It was with puffy eyes and groggy minds that Hypable writers Selina and Harri arrived at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, London. Starting the day at 4 A.M. to arrive at Leavesden by 10:00, we were obviously feeling weary – but none of that mattered. As the shuttle bus (plastered with pictures of Diagon Alley) pulled out of the lay-by, we were greeted by the comforting sound of “Hedwig’s Theme” and watched by the towering Wizards’ Chess pieces that guarded the entrance. Any fatigue instantly dissolved and was replaced with bubbling excitement and anticipation.

Note: This review contains spoilers for the tour setup.

 

It was over eight months ago now that J.K. Rowling told us Hogwarts would always be there to welcome us home. For any witch or wizard, arriving at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter will feel like returning home after a long time away.

When the doors of the Great Hall swung open, we embarked on a journey of wonder and magic. Yes, magic. It may be one of the most clichéd (and least imaginative) words anyone could use to describe a behind-the-scenes tour of the Harry Potter studios, but, trust us, it’s the only one that can even begin to explain the experience.

Sure, it’s not perfect. There is a bit of a clunky start, with the forced video introduction from Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint (some dodgy dialogue and clear reluctance on their part made it all a bit awkward), but once the tour suddenly and brilliantly kicks off, the real enchantment begins: goblin faces, floating candles, portraits, potions, pets, stunning Yule Ball gowns and so much more.

Experience everything you love about the films, from memorable sets like the Great Hall, the Gryffindor Common Room, Dumbledore’s office, and Diagon Alley to breathtaking props like Ron’s howler, U-NO-POO, the Marauder’s Map and Harry’s Hogwarts letter. Everything is handled with such care and consideration, even tiny papers that never appear on screen are faithful to the continuity and have artistic merit. When you aren’t staring open-mouthed at the craftsmanship, you can be riding a broom, sipping a Butterbeer or magically chopping carrots at the Burrow.

We want to focus now one some specific parts of the tour that we absolutely loved. There are also a few areas we feel have room for improvement – but don’t worry, WB, we’ve got you covered with our brilliant suggestions!

 

Top 5 reasons to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tours

#1: The staff
This sounds weird, but one of the best things about seeing the sets of Harry Potter is the presence of the staff members. We might just be cynical Europeans, of course, but neither of us had ever experienced such pleasant and consistently friendly treatment – even the guy behind the Starbucks counter in the foyer wanted to know all about our tour! Every member of staff was eager to get our input on the tour and hear about our personal experiences with Harry Potter, and they also had interesting stories of their own to share. One story in particular stuck with us: manning the Yule Ball section of the big room of sets was a former extra on the films! He’d come from one of the local schools, and, according to him, had spent more time being a Hogwarts student than an actual student! But he’d loved every bit of it, and when he realised he could continue to work within the fandom, he jumped at the chance. Another member of staff revealed to us that they’re actually quizzed on their Harry Potter trivia and that they’ve had extensive training by the actual set and visual effects designers to make sure they are absolute experts on how it all came together. They aren’t messing around. These people are professional Harry Potter fans. New dream job?
 

#2: Diagon Alley and Hogwarts
We both felt that the tour got better and better as it went on, and some of the final areas took our breath away. First there’s Diagon Alley, with its incredibly detailed shop windows. We probably walked up and down the street a dozen times, just because we could, and there was always more to discover! McMullpepper’s Apothecary almost made us wish Pottermore was working again, with all the incredible ingredients we could stir into our potions, and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment was packed with trinkets (“bits and bobs for doing your wizardry,” eh??) that we really wish had been available in the gift shop! The best windows to peek through are probably those of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Flourish & Blotts, though. An incredible Gilderoy Lockhart display fills up the latter, and you know all about the Weasley products – only this time they are right in front of you! If only we’d have been able to enter some of these shops… but maybe some day they’ll expand the accessibility. The only reason we managed to tear ourselves away from Diagon Alley though was because of what awaited in the next room: Hogwarts. Scaled down of course, but still absolutely massive. And unbelievably real. We stood there in silence for a good 20 minutes, squinting to make it seem like we were really seeing Hogwarts. The detail of this model is unreal, and seeing it really encapsulates how the movies have brought this incredible story to life.
 

Selina's going to Ollivander's!

#3: Butterbeer and the gift shop
Yeah, we’re materialistic suckers! Anyone who’s been to the Wizarding World in Orlando has already experienced something similar to this, of course – although we CAN confirm that the chocolate used for the frogs is British, not American (and therefore more yummy, in our opinion) – but we were overwhelmed. The butterbeer, which is available halfway through the tour, was probably what we had been looking forward to the most, and it didn’t disappoint! Although it wasn’t served in the iconic pints (hint: we wish it could have been!), the froth was delicious and the drink itself lightly sparkling and sweet, just like J.K. Rowling likes it! And the gift shop, that was an experience in itself. There was just so much to see, we’re sure we missed a lot in our quest for souvenirs. Iconic props lined the shelves along with the merchandise, and we almost missed things like the stained glass window from Goblet of Fire and the lamps from Slughorn’s party in Half-Blood Prince! We also didn’t feel that the merchandise was unreasonably priced. Most of the typical souvenirs like Quaffles, Hedwigs, mugs, and notebooks ranged from about £7-£20, and the candy went for about £2.50-£9. There was definitely something to pick up for everyone, even those who only wanted a small token to remember the trip by. Of course, there were also the pricier items, like a replica of the Sword of Gryffindor, a chess set and a Horcrux ring (something for your Great Hall wedding, perhaps??), and lots more. We tried to control ourselves and just bought some candy (it was like someone was whispering “Anything off the trolley, dears?” into our ears), but there were so many things it would have been amazing to own. Like cuddly Pygmy Puffs (if Selina could have remembered whether Arnold was purple or pink, she definitely would have got one for herself!).
 

#4: The display cases
Easily one of the tour’s highlights are the display cases littered throughout studios J and K (the lettering a total coincidence, we were told). All the small artifacts that were created for the films can be studied in acute detail, allowing fans to take in things that they couldn’t see in the movies. Staring at the Horcruxes, reading Lily’s letter to Sirius, looking at Hogwarts through the Marauders Map or reading an article from The Quibbler are just a small selection of the things you can do. We could have easily spent several hours giggling, gasping and gawking at the little touches like Cheeri-Owls cereal, the Yule Ball invitations and Dumbledore’s will. While the inability to observe the sets in as much detail was a disappointment, the props are a magical treat in their own right.

 

#5: The special effects room
After a Butterbeer and a photo in the Ford Anglia or aboard the Knight Bus, visitors start the second leg of the tour in the Special FX/Creatures room. House elves, goblins, mer-people, Fawkes, and even the corpse of Harry and unconscious dummies of Draco, Ron and George stand eerily around you. If you can peel yourself away from these amazing and life-like models for just a moment, you will be treated to a video from Warwick Davies and the Creature Department that shows you exactly how everything was assembled and used. A display case in the centre allows you to push buttons that make Hedwig turn her head or the Voldemort fetus struggle for breath. Go through an archway, and you are face to face with Aragog, staring into the eyes of the Basilisk and looking up at a scaled model of the Hungarian Horntail. Finally, you can bow to Buckbeak and hope that he graciously lowers his head to you. That isn’t even half of it – the Creature room is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

 

Tips for improvement

#1: More time in the Great Hall
The first official stop on the tour is also one of the film’s most iconic sets – The Great Hall. With an introduction to compliment it in the greatest (pun intended) and most surprising ways imaginable that we won’t spoil for you here, it’s safe to say you really are plunged into the Wizarding World head first. The set itself lives up to even the highest of expectations, with wonderful costumes and props from all of Harry’s years at Hogwarts, as well as tiny little details that you wouldn’t have noticed while watching the films. But it’s all over too quickly. By the time you’ve noticed hidden House crests, or tried to take a fleeting picture with Dumbledore’s eagle-podium you’re being rushed along to the next step of the tour. Understandably, there are plenty of other groups that need to see the Hall, but the beginning of this wonderful experience feels rushed. In fairness, the rest of the tour is unguided and you are free to spend as much time as you like gawking at the names on portraits and inspecting every coloured bottle you find. It just feels that, being the largest and most overwhelming stop on the tour, it would’ve been nice to have the chance to soak it all up.
 

#2: Such detailed sets, why hide them away?
The tour may be called The Making of Harry Potter, but what’s wrong with letting visitors explore some more of the sets? The detailed exhibits on how the props, costumes and sets were designed, made, and used are undeniably fascinating. But fans can only explore Diagon Alley and (fleetingly) the Great Hall in any close capacity. The rest are fenced off so that you can only peer into your favourite magical places instead of walking through them.  It is important that everything is kept clean and undamaged, but, without being able to see everything, visitors can never truly appreciate the hard work that was put into crafting the series. An example of this is Dumbledore’s office. We could just about see what looked like the Headmaster’s living quarters behind the main study, and since we never saw this in the films it would have been amazing to finally see it now. But with only one vantage point, all we could really see was an abundance of green and purple velvet cushions. perhaps with the set walls expanded and a walkway put in place (as was done with Diagon Alley), we would have been able to see everything without actually touching it.
 

#3: More photo opportunities
While you are able to take pictures throughout the tour, one of the things the museum-like setup doesn’t allow for is for fans to really get in and experience the story. Of course we get that they can’t have thousands of feet and grabby hands all over everything every day, but only being able to watch the sets from afar is sometimes a bit like freeze-framing a scene from the movies (which you could do at home). One thing we think could improve the tour is to allow for visitors to take more organic, interactive pictures of themselves experiencing the sets. There are already several, great opportunities for this, like getting your picture taken on a broom (see above! Magic is real you guys) or having your face put on an Azkaban poster, and outside you can get pictures in the Ford Anglia and on the Knight Bus, but this could be taken even further. You can’t get up to the actual owl pedestal Dumbledore uses in the Great Hall, so how about making a replica and making a space for it on the side, for fans to get on and strike their best “Weeeelcome, weeelcome!” pose? Also, one of the biggest dreams of most Harry Potter fans is to sit in the Gryffindor common room (or any of the common rooms, actually), and while this can’t happen, perhaps an armchair could be placed in front of the display, so anyone who sat in it would look like they were actually in the room. Just small things like that would really improve the interactivity and give the experience a more hands-on feel.

 

Personal notes

Selina: Being more of a book fan than a movie fan, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the tour really won me over – mostly because of the staff. I’ve never encountered such a nice group of people, and they really can’t get enough praise. I’d be curious to see them again after a few months, though; listening to “Hedwig’s Theme” over and over again would drive me up the wall within a week! Walking down Diagon Alley was incredible, and seeing Hogwarts was more emotional than I thought it’d be. But, for me, the very best thing about the tour was really random: I finally saw my name in canon! When I spotted it on the wall of portraits I think I let out a squee worthy of a Mandrake. But that’s okay, I was surrounded by people who got my geeky excitement! Introducing, what I shall henceforth claim is my name… Selina Sapworthy (and note: she’s a Gryffindor. Take that, Pottermore!). I’m curious to see what expansions they’ve got planned though. I really felt the absence of sets like the Slytherin common room, the Room of Requirement and the Owlery, and it’d be great to have more areas you could actually walk through (like Diagon Alley) as opposed to just walk by. But all in all, I had an amazing time!

Harri: The Leavesden Harry Potter tour is an informative, rewarding and touching experience for fans of the films and books. If you’re a hardcore fan, you won’t find out much more about the making of the films then you didn’t already know through interviews and DVD featurettes – but the interactive and immersive nature of the tour is worth it. There is so much to see and do that one visit doesn’t seem enough. The official guide estimates that visitors will spend about three hours in the tour. Selina and I spent five hours going around, and even then we wanted to go straight back in to study everything that we might have missed the first time through which can only say good things for the tour. The atmosphere, staff, and Butterbeer were some of my personal highlights. If you have any doubts about going, don’t worry – you will love nearly every second. But look carefully, there is so much there that you can miss some amazing pieces just because they are hidden above doors or behind ticking clocks, and you won’t want to miss a thing!

 

Is it worth it?

One of the big questions we’ve been getting has been whether, when all is said and done, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is worth the £28 admissions fee (plus travel expenses). We came with no real expectations and left only with our arms full of chocolate frogs and camera batteries dead, but also with a deep feeling of having come that much closer to Hogwarts. If that’s what you’re looking to get out of this, then yes, it is absolutely worth it. In the words of J.K. Rowling (whose words are immortalized in the wand room), Hogwarts was there to welcome us home.

As far as getting to the studio, once you’re in London it’s really not that difficult. Trains leave regularly from Euston, and at Watford Junction station Mullany’s Buses operate a regular shuttle service to the Leavesden lot. They say the tour takes three hours – we were there for about five (the butterbeer kept us going!). There is so much to see, and rushing through it would be a huge mistake. We’re both already thinking about going back there, because we probably missed loads! Enter a room, turn and look up, and there’s Luna’s lion hat. Blink and you miss it.

If you do go, savour it. Spend ages inspecting all the props in the display cabinet and the windows in Diagon Alley. Imagine yourself at Hogwarts as you watch the lights change from night to day. Gaze at the incredibly detailed concept design artwork. Talk to the helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff who will tell you amazing stories about how the Harry Potter movies brought the magic to life. Keep calm and have a butterbeer.

We’ll leave you with this incredible piece of artwork by Adam Brockbank, depicting the Dumbledore funeral scene that should have been. It’s for insights like this that you want to explore the movie magic:

Tickets for the Studio Tour can be purchased on the official website.

The Harry Potter play Cursed Child opens in a week, and we’ve just got our first look at Ginny Potter née Weasley. But not everyone is impressed.

Harry Potter fans have long ago resigned themselves to the fact that Ginny Weasley, badass Quidditch superstar and Voldemort possession survivor, is doomed to exist on the fringes of the story.

Despite her undiluted badassery, Ginny floated on the edge of canon throughout the Harry Potter book series, and for this reason, there are unfortunately many fans who simply don’t see Ginny as anything other than Harry’s only heterosexual ticket into the OBHWF.

But while Hermione Granger (rightfully) takes up most of the spotlight as far as female representation is concerned, J.K. Rowling actually created an equally important female character in Ginny Weasley, despite — or maybe because — of her absence from Harry’s part of the story.

Related: 9 reasons why Ginny Weasley’s cooler than the movies give her credit for

Reading the book saga closely will reveal that Ginny Weasley was actually better than everyone (and she knew it). And the fact that she got to be such a quietly confident BAMF, without Harry ever being consciously aware of it (though clearly it made an impression!), definitely meant a lot to me as a young girl growing up Potter.

Ginny may not have been the Chosen One, or the Chosen One’s best friend, but she kicked ass — and continued to kick ass — whether or not anyone gave her credit for it.

Let’s recap the awesomeness of Ginny Weasley:

  • Ron may have been Harry’s best friend, but his little sister was the seventh Weasley child and the first girl in seven generations. Talk about your magic number!
  • By all accounts, she was an immensely powerful witch: Growing up with six brothers made her resilient and hard-working, and she seemed to have the same extraordinary raw talent as Fred and George (but she applied herself more).
  • She was possessed by Voldemort in her first year at Hogwarts, literally making her the only person even remotely qualified to understand what Harry was going through. This came to a head in Order of the Phoenix, when it was Ginny of all people who stood up to Harry and told him that he was being stupid.
  • She overcame her crush on Harry and went on to have a rich and interesting social life which didn’t involve him. When Harry finally noticed and fell in love with her, she didn’t let that slow her down.
  • She stood up for both Neville and Luna, clearly cool and self-confident enough not to care what anyone thought of her companions (unlike Harry, who was far more judgemental towards both Luna and Neville).
  • She was a professional Quidditch player, even taking Harry’s place as Seeker for a while before landing a spot as Chaser while still at Hogwarts.

For all this, Ginny never really amounted to the ‘fourth member of the trio’ fans might have hoped for ahead of Deathly Hallows. She didn’t join Harry, Ron and Hermione on the Horcrux hunt (solely because Harry wanted to ‘protect’ her), and yet her badassery continued to assert itself behind the scenes, as she joined Dumbledore’s Army at Hogwarts and fought in the ensuing battle.

To me, it always felt like the essence of Ginny, the soul of this character, simply would not be repressed no matter how much J.K. Rowling tried to bench her (and the benching in itself was not an issue; Ginny was never meant to be a main character, and as laid out above, it actually worked to her benefit).

Ginny Harry 2

But unfortunately, the Harry Potter movies have done a lot to undo the subtle ways in which Rowling empowered Ginny between the lines. With Ginny’s value in the story mostly inferred rather than expressly stated, it clearly became as easy of a subplot to trim away as Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party.

Ginny had hardly any presence in the movies at all, peaking in Chamber of Secrets (because they couldn’t completely ignore her in that one) and otherwise having only a few scattered, out-of-context moments of empowerment that still paled in comparison to the material given to characters like Fred and George, Draco, Luna, and Neville. Heck, even made-up character Nigel had more of a presence in the movies than Ginny did.

And of course it didn’t help that Bonnie Wright (who is a talented actress — check out After the Dark and see for yourself) had no chemistry with Dan Radcliffe, and that they gave the best Harry/Ginny moment of the series to Ron/Lavender for some inexplicable reason.

But still she married Harry, and still they had three kids (all of whom were named after people important to Harry, but alright). The One Big Happy Weasley Family prophecy came true, and all was well…

Until now. (Dun dun dunnn.)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens for previews in London next week, and everyone’s excited for the trio and their kids to return. Once again Ginny is getting second billing, not being announced as part of the main cast, but rather revealed a week before the show opens, along with a photograph of Poppy Miller in character:

ginny_potter_poppy_miller

There’s also a family portrait of Ginny, Harry and their son Albus, with Ginny holding on to her youngest son protectively (there’s that mother’s love again), kicking us in the feels because it’s pretty much exactly what Harry saw when he looked into the Mirror of Erised:

l-r Harry Potter (Jamie Parker), Albus Potter (Sam Clemmett), Ginny Potter (Poppy Miller)

And I actually love this. I love that Ginny is included (especially since, um, Harry’s other two kids are nowhere to be seen), front and center by Harry’s side.

As far as her clothes go, no, I’m not a fan. They remind me too much of movie-Ginny’s getup in the epilogue, and it’s just not what I’d imagine she’d wear. But it’s just an outfit; it doesn’t actually tell us anything about Ginny’s role in the play, so I’m not too worried about that.

What I am worried about is the fact that she’d be revealed here as part of Harry’s Erised fantasy. It’s doubtless we’ll see more character reveals over the coming days, and Harry will likely factor into more constellations (notably the Ron-Hermione-Harry group photo we’re all waiting for). Ginny probably won’t.

I’m worried that Ginny’s role in this story will amount to being Harry’s wife and Albus’ mom. Not that J.K. Rowling hasn’t full well established that The Power of Motherhood pretty much overrules everything else, but that’s not what Ginny is — or, rather, that’s not all she is. As much as I love Molly Weasley, Ginny represented a different kind of female character. I hope the play stays true to that.

ginny

As a long-time Ginny fan used to everyone overlooking and under-utilizing this fantastic character, I’m just desperately hoping now that the eighth Harry Potter story will give us the Ginny we know from the books, rather than her inferior on-screen counterpart. While Cursed Child isn’t and shouldn’t be about her, I’m hoping this is Ginny’s chance to reclaim some of the agency the movies robbed her of.

And call me an optimist, but I’m hopeful that this is exactly what Cursed Child is gonna give us. I trust that J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany don’t let the movies’ depiction of Ginny influence what is supposed to be the next installment of the book series.

In J.K. Rowling’s own words on Pottermore, Poppy Miller’s Ginny will be, “Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.” It’s not the bat-bogey hexing firecracker we know and love, but hey, everyone grows up, right? So even if we get just a couple of scenes with Ginny, let’s presume she’ll be her badass, Quidditch player self, and that she’ll be given space to exist in her own right, rather than as a prop in Harry’s perfect family.

She may not have been the most important character in Harry Potter, but she was my favorite, and Cursed Child has an opportunity to undo the damage the movies did to this fantastic, empowering heroine. Let’s hope they take it.

Are you looking forward to seeing Ginny Potter in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’?

Ever since ABC canceled Agent Carter, fans have been fighting to bring it back. Now, Hayley Atwell has joined the fight as well.

Agent Carter‘s cancellation left its fans devastated, but — just like Peggy Carter herself — they’re not about to give up without a fight.

ABC’s decision to cut ties with the ailing show, as well as choosing not to pick up Marvel’s Most Wanted, allegedly came as part of a programming overhaul led by new entertainment chief Channing Dungey. According to ScreenRant, Dungey wants to move away from serialized programming in favor of “close-ended episodic procedurals.”

But Agent Carter doesn’t need ABC. Agent Carter needs fan support, a new home, and some goodwill from Marvel.

It’s definitely got plenty of fans fighting for its renewal, with the Change.org petition Save Agent Carter having amassed over 110,000 signatures to date, and many other fan projects in the works to spread awareness for the show.

And, during a panel at MegaCon in Orlando over the weekend, star Hayley Atwell confirmed that she’d be down to reprise her role if the opportunity arose.

“YES. 100%. I love Peggy. I love the people working on this project. [It would be] a privilege and an honor to bring her back to the fans,” said Atwell, as quoted on Twitter. “I’d shoot on the weekends. Blue serum. Whatever it takes.”

Atwell isn’t the only star lending their voice to the movement. Bridget Regan (Dottie Underwood) RT’d the aforementioned petition on Twitter, and also wrote this short but important message:

Meanwhile Lotte Verbeek (Anna Jarvis) and Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) both attended the MCM London Comic-Con, and both had heartening words for Agent Carter fans.

Via Comic Book Resources, Verbeek told panel attendees, “You guys were just amazing supporting it and I’m sorry it got canceled. I feel like we’re kinda letting you guys down — but it wasn’t my decision, unfortunately.”

Cooper, arguably the most ‘unavailable’ of the bunch, has also confirmed that not only would he be down to reprise his role as Howard Stark, but he also sees “hope” for the cancelled series.

“There may be more story to tell, and what’s wonderful about streaming sites is that while it may have been the end of the road, now there’s hope that it might not be,” Cooper said during MCM (as quoted by CBR).

“I know James [D’Arcy] and Hayley, the fact that people have gotten behind it and want to see it return means a huge amount to them … I’m well up for doing more Howard Stark and I know they’re up for doing more of their characters, so fingers crossed.”

Related: Thank you, Agent Carter

But actor goodwill aside, the question still remains: Will a streaming site, whether it be Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, actually pick up Agent Carter?

It seems to us that, if nothing else, a one-off special (similar to the 2013 short that landed Peggy her TV series in the first place) or a limited series wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility — if Marvel actually acknowledges Peggy’s continued importance to the MCU, even after her canonical death in Captain America: Civil War.

Saving Agent Carer would be fan service in the most positive sense of the words, giving us the wrap-up Peggy’s story deserves and proving that Marvel, if not ABC, knows her value.

Here’s to more Agent Carter! Make it happen, TPTB!

Dan Aykroyd loves the new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie

As the "originator of the original," let's listen to him.

6:31 am EDT, May 31, 2016

Dan Aykroyd, star and creator of the original Ghostbusters, has seen the 2016 reboot. And he liked it.

“As originator of the original: Saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!”

This is what Dan Aykroyd wrote on his Facebook page. Evidently, he is very pleased with Paul Feig’s re-imagining of his 1980s comedy classic.

And this isn’t the first time he’s offered endorsement of the contentious reboot (which Aykroyd is also producing and cameoing in). Earlier this year, he wrote on Twitter:

Despite everyone and their father already having made up their minds about this particular reboot, all we’ve actually had to go on so far have been a few trailers, Paul Feig and the cast’s infectious enthusiasm, and generalized opinions about Hollywood reboots/the cast.

But now that test screenings are beginning to roll out, we can finally begin to get a real sense of what this movie is actually gonna be like.

And if anyone’s opinion should hold some clout, it’s Dan Aykroyd’s. He not only starred as one of the original Ghostbusters, but came up with the concept and co-wrote both of the previous films.

Of course his comments haven’t gone over well with everyone. When he says it has “more laughs and more scares” than Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 combined, many people have taken that to mean that he thinks the new one is better than the original — but it’s worth noting that that’s not actually what he said.

Related: New Ghostbusters trailer updates the title to Ghostbusters: Answer the Call

The original Ghostbusters (if not its sequel) was a masterpiece, and Aykroyd isn’t suggesting anything different. He’s merely suggesting that there’s a higher quantity of funny and scary scenes in the reboot. Which, knowing Paul Feig (who blew us away with Bridesmaids and Spy), makes a lot of sense.

The important takeaway here is that Aykroyd seems to genuinely enjoy the new Ghostbusters movie. Regardless of your feelings on the original, the new one can still be fantastic, and if anyone would know, it’d be Aykroyd.

At the end of the day, the new movie really is a win-win for fans — it’s an excuse to dust off our old merchandise, and we’ll get to see an exciting new team take on the iconic monsters. July can’t come soon enough!

‘Ghostbusters’ premieres July 15, 2016