Original “Ghostbusters” co-star and co-writer Dan Aykroyd has given his blessing to a highly publicized reboot of the franchise featuring four female comedians in the lead roles.
“The Aykroyd family is delighted by this inheritance of the Ghostbuters torch by these most magnificent women in comedy,” Aykroyd wrote in a statement to msnbc. “My great grandfather, Dr. Sam Aykroyd, the original Ghostbuster, was a man who empowered women in his day and this is a beautiful development in the legacy of our family business.”
On Tuesday, the new project’s director Paul Feig, who also directed “Bridesmaids,” sparked a social media explosion when he tweeted the images of four stars circling a new “Ghostbusters” film: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
Reaction was overwhelmingly positive, save for a few male tweeters who accused the film’s production company, Sony, of “pandering” to feminists by changing the gender makeup of the classic comedy.
Aykroyd, who has been trying to get a third “Ghostbusters” film off the ground featuring the original cast members for years, has not said whether he will have any involvement in the Feig project.
The original 1984 “Ghostbusters” still ranks as one of the highest grossing comedies of all time, and its 1989 sequel was also a profitable release for Sony. Still, the face most commonly associated with the franchise, actor Bill Murray, has steadfastly stated that he doesn’t want to make another one. When Sony was hacked allegedly by North Koreans last year, it was revealed that the studio had even contemplated trying to legally force Murray to play some sort of role in a reboot.
That said, Murray has wholeheartedly endorsed an all-female version of “Ghostbusters” in the past. Murray told Access Hollywood last fall, “It sounds as good an idea as any other! There are a lot of women that could scare off any kind of vapor!”
He later told The Toronto Star that ”Melissa [McCarthy] would be a spectacular Ghostbuster,” and added, “Kristen Wiig is so funny — God, she’s funny!”Hacked Sony emails also revealed that the studio were hoping to cast McCarthy in the film, but this week’s reveal that Wiig and current “Saturday Night Live” cast members Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones may be included came as something of a pleasant surprise to fans.
“Notably, if you were casting a new Ghostbusters movie without any regard for gender, you couldn’t get much funnier than those four humans,” tweeted Michael Schur, the co-creator of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”
“Bustin’ has always made me feel good, but today more than ever,” added “Late Night” host Seth Meyers on Twitter.
The film is still in the development stages, but producers reportedly want to start shooting it this summer in New York City.