Jason Reitman Talks Honoring Late Father Ivan Reitman in New ‘Ghostbusters’ Film (Exclusive)

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Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire will be the first film in the Ghostbusters franchise to be released following the death of Ivan Reitman — who directed the original 1984 film.

The director’s son, Jason Reitman, took over the franchise with the 2021 revival, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and while he doesn’t direct the upcoming installment — handing the reins over to Gil Kenan — Jason told ET’s Rachel Smith that he knew he had a duty to honor his father’s legacy in co-writing the latest film.

“I mean, I was thinking of my father every day,” Jason shared at the Frozen Empire New York City premiere this week. “But he was with us. My father passed the proton pack to me and now I’m thrilled to pass it to Gil Kenan.”

Jason, who can recall being seven years old on the set of the first Ghostbusters film, said the cast and crew of Frozen Empire — which includes returning OG cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson — “felt my dad smiling on this film the whole way.”

“My father always wanted more Ghostbusters stories,” he continued. “And I think he’d be thrilled at the fact that this one has a whole new villain and a whole new story and all these new comedians in it. That’s the stuff that would make him the happiest.”

Ivan Reitman died in his sleep at his home in Montecito, California, on February 12, 2022, at the age of 75. In a statement to the Associated Press at the time, Jason and his sisters, Catherine and Caroline, said, ”We take comfort that his work as a filmmaker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world. While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will remember him always.”

Next up, Jason is paying tribute to another iconic legacy, with his film, SNL 1975, which details the chaos and comedy of Saturday Night Live‘s premiere episode on Oct. 11, 1975.

The writer and director dipped into his Ghostbusters family again for the film — casting Finn Wolfhard as an NBC page, and he told ET that the decision was a no-brainer.

“Finn is one of the greatest actors on Earth,” he raved. “He’s the guy you want next to you on set when everything’s going downhill. He makes you more confident, he makes it seem better, he’s always looking for the win and I love the kid. I’ll work with him on anything.”

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is in theaters nationwide on March 22.


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