It doesn't hit cinemas for another six weeks, but already, the female-fronted reboot of the 1980s Ghostbusters franchise is one of the most controversial films of the year.

Trailers for the film on Youtube have received a record number of dislikes, and one influential online film reviewer even declared he would refuse to watch the film.

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Now, the film's star Melissa McCarthy has hit out at the growing backlash over a film nobody's even seen yet.


"All those comments - 'you're ruining my childhood!'" she said in an interview with the Guardian.

"I mean, really, four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood?"

McCarthy painted her internet critics as lonely people without love in their lives, saying she "hopes they find a friend".

"I have a visual of those people not having a Ben [Falcone, McCarthy's husband], not having friends, so they're just sitting there and spewing hate into this fake world of the internet. I just hope they find a friend."

The original two Ghostbusters films, released in 1984 and 1989, were huge hits, grossing more than half a billion dollars between them.

This 21st century reboot replaces the original male cast with a group of female comedians including McCarthy, her Bridesmaids co-star Kristen Wiig, and Saturday Night Live comics Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

in the Guardian interview, McCarthy also reflected on the negative attention she's received from some quarters through her career.

In 2013, one New York Observer critic issued a particularly brutal dismissal of her talents, dubbing her "a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success".

"I don't feel anger, i just feel trepidation when I think of my girls," she said of such sexist attitudes.

"Like, is this still really going on today? I guess it is."