Why did Jason Reitman really make Ghostbusters: Afterlife? The filmmaker has attempted the daunting proposition of following his father, legendary filmmaker Ivan Reitman, into the family business. While many children of Hollywood royalty have ridden the coattails, minding that they don’t deviate from the family brand, Jason Reitman made his directorial debut with the dark comedy, Thank You for Smoking, centering on the efforts of Big Tobacco seen through the eyes of the lobbyist using his magic of spin to promote smoking. He then went on to tackle the subject of teen unplanned-pregnancy in Juno. Both films garnered praise from the critics and audiences alike, but they starkly contrasted the broader comedy romps like Stripes, Meatballs and, of course, Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters hit the big screen in 1984, and little Jason was 7 years old. The story, the stars, the spectacle, the legacy, they were the backdrop of Jason’s life. He recently talked about why he finally, after his own brand achieved its own success, decided to take the plunge and join the Ghostbusters business.
“For the first 40 years of my life I was asked one question more than any other question. It wasn’t when I was going to get married. It wasn’t when I was going to have kids. Or how I was doing. It was: Are you going to make a Ghostbusters movie? And eventually I did. And for the last three years, people have been asking, ‘Oh, what changed, why?’ It’s the same answer as all time: There was a story I needed to tell.”
“And I wanted to make a movie for my father. And I wanted to make a movie for my daughter… Ghostbusters is one of those rare franchises, where it doesn’t belong to the filmmakers anymore. Unlike any other movie I’ve ever made, it doesn’t belong to me. It doesn’t belong to my father. Technically it belongs to Sony, but really it belongs to all of you. …We wanted to make a movie that had mystery, had laughs, had you singing the theme song as you walked out of the movie theater. A film you could bring your families to.”
It’s hard to believe people didn’t understand why Jason Reitman wouldn’t try to tackle creating a film that would be measured against his dad’s blockbuster hit that has been praised for generations. No pressure, Jason! The relief and beauty Jason described when his father saw Ghostbusters: Afterlife is touching. “My father hasn’t been leaving the house much because of Covid. But he took a test, put on a mask and drove down to the Sony lot to watch the movie with the studio. And after, he cried, and he said, ‘I’m so proud to be your father.’ And it was one of the great moments of my life.”
I’m sure it sealed the deal when Ghostbusters co-creator Dan Aykroyd, speaking of Jason Reitman’s taking the reins, describes Jason as the “perfect inheritor of the legacy as a writer, storyteller and director. His vision derives seamlessly, respectfully and honestly from the original films. Can’t wait to see the lines around the multiplex.” Neither can we, Ray! See y’all in the theaters November 19. This news originated at CinemaBlend.