Why The Ghostbusters Trailer Was Confusing, According To Melissa McCarthy

The Ghostbusters reboot has been one of the most controversial film topics since the idea for it was announced. When the trailer hit, it did little to alleviate the fears that many fans of the original franchise had. Now, even one of the new film’s stars has come out and said that the trailer was more than a little confusing because it made the movie look more like a sequel, and less like the reboot that it is.

Melissa McCarthy appeared on the Johnjay & Rich radio show where she was asked about the trailer for Ghostbusters. Due to the fact that the trailer opened with a reference to the original film 30 years ago, it gave the distinct impression that the movie would be a sequel to the first. This seemed odd, as anybody who had paid attention would know that the plan was for the new movie to start over. For her part, McCarthy herself was also confused by this.

It's a reboot, not a remake. I know it's weird that they say [in the trailer] ‘30 years ago,’ but in this movie it's like the first one didn't happen. It's a great story but told totally differently. It's the same thing of four unlikely heroes, it's in New York City, ghosts are taking over. It's the same classic story, but it's not a '30 years later.’ … Believe me, the question was asked. I think it's very confusing."

Movie trailers are often created more by the studios than by the filmmakers, and as such it’s not all that surprising if there has been a bit of marketing slight of hand here. More than likely, the folks over at Sony wanted to trade on the popularity of the original movie as much as possible, and so made sure that the trailer referenced it, even though the new Ghostbusters does not actually rely on the original in any way. It’s frustrating, however, as some that don’t follow movie news regularly might go into the theater in July expecting a direct sequel. It’s not the only time that Sony has done this. A recent "advertisement" Sony released online for selling proton packs makes a reference to Dr. Egon Spengler, Harold Ramis’ character from the first Ghostbusters.

If anything, this complete lack of understanding from Melissa McCarthy might be good news for those who didn’t care for the trailer. If this thing was so poorly put together that even the stars didn’t recognize it, maybe that means there’s a chance the movie is much better than the trailer implies. Maybe? It could happen, right?

This isn’t the first time this year that a star has had to disavow the trailer for their own film. A couple of months ago Simon Pegg publicly criticized the trailer for Star Trek Beyond, a film he helped write, because it made the film out to be much more of an action blockbuster than a traditional Star Trek movie.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.