Leslie Jones: The latest ‘Ghostbusters’ remake is ‘so insulting… we didn’t count’

Film stills of Ghostbusters (2016)

In 2016, the all-lady Ghostbusters came out. The remake/redux starred Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth and Kate McKinnon. It was criticized heavily before it even came out – there were bros far and wide claiming that an all-lady remake would “destroy their childhoods” or “send the wrong message” that girls can, like, be ghostbusters. It wasn’t a good look for the bros, but I suspect that all of the controversy around the film did result in a muted critical response. Honestly, I saw the movie in the theater and… while I think ladies can be ghostbusters too, I just think that the movie was not-great? It wasn’t very funny, they didn’t know how to utilize Melissa McCarthy fully, and the plot made no sense.

Still, you would think after all of those remake shenanigans, the Ghostbusters property would just be shelved for several years while everyone took a breather and reassessed. You would be wrong. Last week, another remake – or sequel, we don’t know – was announced. Jason Reitman is directing the new movie and it will be released in the summer of 2020. No one knows anything about the plot or whether certain actors will come back or whatever. This teaser was released:

I have no idea. But Leslie Jones still doesn’t like this whole vibe. Days after the film was announced, she was asked about her thoughts. She replied on Twitter:

On the remake: “So insulting. Like f–k us. We didnt count. It’s like something trump would do. (Trump voice) “Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers” ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don’t give f–k I’m saying something!!

On the criticism for speaking out: “It’s very sad that this is response I get. When the point is if they make this new one with all men and it does well which it will. It might feel that “boys are better”it makes my heart drop. Maybe I could have use different words but I’m allowed to have my feelings just like them

[From Leslie’s Twitter]

I totally get that. And she’s right, it’s a dick move. It will be interesting to see if this film brings in some new people and if those new people are accused of “ruining childhoods” or not. I suspect not, because as Leslie basically says, the people involved in this remake are likely to all be dudes. (Now all that being said, it would be easier to defend the Lady Ghostbusters if that film was better.)

Los Angeles premiere of 'Ghostbusters'

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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57 Responses to “Leslie Jones: The latest ‘Ghostbusters’ remake is ‘so insulting… we didn’t count’”

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  1. Escondista says:

    Spider-Man gets remade like every 2 years. Some versions are just worse than others.

    • Devon says:

      Good point.

    • Erinn says:

      But Spiderman HAS a lot of different versions. It’s following the trend of the comics to for the most part. So I don’t think that’s nearly the same kind of issue as this is.

      That said, I couldn’t care less about any version of ghost busters. Never got into it.

    • Eliza says:

      You do know they rebooted it because they have a use it or lose it licensing deal?

      If they didn’t make reboots, they’d lose the license, that’s why the rushed the last one.

  2. RBC says:

    How about instead of remakes or sequels , Hollywood get some fresh ideas for movies?

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      THIS. I am so sick of remakes/reboots/re-whatevers.

      • Mac says:

        If studios would stop making films for white men they would see there is so much talent in Hollywood right now.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Yes!!! Thank you an original idea would be so….novel

    • Kelly says:

      Yes! I agree that we need more female and minority centric mainstream films, but the answer isn’t “let’s redo a hugely popular film…but with women!” And I think there’s always going to be backlash when they remake a very popular film that hasn’t been touched in decades. It’s unnecessary, and I feel that way whether it’s The Witches or Ghostbusters but with women.

      • Meg says:

        oceans 8 didn’t seem to have the same backlash but people who enjoyed that movie weren’t necessarily kids and people have strong feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality towards movies they enjoyed as kids.

    • Nanny to the rescue says:

      They’re scared because they throw so much money into these films that they want something “reliable” to even hope to get their money back. It sucks but I do believe that’s one of the big reasons. Sure remakes are a gamble but a smaller one than a completely new story.

      And Ghostbusters 2016 lost money, so they’re not attached enough to it to continue with the same people. :(

    • CA Family Code says:

      Exactly! I just don’t go to Transformers 28th reboot, but then I heard Bumblebee is actually good. I did however go to see the ladies in Ghostbusters because I like ALL of the ladies and I thought it was sh^tty the way the film was treated by the Hollywood media/all media. I also really liked Oceans 8. I like women’s movies PERIOD. I would like to point out that perhaps they’re not just being sh^tty, maybe Jason Reitman always dreamed of remaking his dad’s movie? Maybe he grew up with Harold Ramis as a friend and he wants to pay homage to dad and Ramis?

    • I wish they’d made something original involving ghost-defense, with an all-female cast. The GB ladies got screwed. It’s not their fault… those are all really talented women. It was the treatment of every aspect of that film.

      And, conspiracy theory?

      Make a bad GB film, with an all female cast, to ensure male support for the androcentric remake waiting in the wings.

      Too wacky?

      • Nanny to the rescue says:

        I’d say too wacky. Not that nobody could think of that, but the movie was too expensive to play with this sort of thing. Money is still the number one drive in Hollywood.

  3. Mia4s says:

    Given the harassment Leslie suffered she has every right to vent and be upset. But two things…

    They’ve already confirmed the leads are two males and two females; and movies that lose tens of millions of dollars don’t get sequels.

    It wasn’t a hit, but it’s a viable franchise. So of course they’re trying again. It’s business, not personal. But I understand why it is hard for her to accept that. She was treated abhorrently.

    • Aoife says:

      She got terrible abuse, and I still feel bad for her. But the actors don’t have the right to expect the sequel to involve them after their film lost a lot of money just because they are women. The studio is obviously going to go for what they think is the safest bet to make money.

  4. Ruyana says:

    I did go to see that movie and I did not enjoy it. I was embarrassed for the actors because the writing was so bad. In general I don’t like remakes anyway. It just says to me “we’re out of ideas” and/or “we’re just too lazy to write something new”.

    The movie was not bad because of the all-female cast. The remake of “Total Recall” was the worst movie I ever saw.

    • Pandy says:

      It was a TERRIBLE version of GB – let’s be real. i don’t care who starred in it – it was awful.

  5. Steff says:

    I was rooting for the all female version to succeed even though I never liked the original ghostbusters and didn’t care if it got remade or not. I wish women on the internet were as hateful and spiteful towards Jason Reitman’s version as the dudebros who actively campaigned for the female remake to fail.

    Brb, going to thumb down that trailer…

  6. Jemimaleopard says:

    Yeah the movie wasn’t great but men get to make mediocre films all the time *side eyes Adam Sandler*. I hope this is a mix of make/female ghostbusters but won’t hold my breath.

    • BlueSky says:

      Came here to say the same thing. The movie was not great but I appreciated them doing a movie with an all female lead. Men get to fail all the time and they are given 10, 11,
      20 more chances.

    • deezee says:

      This is so true. Mediocre movies starring men are made ALL the time. When men do it, no one shrugs. “It just didn’t work” is the usual excuse. Maybe an actor gets less roles for a bit or the director’s next movie will be made with a decreased budget. But when women star in a mediocre blockbuster (which apparently was a huge hit with young children BTW), all of a sudden, they’re ignoring it and going back to the “boy’s club.” And yeah I know its two boys, two girls but how likely is it, Ghostbusters III will pass the Bechdel Test?

  7. Nicegirl says:

    We bought the movie because it was girls. I want more female led films. I understand Leslie on this completely.

  8. Ladyjax says:

    I liked the movie just fine. It was lighthearted popcorn fun. It didn’t try to be serious, or visually stunning, or anything Oscar-worthy. I saw it in the theatres with my hisband and we both left smiling. Who knows if I’ll be able to say the same for this re-reboot. Go Leslie for telling it like it is (though I suspect she got a dressing-down from her publicist and/or manager.)

  9. Rita says:

    Just watched Oceans 8. Some things shouldn’t be remade – even with women.

  10. WingKingdom says:

    Really? I know it’s a matter of taste but I thought Leslie’s Ghostbusters movie was HILARIOUS. I loved it. Everything about it was just delightful, and wacky, and Kate McKinnon’s character was awesome. There were so many brilliant little elements.

    I think the dudebros have so much control over our culture they convinced everyone it was a bad movie before it came out and it never had a fair shot. Just like they convinced everyone that Hillary was unlikable and a “flawed” candidate while Ted Cruz lurks around the senate forever, a person everyone in his own party hates but he gets reelected. They’re starting in on Elizabeth Warren. They will destroy her too.

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    I love Leslie…but that movie was PUTRID! It had to be hot trash…even in script form…I have NEVA seen so much comedic talent be SO boring and have so little chemistry …IN MY LIFE! So if they want to make another…PLEASE DO IT…TO WASH THE BAD TASTE OUT OF EVERYONE’S MOUTH!!!!

  12. Margo Smith says:

    The girl Ghostbusters would have been better if a girl had directed it.

  13. lucy2 says:

    The original is one of the cornerstone movies of my childhood, and I’ll still watch it whenever it’s on, AND I enjoyed the new one with Leslie.
    I get where she’s coming from, most of the media coverage I’ve seen of this one has been very dismissive of the 2016 version, and all the stupid bros will make it about men vs. women. She has a right to feel upset about it.

    She is stunning in that red gown!

  14. Nan says:

    The original sequel was bad enough.

  15. Jay says:

    When I was I little kid, Ghostbusters was my favorite movie. I didnt see the remake, but it wasnt because there were women in it. It didnt look very good, and really more importantly, I’m not a little kid anymore, and am past Ghostbusters. I recently realized that about the star wars movies as well.

    • Vintage says:

      Ghostbusters: YES, but say no more about Star Wars!!!

      Except for the prequels. Bleh. Those freaking Ewoks in Return of the Jedi were a tipoff.

  16. Jessica says:

    I’m ok with remakes and spinoffs but I’m not a fan of Ghostbusters.

  17. Meg says:

    I agree the female reboot was lukewarm in my opinion, but it made $229 million worldwide and got 74% on rotten tomatoes-that info was surprising to me as all I remember hearing was bad. this really is about sexism. men can’t empathize with women and get mad when even asked to. did they complain when the star wars movie had actors of different races featured too? these butthurt white men-I can’t imagine being so catered to assuming everything should be made for you and doesn’t have the right to exist unless i’m the target audience.

    • Mia4s says:

      “…it made $229 million worldwide”

      And cost $141 million (that they admit to) before advertising and promotion, meaning the movie lost $70 million dollars at LEAST for the studio. That’s horrendous.

      Sexism had a lot to do with the reaction to the the movie, particularly online. But as far as dumping the idea and concept to make this movie instead of a sequel? Not sexism, it makes total business sense. In the same way Amazing Spider Man 2 can make $700 million and be considered a fail to the point that they change Spidermen. Or that Solo A Star Wars Stoey can make $390 million and be considered a disappointing box office bomb. It’s all about return on investment and expectations. Sadly after all the insanity and drama, the all-female Ghostbusters just didn’t meet expectations.

      • lucy2 says:

        I think if there hadn’t been backlash, it likely would have broken even, and probably done ok with merchandising. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been made for less though, that’s a big budget to overcome.

    • Fluffy Princess says:

      This right here: I can’t imagine being so catered to assuming everything should be made for you and doesn’t have the right to exist unless i’m the target audience. +1000

  18. Jan says:

    Sorry but the female Ghostbusters sucked, period. It was an awful movie which deserved every criticism it got IMHO. Jones is way off. If she wanted better reaction she should have been in a better movie. I’m a feminist but it’s not right when women demand support just because it’s women doing a job. True feminism is not giving women a pass just because they are women. It’s being judged truly equally with men for the same quality of product.

  19. Marianne says:

    Obviously she and her castmates were unfairly targeted with hate on social media andI get it sucks for your film to fail and for them to re-boot it as though it never existed….but also give it a chance. You have no idea what Jason Reitman is even planning. Lets not jump the gun on women erasure just yet.

  20. LondonGal says:

    I wanted to love the remake. For *so* many reasons! But it was utter cr**. I know the ending tested so poorly it was hastily reshot and the entire cast were woefully misused. So frustrating!

  21. Poppy says:

    I hated the original GB, I hated the all female remake, it was awful and I love all the women in the movie, huge fan of Kristen wiig.
    Ocean 8 was basic as the other oceans movies.
    The idea of remaking movies with all women casts is lazy and makes diversity a joke. I want all women movies but I want original stories like mean girls, girls trip, bridesmaids.
    What is the point of doing things already basic men has done. Hollywood there are amazing women stories, and amazing women story tellers use them.

    • Janet says:

      Agree. It’s not powerful to remake a movie and just make it different by having women or minorities. Like step out and take risks.

      • Darya says:

        They tried that with Annihilation (a film that I love) and it bombed. Even comments on this site said they wouldn’t watch it.

  22. The Recluse says:

    I went to see the Remake and wished heartily throughout that it had been a Next Generation version and not a reboot. So much talent wasted. I mean, how can you top the Sta-puft marshmallow man in the original?
    Shoulda been a Next-Gen.

  23. CK says:

    The Ghostbusters reboot wasn’t the best film, but it was hands down better than the mess that is Ghostbusters II. Dont @ me with the nostalgia takes over that sh*tshow. If this remake doesn’t have gender parity in the cast, then it won’t get a cent from me. period.

    As for the whole “Let’s remake it, but with women” trend. I don’t mind it because 1.) remakes/reboots/sequels tend to sell better than new material and 2.) I don’t mind correcting for the fact that women and minorities couldn’t get cast in those roles in the past. We can take the plot and premise from a past film without accepting the bigotries of the time it was produced in as well.

  24. serena says:

    They could have simply made a sequel of the 2016 one with a BETTER story, I loved all the actresses involved (and Hemsworth too tbh), we don’t need another all male one. Leslie is right, this is literally a dick move.

  25. Mina says:

    Jason Reitman wants to do a follow up of the movie his dad made and made famous. The horrible remake has no place in this universe. Lots of franchises are getting rebooted without considering sequels or remakes that have been less than stellar (Halloween is the most recent example). Why turn this into a debate? Of course people would want to forget a massive flop.

  26. Ari says:

    Reitman’s son has every single right on the planet moreso than ANYONE to want to make a damn Ghostbusters movie. WHY IS THIS EVEN A DEBATE? lol this is so dumb