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With the venerable question of "who you gonna call?" answered with the recent announcement of an all-female cast, the new Ghostbusters reboot looks set to tackle something strange in the neighborhood. Now, as the news continues to be digested, we are finally starting to get some feedback from the celebrated surviving cast members of the original film - most notably, Ray Stantz himself, Dan Aykroyd. The verdict is… promising.
The Hollywood Reporter had a chance to catch up to the former pointer of proton streams and according to Dab Aykroyd, he is more than happy to pass the mantle of paranormal police officer to newbies Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Melissa McCarthy in the reboot directed by Paul Feig. Said the original Ghostbusters star,
"The Aykroyd family is delighted by this inheritance of the Ghostbusters torch by these most magnificent women in comedy. My great grandfather, Dr. Sam Aykroyd, the original Ghostbuster, was a man who empowered women in his day and this is a beautiful development in the legacy of our family business."
Dan Aykroyd’s willingness to allow his legacy to evolve is clearly matched only by Ray Stantz’s enthusiasm for Stay Puft Marshmallows. That is not to say that he gave it up without a fight. Originally this project was supposed to be Ghostbusters 3, and had been years in the making with a script written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (Bad Teacher, Year One, The Office). Unfortunately, according to anecdotal accounts, Bill Murray, much to Aykroyd’s chagrin, wanted nothing to do with the film - which essentially torpedoed film's chances of being made. While Aykroyd and the rest of the gang had decided to move forward with the film, the death of Harold Ramis last year was ultimately a fatal blow to the project, despite director, Ivan Reitman’s initial desire to soldier on even after that tragic setback. Thus, Aykroyd giving his blessing to the all-female reboot project seems to be the final culmination of the failed Ghostbusters 3 efforts and his acceptance to move on.
While former colleague, Bill Murray has been mum (and may likely remain so), the only other surviving member of the original team, Ernie Hudson, who played the often-overlooked Winston Zeddmore, has been very vocal when it comes to his feelings on the prospect of the all-female reboot; namely that it shouldn’t carry the Ghostbusters name since it will have "nothing to do with the other two movies." However, Hudson qualified his comments by saying he was not against the idea of an all-female cast, but he had his doubts that it would be something fans wanted to see. Hudson would take his initial reaction to the cast announcement to Facebook, utilizing a more disciplined brand of brevity. He wrote,
Two words: "No comment"
Cinematic purists and old-school fans alike on the internet have certainly been afire with critical comments about the new Ghostbusters. While it undoubtedly serves the longtime narrative that Hollywood has run out of original ideas, it is also an intriguing project. While it will certainly borrow elements from the groundbreaking 1984 film, with the characters serving analogously in their roles within the original film’s basic framework, we should expect an entirely original interplay between the new team that will hopefully transcend the perceived notion that it will rely on the gimmick of gender reversal.
The yet-to-be-titled Ghostbusters reboot looks to swap "The Keymaster" for "The Gatekeeper" when it makes its first housecall to theaters on July 22, 2016.