Recently, there’s been talk of Paul Feig directing an all female remake of Ghostbusters. I’ve never thought this was the case before, but you have no idea what you are lucky enough to possess with the Ghostbusters franchise, do you?
Ghostbusters is the stuff of absolute boy wish-fulfillment fantasy. Everything—the mechanic-like jumpsuits, black elbow pads, and guns that shoot out wild, uncontrollable lasers—comes together to create an image and idea that boys love. Amazingly, this was all done by accident, but regardless of how it was created, the weird goggles, work boots, and heavy backpack all work together in an extraordinary way to create exactly what boys want to see in a hero.
Don’t take that away from them. Don’t take away that wonder and fantasy just to prove a point, or because you have no idea what to do with your franchise.
Now, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be female Ghostbusters. There absolutely should be. I love that idea. But there should be two female, and two male Ghostbusters. I have a daughter now, and I know more than ever how important it is for girls to have role models and heroes and something good to look up to. But that’s just my point—both boys and girls need heroes, and not just the ones that star in movies that feature 45 mindless minutes of cities and skyscrapers being blown up.
You think Ghostbusters is only a comedy franchise. It is, but it’s so much more than that. It is a great comedy—I think the best ever made—with terrific comedic performances and jokes and great chemistry between its actors, but it’s also a story about four heroes. And, thanks to the movie and the cartoon, kids who grew up in the 80’s came to see Ghostbusters as more than just a comedy. It’s the reason we spent millions of dollars on action figures and playsuits and Ghostbusters juice boxes. We wanted to be these four guys who put on crazy backpacks and all kinds of heavy gear to fight ghosts. It wasn’t just a comedy film then, and it’s still not one now.
You have the power to give that fantasy and incredible imagination to both boys and girls now. You need to stop thinking about this as a grown-ups’ franchise. It’s not. It’s a movie about people who fight green blobs and marshmallow men with laser beams. That’s the insanely magical thing about Ghostbusters: it’s a movie that is somehow simultaneously a comedic film for adults and a superhero movie for children. Yes, it should appeal to grown-ups, and adults will love it, but it needs to also appeal to kids. Both boys and girls. Making a movie for just half of them doesn’t make any sense. And it would a great shame if both of them couldn’t enjoy it.
Ghostbusters has brought more joy into my life than anything except my family and friends. That may sound strange to you, but that’s only because you have no idea what you have. Whether it was hours spent playing in my backyard with my best friend, or rediscovering the movie when I was in my teens and realizing what a comedy classic it really was, the film and its characters have filled my life with imagination, humor, and inspiration to create the same kind of stories. It makes me unbelievably sad to think that there’s another six-year-old boy out there who won’t have the same opportunity to have that joy brought into his life.
Don’t take that away from him just because you have an idea for a silly gimmick that will get a lot of attention online.