Dan Aykroyd isn’t mincing words about Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, whom Aykroyd blames for Sony not giving a sequel greenlight to the 2016 comedy.
Appearing this weekend on Britain’s Sunday Brunch, the actor — who starred in the original Ghostbusters and made a cameo appearance in Feig’s reboot — praised the all-female leads of the latest movie before explaining why he thinks Feig has made it all but impossible for there to be a second one.
“The girls are great in it. Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig – what a wonderful, wonderful players they are – and Leslie Jones,” Aykroyd told hosts Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer, as seen in the tweet below. “I was really happy with the movie, but it cost too much. And Sony does not like to lose money. It made a lot of money around the world but it just cost too much, making it economically not feasible to do another one. So that’s too bad – the director, he spent too much on it. He didn’t shoot scenes we suggested to him, several scenes that were going to be needed, and he said, ‘No, we don’t need them,’ and then we tested the movie and they needed them and he had to go back — about $30 to $40 million in reshoots. So, yeah, he will not be back on the Sony lot anytime soon.”
The Sony Pictures movie cost a reported $144 million (plus marketing) and earned close to $240 million worldwide — $128.4 million of which came from North American theaters. (Ghostbusters later earned a reported $36 million in U.S. home entertainment sales.) After Aykroyd’s statements, Sony confirmed the movie’s reshoots — but said the price was between $3 and $4 million, not $30-40 million as Aykroyd stated.
“The budget and additional visual effects shoots were previously reported, and the studio had an incredible relationship with the director who was first rate,” a source close to the production told EW on Sunday.
In October of 2016, Feig told EW he would like to make a sequel but acknowledged that decision was up to the studio, “because they have to pay for it.” At the time, the director added nobody had called him about the sequel.
Beyond the financials, Feig is confident there’s an audience for the movie. Since its release, he has shared messages fans send his way, retweeting a slew of Ghostbusters Halloween costumes and a video from Grand Rapids Comic Con that left him “choked up.”
“I know they are now heroes and mean a lot to a lot of people,” Feig said, “so in a perfect world it would be great if we could see them bust more ghosts, kick more ass, and be awesome again.”