Ghostbusters Reboot Director Paul Feig Reflects on the "Assault" From Online Trolls

Countless classic films have been rebooted, revived, and reimagined over the years, but almost as soon as it was announced, the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters from director Paul Feig earned tremendous amounts of harassment directed at the cast and crew, with the filmmaker recently noting how it felt like he was back in grade school getting bullied. While the film was a moderate success both critically and financially, the passionate attacks from trolls online against the mere concept of a revival mired it in controversy from the earliest stages of development, with last year's Ghostbusters: Afterlife attempting to bring the franchise back to its roots by continuing the narrative of the first two films.

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter what he learned from the experience of making the reboot, Feig explained, "That a lot of people have a lot of passionate opinions and the internet allows them to directly express those opinions to you. It was a tense time in our nation's history, and I think we got caught in the middle of that. Had it been a few years earlier or later, I don't know if it would've hit like that. It was hard to absorb -- and quite an assault for me because I'd always had such a lovely relationship with the internet. It just took me back to grade school and bullies. The bummer is that all we did was try to make a movie to make people laugh. Suddenly it became political, and it escalated out of control."

Understandably, enduring that type of harassment would surely be enough to make someone want to abandon the internet completely, with Feig noting the complicated connection he has with social media. He also made sure to point out, however, that the harassment he endured doesn't make him regret making the movie.

After being asked if he had considered deleting social media, the filmmaker confessed, "Constantly. But it's a necessary evil. I've got two million followers on Twitter. It's really hard to let go of that. When you work with studios, they want you to have that outreach. And I don't disagree. And I love that movie, by the way. I'll never be sorry that I made it."

The 2016 reboot recently earned some attention due to the home video release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife including an "ultimate" collection, which only included Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and Afterlife on physical discs, though the reboot was included as a Digital HD download.