Earlier this week we got our first real look at Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters reboot when the initial trailer dropped in our laps. And we got even more footage thanks to the subsequent international trailer that followed shortly thereafter. One thing that was obvious at first glance is that this movie contains a ton of callbacks to the classic 1984 paranormal investigating comedy. According to Feig, the new movie had to include these, because he and co-writer Katie Dippold know that fans would be pissed if they weren’t.
After the release of the Ghostbusters trailer, Paul Feig sat down with Empire Magazine and broke it down in great detail. When the topic of why there were so many nods and references to the original, the writer and director said:
It was very important to Katie Dippold and I to have all the most iconic things from the original films in. The first thing Katie said was, as a fan of the film there are some things I’d be bummed and pissed if they weren’t a part of the movie. Right at the top of the movie is Ecto-1. At the same time, we want to make it our own. I have a love of that 70s and 80s big boat car, that period when they were very angular. I’m from Detroit, so it was a Cadillac. It’s a cool look, it’s reminiscent of the original one but it gives it its own feel.
For those of you who are fans of the 1984 Ghostbusters, as I know many, many of you are, there is quite a number of references to that film to be found in both trailers. Just from the very beginning, you get the notes from Ray Parker Jr.’s iconic theme song, though this subdued, maudlin version is something quite different from up beat 1980s pop jam you’re used to. But don’t worry, it kicks up in due time.
The very concept of Ghostbusters, a quartet of wacky paranormal investigators battling ill-tempered spirits, is, of course, borrowed from the earlier film, but there’s much more. As Paul Feig mentions, Ecto-1 is there, but you’ve also got the iconic jumpsuits the heroes wear, their proton packs, and a logo that you’ve seen before. There’s even a an appearance from the fan favorite spook Slimer and an updated "I’ve been slimed" moment. Check out the trailer below.
While all of these and more are present, and obvious throwbacks, all of these elements and moments have been tweaked and altered. For instance, the "slimed" scene plays not only as an homage to the moment where Slimer slimes Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman, but also the scene early in the film where the ghost shows up in the library and causes havoc. This has been modified even further, as the setting is now a haunted mansion, not a library.
This fan service is all well and good, but the sheer amount of it has caused some concern that Ghostbusters will be little more than a rehash of the original. It’s a fine line between honoring what came before and playing to what fans love, and straight up aping the source material. Granted, these are still just our earliest looks, and there’s a lot more to the movie than the few minutes we’ve seen. We’ve yet to witness what Paul Feig, Katie Dippold, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon really bring to the table.
We’ll see how it all plays out for ourselves when Ghostbusters haunts theaters starting July 15.