2016’s reboot of Ghostbusters, directed by Paul Feig and starring Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris Hemsworth, was far from a hit. Though the production cost was $144 million, and the film went on to gross $229 million worldwide, that’s not enough profit to build a franchise on. Sony, and producer Ivan Reitman, were planning to kick off an entire Ghostbusters Universe with the film, but now all of that is now in question, with even a direct sequel to the film looking unlikely.
Dan Aykroyd, writer and star of the original 1984 film, has always been rather blunt when discussing the franchise. He’s been the main driving force behind getting Ghostbusters 3 made (which is never going to happen), as well as a self-described keeper of the franchise. Today is no exception, as Deadline reports Aykroyd has some choice words for director Paul Feig in his interview with Britain’s Channel 4:
“The girls are great in it. Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig — what wonderful, wonderful players they are — and Leslie Jones. I was really happy with the movie, but it cost too much, and Sony does not like to lose money, they don’t. It made a lot of money around the world, but 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 ‘Nah, we don’t need them.’ Then we tested the movie, they needed them and he had to go back. About $30 to $40 million in reshoots. He will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon.”
Ouch. Like I said, Aykroyd doesn’t mince words. Though it may be unfair to heap all the blame on Feig, Aykroyd is not wrong that the reboot’s budget killed the franchise. Sony invested too much money into what they assumed would be a smash hit. If Ghostbusters (2016) was shot with a more reasonable comedy budget with some room for effects, like the original, instead of being treated like a studio tent-pole meant to launch a franchise, Aykroyd would be getting his universe, and royalties that come with it. Whether or not Feig is to blame as much as Aykroyd would like to, we just don’t know. All we do know for sure is that someone screwed up, royally.
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