The first trailer for Paul Feig‘s “Ghostbusters” debuted online Thursday morning and Sony is so bullish on the big-budget reboot that it invited approximately 150 reporters and hardcore fans to the studio lot on Wednesday for an early peek, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.
Director Paul Feig, co-writer Katie Dippold and producer Ivan Reitman turned out for the event, which was (proton) packed with dozens of ‘Ghostheads’ wearing homemade costumes and “Ghostbusters” gear — many of whom flew to Los Angeles to see the trailer just one day before the rest of the world.
Clearly, “Star Wars” isn’t the only resurrected franchise to have a passionate, dedicated fan base. In fact, more than any other franchise, “Ghostbusters” is my “Star Wars.” From what I saw in this first trailer, which had to establish four new characters (Leslie Jones stands out) while tweaking the original concept and scare you with ghosts while making you laugh, the franchise is in good hands.
“This could not be more nerve-wracking, showing you guys this,” said Feig, who was told he had won the coveted job in the midst of directing “Spy.” That was one of just a few things revealed at Wednesday’s Q&A session. Read below for six of the best tidbits.
1. Slimer is back… and he’s not alone!
While his appearance was up for debate in some corners, the trailer does offer a brief glimpse of everyone’s favorite gluttonous green ghost. Dan Aykroyd initially developed “Ghostbusters” as a starring vehicle for himself and fellow Blues Brother John Belushi. After Belushi died in 1982, Aykroyd wanted to honor his friend with “the Belushi ghost.” Of course, no one was quite sure what that meant, other than the fact that the ghost would “eat a lot.”
Feig said that “you’re going to see all types of ghosts,” and that as far as “Ghostbusters” iconography goes, most of the things that fans of the series want to see will “show up in one way or another.” We’ll see whether that includes any Terror Dogs.
2. There’s no clear leader among this fierce foursome.
Every team needs its leader, but there appears to be some tension between Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig over who is the true alpha of this (proton) pack. What is clear is that Leslie Jones is the outsider on the team as its only non-scientist. She knows New York better than the rest of the group, plus she has a car. Or a hearse. Same thing, right?
3. Ghosts can possess human form in the new “Ghostbusters.”
The main ghost is “basically a humanoid,” said Feig, who explained that he didn’t want a CG villain because he doesn’t like his actors working with tennis balls. “We’re playing with ghost imagery in a way that hasn’t been done before,” boasted the director.
Feig noted that the actress playing the ghost at the beginning of the trailer wore an LED suit and was hoisted in the air to actually look down upon the Ghostbusters as a real apparition would.
4. Someone controls a device that amplifies paranormal activity.
Now this is an intriguing development in the “Ghostbusters” universe. Someone or something can control how many ghosts need busting at any given time, so they can make life especially difficult for our heroes, not to mention the rest of New York City.
That device could make an interesting maguffin that the franchise hasn’t really seen before. Just think about the supernatural havoc one could wreak.
5. Melissa McCarthy was not a shoo-in to star in “Ghostbusters.”
McCarthy is a gifted physical comedienne who starred in Feig’s “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat” and “Spy,” but that doesn’t mean she was just handed the role. Feig said he and Katie Dippold didn’t write with any actors in mind and that to him, it was about finding the right chemistry among the group.
The director said that’s how Maya Rudolph was cast in “Bridesmaids” — she and Kristen Wiig are close friends in real life, so it just made sense. Who could play her friend better than her real life friend. It’s a pretty good argument, you have to admit.
6. Multiple versions of the “Ghostbusters” song will be heard in the film.
Feig insisted that we’ll hear Ray Parker Jr.’s classic “Ghostbusters” song — both the original and new versions. I’m glad he’s paying homage to one of the iconic elements of the franchise.
Feig is reuniting with Teddy Shapiro, who composed the fun score for “Spy.” “He’s doing an amazing theme that will be big, spooky, gothic and cool,” said Feig.