When Melissa McCarthy and company rebooted Ghostbusters five years ago, it should have been a moment of celebration. After all, we were getting the iconic name the awesome onesies back in action for another round with the titular group. Sure, there were different faces (and genders) associated with the new version, but who cares. There were a lot of reasons it could have succeeded. But internet trolling and idiotic fandom got in the way and it is now seen as a low point in how toxicity around social media can greatly affect those involved with a film. Recently, Melissa McCarthy spoke up about the experience, and fans, once again, were quick to react.
In an interview with Yahoo in a media push for her upcoming movie Starling, Melissa McCarthy opened up about her frustrations around fan reactions to the Ghostbusters reboot. Referencing the vitriol fans produced around the all-female casting and story for Ghostbusters, McCarthy was clearly saddened and confused about what transpired. Some of the online hate got so bad that co-star Leslie Jones just up and left social media. McCarthy questioned where all the hate, on a high level, even comes from, saying that it was baseless at its core. Here’s part of what she had to say:
“There’s no end to stories we can tell, and there’s so many reboots and relaunches and different interpretations, and to say any of them are wrong, I just don’t get it…I don’t get the fight to see who can be the most negative and the most hate-filled. Everybody should be able to tell the story they want to tell. If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to see it.”
This is true enough, something that rabid fans, who are often the vocal minority, fail to often recognize in bouts of rampant trolling. Don’t like it as Melissa McCarthy said? Cool, just hit skip and go watch something else. It isn’t the movie maker’s or franchise’s imperative to make a new movie in the spitting image of something that came before. Hell, even Donald Trump, prior to his Presidency felt the need to condemn the movie because Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig were *gasp* females. Even before the movie hit the big screen, it was facing backlash just on a concept level. Fans downvoted the trailer in a true YouTube ratio, and that was just the lead-up. It soon became overwhelming with the stars of the film clearly put off that it was met with so much derision.
Fans did jump in this time around to weigh in on some of the comments from Melissa McCarthy and how she felt about the Ghostbusters reception at the time. For the most part, it appears folks have moved on (as they should) though some didn’t think her stance passed the muster.
It’s worth noting that, at the time, Ghostbusters earned about $229 million on its $144 million budget. But adding in marketing costs and there was some speculation the flick had to hit the $300 million mark to break even. It ended up performing fine enough with critics at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience score settled in at only 45%.
One of the reasons Ghostbusters is coming back up now and why Melissa McCarthy is being asked to revisit the 2016 movie is Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set to come out later this year. It will reboot the original film, wipe away the events of the all-female flick, and feature some of the grandchildren of the original iconic group. It will focus on the family of the late Harold Ramis’s Egon. Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and Grace McKenna will take up the new leads.
Meanwhile, Melissa McCarthy won’t be returning to Ghostbusters, but her new movie Starling opened on Netflix last week.