Yesterday, it came to light that Ghostbusters co-creator Dan Aykroyd had grievances with director Paul Feig for ignoring his advice during the production of Ghostbusters: Answer the Call while principal photography was taking place, leading to the reshoots on the movie being incredibly expensive. Sony has released a press statement countering Aykroyd’s response, and Akyroyd clarified his comments by stating that he had wished that the reboot had been more considerate of the wishes of original team behind the movie.
In case you missed it, Aykroyd’s original statement about Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is as follows:
“The girls are great in it. Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig – what a 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. 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 and several scenes that were going to be needed and he said ‘nah, we don’t need them’. Then we tested the movie and they needed them and he had to go back. About $30 to $40 million in reshoots. So he will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon.”
The initial statement suggested that Sony Pictures was unhappy with Feig’s work on the film. However, the studio released a statement to the Associated Press and New York Daily News denying that reshoot costs were that exorbitant, or that Feig was barred from working on another Sony project:
“Sony has a strong relationship with Paul Feig, and we have incredible respect for his work. The cost of reshoots were 3-4 million.”
Aykroyd also released a follow-up statement through the social media platform WhoSay revealing that many of his concerns had to do with his perception that the original people working on the property didn’t get the respect that they deserved:
“Paul Feig made a good movie and had a superb cast and plenty of money to do it. We just wish he had been more inclusive to the originators. It cost everyone, as it is unlikely Kristen, Leslie, Melissa, and Kate will ever reprise their roles as Ghostbusters, which is sad.”
While most of the major cast members of the original film appeared in Ghostbusters: Answer the Call in the form of cameos, this is not likely the inclusiveness that Aykroyd was referring to – Aykroyd and original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman originally had a pitch for a a true Ghostbusters 3 that involved the original team of Ghostbusters (or at least the portion of the cast that was able to return) training a new team of Ghostbusters that would take over. This was discarded in favor of Sony executives deciding that Paul Feig was better suited to direct the movie; Feig would then discard existing Ghostbusters lore in favor of a complete reboot.
It’s not hard to see why Aykroyd may have felt that he was cheated out of his version of the movie, as the premise given would have given elbow room for the team that was presented in Answer the Call to have served as the new recruits – something which most likely likely could have been financially successful. The studio’s demands are to some extent understandable (as Bill Murray has notoriously distanced himself from the franchise, and Harold Ramis died before the original Ghostbusters 3 pitch could have happened), but as it stands, the plans for the Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe that Sony wanted are looking pretty dead right about now.
All three Ghostbusters movies are available on home video formats.
6 Ways Sony Can Make ‘Venom’ Actually Good
A while ago, it was announced that Sony was interested in revisiting the Venom property after featuring the character in the contentious Spider-Man 3, with the intent to have a new franchise that wouldn’t necessarily be tied to the current cinematic iteration of Spider-Man. Progress on that stalled when it turned out that Sony would be placing emphasis on developing an animated movie instead; While news on that movie has steadily been released, Venom seemed to be put on the back-burner for a while. Now, in what appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to Aquaman moving to take Avatar 2‘s planned release date, Sony has suddenly announced that the Venom project is back in business, and will be arriving on the same day that Aquaman was originally going to be released.
Naturally, this has left a lot of fans with concerns, particularly with the team that’s producing Venom – Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, the duo behind the unnecessary The Amazing Spider-Man reboot series that caved in on its second installment and indirectly led to Sony’s decision to re-reboot into a much more accurate and well-received take on Peter Parker into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sony Pictures as a company has been taking a lot of flak for a number of creative decisions recently, such as greenlighting the already-maligned animated feature The Emoji Movie and deciding to cancel the Ghostbusters III film that was in development in the late 2000s in favor of pushing out a reboot with a half-assed script, a decision that the contributed greatly to Sony’s billion-dollar write-off for their film division last year when their would-be mega-franchise came up incredibly short. They’re not exactly in the best place right now as a company, and it’s going to be a while before Spider-Man: Homecoming (hopefully) puts them in a better position as far as their tentpoles are concerned.
But there’s still a chance for Venom to defy expectations and actually turn out to be a good movie. The easiest option for Sony would be to wait a bit and cooperate with Marvel Studios before thinking about putting the Lethal Protector in one of their movies – since it’s very likely that Spider-Man will get the Symbiote in Avengers: Infinity War, and Venom will probably play a part in their own plans – but given the divide between Arad and Marvel Studios following his departure from the company, this does not seem likely. Operating on the presumption that Venom will be set outside of the MCU’s continuity – which ultimately may not be the case – here are 6 things that Sony must do to make sure that they get the villain/anti-hero right this time.