The Deleted Ghostbusters Scene From 1984 That Jason Reitman Put Into Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Writer-director Jason Reitman has a Ghostbusters movie in theaters at the moment, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. But he also has appeared in previous Ghostbusters movies -- one time when we could see him, and one time where he was cut. What?! Jason’s own father, Ivan Reitman, actually CUT him out of the original Ghostbusters? He certainly did, and it’s a story you really have to hear for yourself in the video above, thanks to the two filmmakers appearing as guests on CinemaBlend’s official ReelBlend podcast. The video is above.

The cool thing about this deleted footage of Jason Reitman in the original Ghostbusters movie is that the director was able to dig through Sony’s film archives and retrieve the scene… and then put it back into Ghostbusters: Afterlife! I’m not 100% sure where the scene can be found in Afterlife, as Reitman told us about the restoration after we had screened the movie. But I think it might happen at the moment when Paul Rudd’s teacher, Mr. Grooberson, shows Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Podcast (Logan Kim) laptop footage of the original Ghostbusters in New York City, because the Reitmans apparently were on a staircase of an apartment building and waving.

As Ivan Reitman explains to ReelBlend:

I tried really hard to keep it. … I remember, it was almost 40 years ago, and I still remember the conversations I had with Sheldon Kahn, who was our editor, about this damn scene. … Anyway, I can’t remember -- I mean, we had parts of that scene in there. I’ve always wanted it in there. I can’t remember how it ended up out of it. And when Jason pulled it out, we did this thing I guess, two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic, Ghostbusters Day, where you did this wonderful thing. You had archived a bunch of stuff. Outtakes from the original Ghostbusters.

Jason Reitman knew the entire time that he planned to use footage from the original movie in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. And he knew that he specifically wanted to find the shot of his immediate family standing outside of a building in New York City as the Ghostbusters pull up. And he found it! So thanks to some miraculous restoration, the scene lives again in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Says Jason:

When you hear Chris Nolan and PTA talking about why you shoot on film? This is why. It looked extraordinary. So we started scanning stuff and I knew there was stuff that I wanted to put in this movie, and I said, ‘You gotta look for this take. I know the scene. It’s outside the apartment building. And it’s my mom, my sister and I.’ And sure enough, they find the dailies! I reserved director’s cut for one thing. I knew that was going in.

So now, if you are going to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife, or you checked it out and want to see it again, look out for a very young Jason Reitman cameoing in his own film, thanks to archived footage from 1984!

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.