All the people who got excited about Jurassic World last year and breathed a long contented sigh of relief when it turned out to be God-damn amazing are focusing their attentions this year on the Ghostbusters comeback, due for release in July.
Actually, pretty much everyone on Earth seems to be weighing in on the two trailers that have hit the net over the past couple of weeks for Paul Feig’s female-driven reboot.
There’s the obvious round of commentary going on: Does the women Ghostbusters thing work? How is Slimer involved? Is this basically going to be Bridesmaids with ectoplasm?
I weighed in on this myself both in both print and online with an article expressing my deep worries about The Female Factor. I was attacked on Twitter for being sexist. No – I just prefer Peter Venkman to Patty Tolan (!)
But brushing aside that part of the Ghostbusters 2.0 debate, I have a bigger question that has been touched upon in the trailer reactions but not sufficiently answered to my satisfaction…
What universe is the new movie actually in?
Everyone’s saying that it’s set in a different universe. But is it? People seem to be ignoring the fact that the trailers open with references to Ghosterbusters I & II – explicitly stating that “30 years ago, four scientists saved New York”. We even get a glimpse of the firehouse that the original team used as a base in first two films.
The references stop there – apart from the appearance of Slimer later on. However, correct me if I’m not geeky enough to know this, but if films (or other variants of storytelling) are set in a whole new universe, isn’t it a massive no-no to even reference past incarnations? Don’t writers or directors deliberately avoid other universes, dismissing them like one would an inconvenient hindrance (like a friend with an annoying child or a reprobate spinster aunt who you purposely don’t invite to family reunions anymore?) If this is indeed the case, why do these trailers directly make reference to what happened 30 years ago – firehouse and all?
To confuse matters further, an article from a couple of weeks ago posted on Bloody-Disgusting.com says that “the trailer definitely made it clear that this new Ghostbusters is legitimately a reboot, a fresh start if you will, completely ignoring the previous two films and several cartoon series”.
Sorry, but am I watching something completely different to everyone else? Am I stuck in the ghost dimension where trailers are luring me in with false senses of nostalgia? Am I hallucinating when this pops up at the beginning:
You see that too, right?
A new team implies that there was once an old one, does it not?
Okay, so let us turn to director Paul Feig for some clarity. He said the following to Cinemablend prior to the aforementioned Bloody-Disgusting article:
“This is such an amazing franchise, with two amazing movies, but it could just keep going! There’s so many things you can do with it. It just seemed terrible to leave it in a box. And yet, at the same time, there’s something exciting about the idea of bringing it to a new generation, but this time… see an origin story of them. I know some people are like, ‘Why is it not a sequel instead of a reboot?’ I didn’t like the idea, personally, of them being handed technology!”
What is that? How is that an answer? Clear as mud, Paul Feig.
So we have a trailer that absolutely 100% references the events of 30 years ago and the four scientists that saved New York, and then a load of commentary from vloggers and bloggers and critics and analysts and the freakin’ director himself pretending like that it doesn’t. I would like Paul Feig to directly address this massive elephant in the room that everyone’s avoiding making eye contact with. Don’t tantalize me with images of firehouses and then swipe the carrot away like a prick-teasing…prick.
Mr Feig – I implore you: is Ghostbusters (2016) canon or not? Yes or No?
If yes – okay, right, thanks, let’s move on.
If no – why does the trailer mention the original events?! If there is no such thing, in this new universe, as Janine and her merry men, and a fire station that used to have a containment unit in it – then don’t mention it at all – alright?
This stuff is important, man. This is my childhood you’re toying with, and it’s bad enough that you’ve got the cast of Bridesmaids involved as it is! (#notsexistjustwantanswers)
Okay, right, thanks, let’s move on.