When Sony announced plans to celebrate the “Ghostbusters” franchise and the DVD release of its recent “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” in 2022 by releasing an eight-disc box set called “Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection,” conspicuously absent from those eight discs is the Paul Feig–directed, female-fronted “Ghostbusters” that hit theaters in 2016. And Feig took to Twitter to (diplomatically) call out the omission.
Feig’s film, which starred Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Melissa McCarthy, was famously the target of a misogynistic online campaign fueled by outrage that women were stepping into the iconic jumpsuits first worn by Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Harold Ramis. As in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” the three surviving leads (Ramis died in 2014) reprised their roles, though after it opened to disappointing box office, Ackroyd told an interviewer that Feig “won’t be allowed back on the Sony lot anytime soon.” Plans were quickly made for a new iteration of the franchise, which became “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” helmed by Jason Reitman and released in theaters November 19. Now, that film will become “Ghostbusters” canon with its inclusion in the upcoming “ultimate collection” box set.
“I know this must be a mistake,” Feig tweeted of the omission. “We do have a lot of fans and Bill, Dan and Ernie were in it and it won the Kids Choice Award for Best Feature Film the year it came out. So, I guess this was just an oversight?” Feig included the hashtag #weareallghostbusters.
When “Ghostbusters” hit theaters in 2016, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn gave the film a C+, writing, “Despite the misogynistic backlash suffered during the film’s promotion, the problems with “Ghostbusters” have nothing to do with its cast. Its undoing stems from the same issues that plague so many overproduced, market-tested products that masquerade as movies: For all the value that may be contained in an intellectual property, it’s worthless if it can’t make old ideas feel new.”
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