Note: We will update reactions frequently
After a 51-year directing career, and longer as a producer, Ivan Reitman, the comedy architect behind such classics as the Ghostbusters franchise, Twins, Kindergarten Cop and more, passed away tonight leaving a deep hole in many hearts.
2021 was quite a year for Reitman: He saw his son Jason Reitman successfully take over the Ghostbusters business with a lot of heart and soul, and plenty of laughs with Ghostbusters: Afterlife which wound up resurrecting the 38-year old series for Columbia Pictures; the movie making close to $ 200M WW. Ghostbusters spanned four movies, the first one in 1984 taking comedies to a special effects stratosphere, all in grossing $ 937.8M worldwide to date.
“Tonight, the lady with the torch weeps, as do all of us at Columbia, and film lovers around the world,” said Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman in a statement to Deadline, “Ivan Reitman was an inseparable part of this studio’s legacy, but more than that he was a friend. A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed. We send his family all our condolences. ”
In addition to the Ghostbusters movies, Reitman also directed the 1981 Bill Murray summer hit Stripes for Columbia Pictures, as well as the 2001 co-production Evolution. He also produced the 1981 cult adult animated classic Heavy Metal for Columbia.
Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman were a big part of the press tour for Ghostbusters: Afterlife which kicked off at CinemaCon. The two were one of the few Hollywood celebrities to make an appearance at the Las Vegas exhibition confab as many shied away from it due to Covid.
Jason Reitman said on stage at CinemaCon back in August: “For 40 years, the one question I was asked more than any other was you going to make a Ghostbusters movie? ” He ultimately decided to do a Ghostbusters movie because he “wanted to make a movie for my father and I wanted to make a movie for my daughter… Ghostbusters is a rare franchise, it doesn’t belong to the filmmakers, it doesn’t belong to me, it doesn’t belong to my father – technically it belongs to Sony – but it belongs to you. ” The two continued to NYC Comic-Con where they sprung a surprise screening for fans after a Q&A with the cast.
Other condolences from Reitman’s peers and the industry included:
From Ghostbusters: Afterlife star Mckenna Grace posted on Instagram:
Paul Feig, who directed the femme reboot of Ghostbusters in 2016 starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, expressed his “absolute shock” and how Reitman, who produced that movie, was a mentor:
I’m in absolute shock. I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. He directed some of my favorite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him so very much. Thank you for everything, Ivan. Truly. ❤️❤️ https://t.co/SGnI7OcT9s
– Paul Feig (@paulfeig) February 14, 2022
Carrie Coon, who starred in the Ivan Reitman produced Ghostbusters: Afterlife, said the following:
Working with Ivan was an honor and a pleasure and I’m so grateful that I was invited into the universe he helped to build, one that continues to resonate with fans the world over. 💔 pic.twitter.com/24N3L6nOjY
– Carrie Coon (@carriecoon) February 14, 2022
Hard to put into words how important Ivan Reitman’s films were to my childhood and my developing love of cinema. To me he was a giant. So glad I got to work with him on DRAFT DAY in 2013. Even more fortunate I was able to tell him how much he meant to me. RIP. pic.twitter.com/80g6hLUtBK
– Pat Healy (@Pat_Healy) February 14, 2022
A legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd. RIP. https://t.co/1d1tWCdrcb
– Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) February 14, 2022
Rest In Peace Ivan Reitman 💙✌🏼
– ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) February 14, 2022