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Entertainment Weekly

Movies

Jason Reitman clarifies Ghostbusters comment that provoked online uproar

Posted on

To quote Egon: “Don’t cross the streams — it would be bad.” Also bad… saying the wrong thing.

Jason Reitman, who is directing a new Ghostbusters film that will be a continuation of the 1984 original, has clarified remarks that provoked an uproar after they were interpreted as a diss of the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters reboot.

The Juno and Up in the Air filmmaker says he did not intend his statement to be an insult of the movie Paul Feig made with Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, and Melissa McCarthy.

Columbia Pictures; Hopper Stone/Columbia Pictures

“Wo, that came out wrong,” Reitman wrote on Twitter Wednesday night. “I have nothing but admiration for Paul and Leslie and Kate and Melissa and Kristen and the bravery with which they made Ghostbusters 2016. They expanded the universe and made an amazing movie!”

UPDATE: Among those joining to support him was Paul Feig, who tweeted:

Reitman was deluged with anger on social media Tuesday when an article published by The Playlist featured a headline partially quoting something he said during an interview on comedian Bill Burr’s podcast:

The full quote, which was in the body of the article, was in regard to retro visual effects and original musical cues that Reitman is using from the 1984 film, which was directed by his father Ivan Reitman.

“We went back to the work files for the sound of the proton pack. And we went back to the stems of Elmer Berstein’s score. Just for where it says, in the teaser, ‘Summer 2020,’ we went back and found the original physical vinyl letters they used to create the Ghostbusters poster in 1984, rescanned them. Then our title guys reprinted them. We filmed the titles, not like in a computer. We shot physical titles with a light and smoke effect because that’s how they would have done it back in the day.”

Then Reitman spoke the sentence that launched thousands of angry Tweets: “We are, in every way, trying to go back to the original technique and hand the movie back to the fans.”

While closer examination suggests it was an awkwardly phrased way of saying he was returning the texture and feeling of the 1984 film to fans, many interpreted what he said as a reference to the 2016 movie.

Among the harshest reactions, attracting nearly 3,500 likes, was from New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik.

Here are some of the other prominent reactions:

Others were more blunt.

Nearly all of them interpreted Reitman’s quote as a wink toward the countless male trolls who viciously attacked the 2016 movie and its actresses, especially Jones, who took the brunt of the misogynistic and insults.

Reitman’s tweet Wednesday night to clarify his appreciation for Feig’s film is not the first time he has expressed his admiration for the all-female Ghostbusters squad. In an interview with EW last month announcing his project, he said the only reason his movie wouldn’t be connected to the 2016 film is that Feig wanted his storyline to exist in its own universe.

Reitman’s film will explore what the world is like three decades after the original team stopped the vengeful demigod Gozer from unleashing the apocalypse.

“I have so much respect for what Paul created with those brilliant actresses, and would love to see more stories from them,” Reitman said in that interview. “However, this new movie will follow the trajectory of the original film.”

He received a number of supportive comments after tweeting his “that came out wrong” clarification, but also some anger — from the haters of the 2016 film who also mistakenly thought he was on their side.

Reitman has not yet revealed who the main characters of his film will be or what the story will encompass.

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