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Ghostbusters: Ivan Reitman attributes reboot backlash to nostalgia, not sexism

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Hopper Stone

Ever since the female-led Ghostbusters was first announced, the project has been plagued with controversy, whether it’s YouTube commenters down-voting the first trailer or sexist trolls arguing that women can’t bust ghosts. Now, with the new reboot set to hit theaters in just two weeks, original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman is weighing in, telling Mashable that he doesn’t think misogyny is the only cause for the backlash.

“I think there’s way too much talk about gender [when it comes to this film],” Reitman told Mashable. “I think that many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the [original] movie, not haters of women.”

Reitman also ascribed some of the negative reaction to the new movie’s first trailer, adding, “I think we got off to a bad start. It wasn’t so much that the trailer was bad or terrible. In its minute and a half, it couldn’t represent what the movie actually is.”

As for Reitman himself, he gives the new, all-female team his personal stamp of approval.

“How wonderful those four women are together,” Reitman said. “Individually and together, they’re as unique as Bill Murray and [Dan] Aykroyd and [Harold] Ramis and [Ernie] Hudson were. They look like they should be together. You can’t explain it until you see them moving and talking.”

Reitman isn’t the only original Ghostbusters creative to praise the new film. Both Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd have give the film a thumbs-up rating. “When you see the film, and you’ll delight in the film, it sort of rumbles along in the beginning. You’re going, ‘Oh God, are they going to pull this thing off?'” Murray said on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this month. “I felt like a stepfather to the whole thing. There is no quit in these girls. This is a tough movie to pull off, because it’s a big concept. There’s a lot on the plate — there’s a lot of expectation. Danny, and I and Annie [Potts] and Ernie, were just screaming, cheering like we were at a sporting event at the end of it.”

Aykroyd previously praised the film on his Facebook page. “As originator of the original: Saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!”

Ghostbusters, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, will hit theaters on July 15. Read more about the reboot, as well as the cast’s reactions to the sexist attacks, in EW’s recent cover story.

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