What brings a throng of khaki-uniformed, proton-blaster-toting fans to Hollywood Boulevard? Why, “Ghostbusters,” of course.
Thirty-two years after the original rocked the boulevard, and the world, the do-over was back for its premiere at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre.
The remake had been creating waves for months before Saturday’s premiere, largely because Sony and director Paul Feig were bringing a female-powered cast to the reboot. Some fans of the original grumbled that nothing could live up to the 1984 film, starring Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. But the opening night crowd seemed more than happy with the 21st century teaming led by Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.
“It’s a classic property and people guard it,” Feig said on the red carpet. “To make a new version and honor that feeling that people had for the original, I felt I had to just get the four funniest people I could. And that’s what I did.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tom Rothman called the night “really special.” He previously had welcomed the furor about the female cast, saying he thought it would boost interest in the film. “It’s an entertaining comedy, but it’s now also an important part of the social conversation,” he said. “And you don’t get that combination too often.”
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Even academia was out to cheer the film. Stacy L. Smith, director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, praised the new “Ghostbusters” for depicting women in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“We see a dearth of women in these roles in films,” Smith said, citing a study that reviewed more than 200 films and found none with women in the STEM fields. “So I wanted to be here to support them when they got it right.”
Out on the boulevard and inside the theater, some of the biggest cheers went up when stars of the original film appeared. Feig found cameo spots for Murray, Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and even a visual hat tip to Ramis, who died two years ago of an autoimmune disease. McKinnon, the “Saturday Night Live” star, said the cast and crew would have to wait to see how the film performed, but that she was ready for a third “Ghostbusters,” adding: “That would be a dream.”