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.