Sony through its Columbia subsidiary released the first trailer of the updated Ghostbusters film that will be in theatre later in the summer of 2016. I knew the movie would not be for me when I read brief comments about it on Twitter. Having finally watched the trailer, I know this is one movie that seemed tailored for me that I will not be seeing.
Sony has received a lot of backlash for making all of the main protagonists, women in this film. When you think about it, most people never saw anything wrong with the all-male cast of the original. But this becomes contentious when the tables are flipped. This is a bold move for Sony, even though an all-female cast will limit the appeal of the film with some viewers. But the flip to an all-female lead’s cast is not what is wrong with Ghostbusters.
The main problem this film has is the veiled attempt to recast the entire concept similar archetypes as those in the first two movies. The best example of this failed initiative is the casting of black actress Leslie Jones, as an everywoman to the three other white members of the team who all have PhDs. Just like the original Ghostbusters movies from the 1980s where the lone black member Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore) was without any particular degrees or expertise, Leslie Jones’ Patty Tolan is a subway driver.
It’s 2016 but black actors continue to play second fiddle or the funny sidekick parts in Hollywood movies. While Ghostbusters attempted to be progressive with an all-female cast, it lost all of its goodwill by typecasting the one black actress. I’m not interested in supporting a movie whose creators callously miss opportunities to be relevant and genuinely forward-thinking.