He directed and co-wrote the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot that reimagined the series with all-female leads.
And Paul Feig was incensed on Wednesday when he apparently learned that his film — which ultimately lost money at the box office — had been left out of a new box set collecting the rest of the movies in the Ghostbusters franchise.
The 59-year-old Freaks And Geeks creator tweeted that the studio’s decision must have been a ‘mistake’ as he highlighted his film’s connection to the rest of the Ghostbusters series.
Left out: Paul Feig, the director of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, lashed out at Sony on Tuesday after the studio announced plans for a Ghostbusters franchise box set that excludes his female-led film; seen in 2019 in London
The newest entry in the series, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, will be released on February 1, 2022, on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra-HD versions, while the Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection box set will be released on the same day.
The set contains the first two Ghostbusters films from the 1980s, along with the latest sequel, but fans won’t find the 2016 version starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth.
Feig questioned the exclusion of his film on Twitter, while noting that it was a major part of the franchise because of the participation of the surviving original Ghostbusters stars.
‘Um … @SonyPictures, I know this must be a mistake. We do have a lot of fans and Bill, Dan and Ernie were in it and it won the Kids Choice Award for Best Feature Film the year it came out. So, I guess this was just an oversight?’ Feig tweeted, adding the hashtag, ‘#weareallghostbusters.’
Furious: Feig, 59, called the exclusion a ‘mistake’ in a tweet and pointed out that his film was a critical success and included the surviving original Ghostbusters cast
Failure: The 2016 Ghostbusters — which starred (L–R) Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon — was a hit with critics but bombed at the box office
So far, Sony hasn’t responded to Feig’s post.
His film was a success with critics, and the film currently holds a respectable 74 percent fresh rating from reviewers surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes.
However, audiences were less enthused about the new face of Ghostbusters, and the film was beset on social media by a wave of misogynistic posts on social media around the time of its release.
The comedy earned an impressive $229 million at the worldwide box office, according to Box Office Mojo, but it was ultimately a loss for the studio due to the film’s $144 million budget and its expensive publicity campaign.
Ghostbuster 2016 was intended launch a new Ghostbusters universe starring the four comic actress, but its financial failure led the series to be rebooted against, this time helmed by original director Ivan Reitman’s son Jason Reitman.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife was more cooly received by critics, but it was a relative success at the pandemic-era box office. So far, the film has earned $174.8 million worldwide, and it had a much more modest $75 million budget.
Backlash: The female-led reboot was also beset by a wave of misogynistic posts on social media, and audiences reacted poorly to the new cast; still from Ghostbusters (2016)
New try: Jason Reitman’s new film Ghostbusters: Afterlife has fared better at the box office despite the pandemic, though it was more cooly received by critics; Paul Rudd with Logan Kim and Mckenna Grace pictured
The film, which takes a much darker approach to the comic franchise, stars Paul Rudd and again features appearances from the surviving original Ghostbusters.
Dan Aykroyd, who starred in and wrote the 1984 original with the late Harold Ramis, previously lashed out at Feig following the 2016 film’s failure during an appearance on the British talk show Sunday Brunch in 2017.
He criticized Feig for overspending on his film and said ‘he will not be back on the Sony lot anytime soon’ because of the commercial failure.
He claimed that the cost overruns were partly because Feig had ignored his advice about how to craft the comedy.
‘The director, he spent too much on it and he didn’t shoot scenes we suggested to him. Several scenes that were going to be needed, he said, “No, we don’t need them.” And then we tested the movie and they needed them, and he had to go back — about $30 to $40 million in reshoots,’ he explained.
However, he added elsewhere that he was ‘happy’ with the movie.
Pointing fingers: Original Ghostbusters co-writer Dan Aykroyd criticized Feig in 2017 for overspending and ignoring his advice on the 2016 film, which he said contributed to its box office failfure; seen with Harold Ramis and Bill Murray in Ghostbusters (1984)
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