We’ve seen the new uniforms. We’ve seen the new proton packs. We’ve seen the new Ecto-1. (Check here if you haven’t.) We’ve seen leaked on-set images. But this is our first official glimpse of the new Ghostbusters cast in full get-up.
My first thought was “Wow, they look so badass!” Then my second thought was “Wait, do they really need to look so badass?” Then my thoughts ran in circles:
“Of course they do! Look at them; they’re badass Ghostbusters!”
“But the original cast didn’t need to look badass; Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd were practically cartoon characters.”
“Why are you comparing this to the original? It’s a completely different cast with what looks like a completely different take.”
“Completely different? I don’t think so.”
“Reboot… remake… homage… tribute… whatever. It looks awesome!”
“Well, yeah. Yeah, it does.”
I mean, it’s kind of stupid to judge a movie by a single promotional image, but you can’t deny that this looks all kinds of awesome.
As an experiment, I showed the image to both of my kids (4-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl)–neither of whom have seen the original movies. My daughter could immediately identify them as Ghostbusters since she has friends who have cosplayed as Venkman and Stantz. Neither of my kids had a very strong reaction to the image beyond being very interested and wanting to see the movie. Both want to see it, but neither one (boy or girl) cares that the lineup is all female.
Most kids today don’t come with the baggage many adults do. They can love both sets of Ghostbusters and not even care what gender they are. They can see a movie with Chris Hemsworth as Thor and then pick up a book and see that Thor is a woman. They can love characters in Star Wars that break the traditional gender molds. (Seriously, my son adores Captain Phasma even though he knows it’s a woman under that armor, and my daughter finally has an incredibly strong female character – Rey – to admire and emulate in her favorite franchise.)
It’s just storytelling. These are just characters and stories to them, and kids don’t have any preconceived notions of what anything “should” be or how anyone’s “supposed” to look.
So I’m excited for Paul Feig’s new Ghostbusters. My kids are excited. My daughter’s friends (the little cosplayers) are excited.