The new Ghostbusters movie has been plagued with controversy and discussion for what seems like ages, ranging from longtime fans who believe the original is sacred ground to the sexist trolls who think women can’t be ghostbusters. But the Ghostbusters reboot does have one particular champion, and he’s kind of an expert: Ivan Reitman, who directed the 1984 original and its 1989 sequel.
Speaking to The Los Angeles Times, Reitman encouraged fans to wait and see the new movie before passing judgment — and to not base their opinion on that controversial first trailer.
“Many of the people writing furiously about it were at an age, maybe 7 or 8 or 9, when Ghostbusters was the coolest thing they ever experienced,” Reitman said. “And now there’s this two-minute trailer and how can that stand up to it? It’s not so much that the trailer was bad. The trailer was fine. It just can’t stand up to more than 25 years of personal experience.”
“That’s why people have to see it,” he added. “Word will be out quickly.”
Reitman also said that he was surprised by the negative online reaction, and especially by some of the sexist comments.
“We were concerned about that kind of thing being a possibility,” he said. “It was bigger than I’d imagined. I wasn’t deeply involved in the Internet, so I didn’t realize how vicious it could be. But we’re all adults. We knew what we were getting into.”
Previously, Reitman told Mashable that he doesn’t think sexism is the sole cause for the backlash, attributing most of the negative response to nostalgia. “I think there’s way too much talk about gender [when it comes to this film],” Reitman told Mashable. “I think many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the [original] movie, not haters of women.”
Reitman, who served as a producer on the new film, isn’t the only Ghostbusters alum to give the reboot his stamp of approval. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson have all praised the new movie and its stars: Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig.
Ghostbusters hits theaters on July 15.