‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Director Paul Feig Defends Leslie Jones, Comments on New Film

Ghostbusters director Paul Feig is defending reboot star Leslie Jones, who criticized Sony’s decision to abandon that iteration of the franchise in favor of a Jason Reitman-directed Ghostbusters 3.

“An absolute honest to God never ending supply of bullsh-t and hate from these trolls. Leslie spoke her truth and I support her,” Feig tweeted Monday.

“I am very open to Jason’s new version of GB but am also sad that our 2016 team may not get to bust again. We all are. We’re forever proud of our movie.”

When reacting to news of the new film on Saturday, Jones tweeted the decision to sidestep a sequel to 2016’s Ghostbusters in favor of a return to the original continuity was “so insulting” and “such a dick move.”

In a subsequent tweet, Jones defended and clarified her comments, worrying a second redo carries the message “boys are better.”

Jones faced backlash for the initial Jan. 19 tweet that inspired more than 6,000 comments.

Feig’s reboot, which featured Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon as the founding team of Ghostbusters, faced heavy criticism for its all-female team and its start-from-scratch approach that stood separate from the continuity established in 1984’s Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II.

The new film, unveiled by Sony Pictures just days ago, will reportedly center around a team of four teenaged male and female Ghostbusters.

Original franchise star Ernie Hudson, who played everyman Winston Zeddemore, told the Daily Mail “everybody is in” — suggesting he’ll reunite with co-stars Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray as supporting players in the new project. The stars appeared separately in the reboot, playing bit roles unconnected to their famed Ghostbusters characters.

Feig said in April he would “love” to reassemble his cast and return for a sequel, acknowledging such a decision is “really up to the studio.”

The reboot grossed just over $229 million in the summer of 2016, resulting in a reported $70+ million loss for Sony. Industry experts quickly pegged the underperformance as a key indicator Sony wasn’t likely to move forward with a sequel.

Co-creator and series producer Akyroyd, who serves alongside original director Ivan Reitman as co-head of Ghost Corps — Sony’s Ghostbusters-focused production company — previously blamed Feig for the reboot’s inflated budget, remarking in June 2017 the filmmaker would not be tapped for future installments.

“I was really happy with the movie, but it cost too much. And Sony does not like to lose money, they don’t. It made a lot of money around the world but just cost too much, making it economically not feasible to do another one. So that’s too bad,” Aykroyd said on Britain’s Channel 4.

“The director, he spent too much on it. He didn’t shoot scenes we suggested to him and several scenes that were going to be needed and he said ‘Nah, we don’t need them.’ Then we tested the movie and they needed them and he had to go back. About $30 to $40 million in reshoots. So he will not be back on the Sony lot any time soon.”

“I think it kind of hampered us a little bit because the movie became so much of a cause,” Feig previously told Vulture. “I think for some of our audience, they were like, ‘What the f–k? We don’t wanna go to a cause. We just wanna watch a f—kin’ movie.’”

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He added, “It was a great regret in my life that the movie didn’t do better, ’cause I really loved it. It’s not a perfect movie. None of my movies are perfect. I liked what we were doing with it. It was only supposed to be there to entertain people.”

Reitman’s Ghostbusters project is dated summer 2020.