After decades of waiting for a new Ghostbusters movie, here’s your first footage from one. To celebrate the launch of this awesome trailer, we talked with director Paul Feig, producer Ivan Reitman and writer Katie Dippold, and they told us why this trailer reintroduces so many of the things we love.
This trailer starts by nudging your nostalgia with familiar music and visuals. Then, once we get to the new stuff... it still feels familiar. We see a library ghost, Slimer, proton packs, and Ecto-1—but everything is just slightly tweaked and modernized. Even the characters, three radically different scientists and a local resident, mirror the original film. Meanwhile, the humor feels a bit more physical than the first movie, which is in line with Feig’s other movies (Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy) but it mostly works. Really, what you get here is simply, a brand new Ghostbusters.
Wednesday, speaking to an audience of super fans in Los Angeles (who stood and cheered the trailer, twice) as well as members of the press, Feig explained that the nostalgic feel of the trailer is part of the movie itself.
“I’d be bummed if I didn’t see the Ecto-1 and all that stuff,” he said. “So we wanted to make sure we give those nods—but make them our own, and give them their own original origin story. When you see the movie, there will be a lot of things you’re happy to see, but they’re coming at you at a slightly different way.”
Make no mistake, despite the cameos, and the recognizable people, places and music, this new Ghostbusters is a reboot, not a sequel. The film-makers wanted to start from scratch, so this world, and these characters, would have to earn their place.
“To say ghosts have existed for 30 years [would be] a different world,” Dippold said. “In the original it’s so fun to see the ghosts unleashed for the first time and we didn’t want to skip over it.”
Plus, Feig added, “I didn’t like the idea of them being handed technology. I wanted to see it developed.”
The fact that the characters develop the technology themselves is also one of the things that carries over from the first movie: Science is crucial to the film.
“It was really important to us to make them scientists,” Feig said. “That’s what I love about the first one, the idea that Ivan, Dan [Aykroyd] and Harold [Ramis] had—people fighting the paranormal with science—just really resonated with us.”
So in this movie, Erin, played by Kristen Wiig, is a particle physicist. Melissa McCarthy’s character, Abby, is an expert in the paranormal. Kate McKinnon plays Jillian, a nuclear engineer who creates all the technology. Finally, Leslie Jones’s Patty joins the team because she knows New York, and the film needed an “everyman,” just like Winston in the original.
Feig also said he cast these actresses because their on-screen personas line up perfectly with the characters. “Kristin is this kind of vulnerable comedian, Melissa is a headstrong comedian, then you’ve got Kate who’s just the weirdo-nut, and Leslie is just a powerhouse that comes at you,” he said.
As for the ghosts our heroes are fighting, Feig wanted them to look very particular and familiar, before things begin to go off the walls. “Being such a science nut, I wanted these ghosts to be what I always considered a ghost to be, which is dead people coming back.” he said. So the main ghosts of the movie are humanoid, but things will definitely change.
Change has been at the heart of this new Ghostbusters from the beginning. Early on, a small but vocal group of people began complaining about the new team being all female. However, Feig said that’s not addressed in the movie. “The first movie worked, because it had four of the funniest people in it,” he said. “I just wanted the funniest people, and the funniest people I happen to know are these women. Ghostbusters is for everybody”
And Feig sees this as the beginning of a new era of Ghostbusters. “I have such a love for this property and what I really wanted to do was bring it to a new generation. Give a new generation their own team,” he said.
“This comes from such a pure place,” Feig continued. “This thing that [Reitman, Aykroyd and Ramis] created, this idea is such a great idea. It’s such an amazing franchise that had two amazing movies, but it could just keep going. There’s so many things you can do with it. It just seemed terrible to leave it in a box.”
Well, no matter what happens next, that box is finally opened again.