Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott's Ghostbusters Theme Song Is "Not Afraid" to Try Something New

Reboot stars Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig

By Zach Johnson Jun 23, 2016 2:45 PMTags

The Ghostbusters reboot comes with a rebooted theme song, natch.

Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott teamed up for "Ghostbusters (I'm Not Afraid)," inspired by Ray Parker, Jr.'s original, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. Parker's theme was nominated for the Best Original Song at the 57th Annual Academy Awards, but it lost to Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from Gene Wilder's movie The Woman in Red

The boys of Fall Out Boy— drummer Andy Hurley, vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump, guitarist Joe Trohman and bassist Pete Wentz—put their own rock 'n roll spin on the track, while Elliott gives it some hip-hop flavor. Wentz tweeted June 2, "crossed one off the kid dream bucket list by covering Ray Parker theme with missy Elliot verse." Other album contributors include Elle King, Eazy feat. Jeremih, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pentatonix, Walk the Moon and Wolf Alice.

 Director Paul Feig cast four women as the ectoplasm exterminators: Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig. McCarthy was a fan of the original film, telling The New York Times, "I loved everybody in it, and to see them come together in this strange, funny, heroic way. I love unlikely-hero stories—people that can't necessarily do something, then struggle and achieve it." Jones loved it, too, and she related to one actor in particular. "Bill Murray was just so funny to me—there wasn't anything spooking him. Even when stuff happened, he would crack a joke," the actress said. "And I was like, 'Oh, that's how I would be."

Feig began working on the script several years agowith Katie Dippold, but not with any particular actresses in mind. "We wanted to figure out how to get that dynamic right. Why was the original successful? Obviously the idea is great, but it was because of the chemistry of those four guys and the people around them," he explained. "I [thought], 'I've got to get the funniest people who have different comedic energies but are still united in a similar sense of humor.'"

Leslie Jones Dishes on "Surreal" "Ghostbusters" Reboot

Regarding those who argued the franchise shouldn't have been rebooted, he said, "Everything ever made in Hollywood since the beginning of time is a cash grab. That's why the original Ghostbusters existed. It wasn't an altruistic thing. Studios make movies to make money, and filmmakers try to make something that will entertain an audience while trying to make money for the studio."

The backlash took many of the cast members by surprise. "When we did this reboot, I thought Ghostbusters fans would be so excited: 'They've got the new technology—the ghosts are going to look real now.' These kids are not going to get the jokes that Bill and [Dan Aykroyd] told," Jones said. "There has to be a new story." A subset of moviegoers were upset that four women would be front and center, which confounded the cast. "There's a weird replacement phenomenon, a fear that if you put two women in, two men come out. I don't know why that viscerally affects certain people. It's not how I ever think," McCarthy said. "If I see four men, I'm not like, 'Well, those are four jobs women didn't get.' Great for them. There's room for everybody."

Feig is happy to give women a chance to shine onscreen. "I just want it to be the new normal, where it doesn't matter anymore. The whole 'chick-flick' idea is an excuse for guys not to have to see something. It's what I consider to be a derogatory title. I try with my movies to go: Look how funny these people are. Guys were taken to see Bridesmaids, which looked like the ultimate chick flick to them, and they all came out like, 'Oh my God, that's so funny.'"

Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15.

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