beginning of a Ghostbusters theatrical universe, the film has to deliver something unique enough to launch it. And nothing says unoriginal more than taking the name of a hugely popular film and retelling the same story again with a few changes.
But let’s look at how Star Wars was handled, and how Ghostbusters 2016 could have traveled down the same route. The Force Awakens introduced new characters while spring boarding off the original film series. It’s a sequel to the original films, but it’s also the start of a new trilogy. The original actors are there to pass the torch as the newer characters are welcomed in to the Star Wars universe. With that said, there is no reason to reboot Ghostbusters if the plan is to create a universe for the franchise. Especially if the remake already has the majority of the original cast on board for it anyway. It’s a complete waste to have the original Ghostbusters cast return just to make a cameo in the new film as different characters, when they could be used to turn this film in to a sequel instead.
The Ghostbusters remake should not be a reboot of the beloved and established world, but a sequel that allows the new cast to jump right in to it without having to rehash the origin story. The Ghostbusters, at the end of the day, is a business that was originally ran by three scientist before they hired a fourth member. So instead of going through the motions of four women retelling the same story of how they started a paranormal business, the original cast could have just hired them instead. And to actually address the reason why the cast is all female, the original Ghostbusters could have mentioned how the four women were the only ones to respond to their add for a low paying and dangerous job. That little touch alone could have brought a feminist view as to why the new cast consist of only women, and added an hilarious critique of current male masculinity in today’s world. In other words, it could have made the casting something more than just an unneeded change for publicity.
While most fans do not have an issue with the cast of the Ghostbusters remake, it doesn’t change the fact that no one ever asked for the film. The complete dislike for the film isn’t just misogyny, but the director isn’t afraid to place people whom are completely against the film in to the same group. But at the end of the day, Columbia Pictures is missing an opportunity to expand their original Ghostbusters property and merchandise for reasons unknown. And four talented women capable enough of starting an original franchise will have to deal with the comparisons of the new film to the original.
Star Wars, and even Creed, have shown that passing the torch in such a huge film franchise works better than trying to reboot it for a new audience. The film might turn out fine, but reboots of films with a huge following such as Ghostbusters are usually lacking in quality. They’re more of a cash in like Nightmare on Elm street, Robocop, and Total Recall. They’re released and forgotten about afterwards. And if Colombia Pictures is serious about starting a Ghostbusters universe, it’s extremely odd that they chose not to just expand from the original films considering that they own them. In other words, the Ghostbusters remake is probably just a cash grab with gimmick casting. And that’s a shame for the actresses involved.