ENTERTAINMENT

'Ghostbusters' Reboot Director Blames 2016 Election For Backlash To Female-Led Movie

Paul Feig also recalled Donald Trump's Instagram rant blasting the new version, which starred Leslie Jones and Melissa McCarthy.

Paul Feig, who directed 2016’s “Ghostbusters” reboot, believes America’s divisive political climate is to blame for that film’s failure to catch on at the box office. 

Appearing on Jess Cagle’s SiriusXM show last week, Feig recalled the criticism his gender-swapped version of the beloved franchise received even before it hit theaters. 

“Some really brilliant author or researcher or sociologist needs to write a book about 2016 and how intertwined we were with Hillary [Clinton] and the anti-Hillary movement,” he said. “Everyone was at a boiling point. I don’t know if it was having an African American president for eight years that teed them up. They were just ready to explode.”

Catch Paul Feig’s SiriusXM interview below.  

More than a year before he was elected president, Donald Trump posted a video to Instagram ripping into Hollywood’s decision to “make ‘Ghostbusters’ with only women.” 

In hindsight, Feig believes Trump’s remarks had a lasting impact on the film, which earned a reported $229 million worldwide but failed to turn a profit. 

“By the time I announced I was going to do it, it started,” he said. “It’s crazy how people got nuts about women trying to be in power or be in positions they weren’t normally in. It was an ugly, ugly year.” 

Starring Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig, 2016’s “Ghostbusters” earned strong reviews. Its female-centric casting, however, emerged as a point of contention well ahead of release. When the film’s first trailer dropped, it became one of the most disliked on YouTube.  

Fortunately, Feig is on the creative rebound these days. The director, who scored hits with 2011’s “Bridesmaids” and 2018’s “A Simple Favor,” is currently at work on “Dark Army,” a horror film he’s described as “one of my favorite scripts I’ve ever written.” 

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