The new Ghostbusters: gender isn’t the issue, remakes are

Ghostbusters, Female, Controversy, Remake, Reboot, Film, Cinema, Cinematic, New Releases, Comment, Opinion, Kettle Mag, Andrew Martin
Written by AndrewMartin94

So, the predictable has happened. Many people have taken to social media to complain about the new Ghostbusters film, following the release of two trailers. It was to be expected. 

The reaction has been pretty volitile, with the one of the trailers receiving an extraordinary amount of dislikes on Youtube. The majority of those are enraged because the iconic male protagonists have been replaced with women. 

In an interview with Variety, the film’s director Paul Feig said the response on social media and the internet as a whole was, “some of the most vile, misogynistic s— I’ve ever seen in my life”.

Safe to say, I am not one of these people who harbour negativity with the latest Ghostbusters. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I was anticipating the film greatly. Perhaps it would be a breath of fresh air into a beloved franchise, I thought to myself as publicity photos surfaced online.

It was also the prime opportunity to bring women into the centerfold in a high-profile franchise that before had only starred men. Of course, for this to work, it would have to be tactfully done. There is really no need to proclaim ‘look everyone, they’re women in a big budget film’ from the rooftops.

However, after the release of the first trailer, I steadily came to a sad realisation.

A sad realisation

Firstly, if you do have the mildest of concerns about female leads in big mainstream films, just remember how good Daisy Ridley was in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015). A wonderfully captivating peformance.

There is no reason why the cast of Ghostbusters cannot do the same. As of now, prior to the film’s release, that has yet to be proven true or otherwise.

The sad realisation comes in the form of the new Ghostbusters not really being the much needed step forward in the gender-related epidemic in mainstream cinema, but instead epitomising everything wrong with the mainstream’s over-reliance on recognisable brands.

This is hardly a case of “this ruined my childhood”. The original film will always be there to enjoy.

Remakes and reboots reek of the need to capitalise on a recognisable property.

I’m not going to look at the industry with rose-tinted glasses. For much of the film world, the products they make are a business. The existence of cinemas, home video releases and streaming all exist for the purposes of money-making. You won’t be seeing the latest blockbuster toddling into the realm of public domain films. You have to pay to be entertained – a fair deal.

It would be nonsensical to state that films and their creators should not do this. If people are willing to pay to see a film or buy a related product, why should they defy the logic of supply and demand? However, the place of the remake, now often referred to as a “reboot”, is becoming increasing established in the mainstream film industry.

From humble beginnings in the eighties, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) or Chuck Russell’s The Blob (1988), it grew throughout the nineties, peaking at the astonishingly bizarre shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho (1998) by Gus Van Sant.