Hollywood Mourns as Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters Director, Dies at 75
Ivan Reitman, the legendary director of hit comedies like 1984’s Ghostbusters, has died at the age of 75.
He also directed comedies Twins, Kindergarten Cop and Junior among others. Reitman was set to direct Triplets, the sequel to 1988’s Twins, starring Danny DeVito, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tracey Morgan. However, the status of the project is now unknown – the film was set to shoot in early 2022 in Boston.
In a statement, his children said “Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life”.
“We take comfort that his work as a film-maker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world.” Reitman died peacefully in his sleep at his home in California.
Born in Slovakia in 1946, Reitman’s mother survived Auschwitz, while his father was the owner of the country’s biggest vinegar factory. His family fled Communist oppression in post-war Czechoslovakia and moved to Canada.
In Canada, Reitman studied filmmaking at McMaster University in Hamilton. He started making short films and soon met future Ghostbusters star, Rick Moranis. Reitman’s big break came along when he produced National Lampoon’s Animal House in 1978.
Following National Lampoon’s Animal House, Reitman created some of the biggest comedies of the 80s and 90s. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in 1979’s Meatballs. He shown-off Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comedic talent in Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Junior (1994).
His most well-known film will no doubt be Ghostbusters, the 1984 Sci-Fi comedy which grossed over $200m worldwide and earned two Oscar nominations. The film spawned a franchise that included a 1989 sequel a 2016 reboot and another sequel in 2021 – Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by his son Jason Reitman.
I’ve lost my hero.
All I want is the chance to tell my father one more story.
He came from a family of survivors and turned his legacy into laughter.
Thank you for the kind messages. Enjoy his movies and remember his storytelling gifts. Nothing would make him happier. pic.twitter.com/tSijfxSnLg
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 14, 2022
Paul Feig, the director of 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot said “all of us in comedy owe him so very much”.
Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement saying “Thanks for everything, Ivan.”. The ‘Twins’ star paid tribute to Reitman as someone who helped him move away from action blockbusters and more into comedy.
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