Jason Reitman Reveals The ‘Hard’ Part Of Working With Father Ivan Reitman On Ghostbusters: Afterlife

young ghostbusters in 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife
(Image credit: Sony)

If you want to bring the Ghostbusters back, who are you gonna call? In the case of the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the franchise has been passed down from father to son. Ivan Reitman memorably brought audiences two classics with 1984’s Ghostbusters and 1989’s Ghostbusters II and, soon, Jason Reitman will continue the saga with a movie all about the continued lineage of the storyline. However, things weren't always easy between father and son, as they worked on the movie.

Over almost two decades, Jason Reitman has become a great director in his own right, making films including Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air and most recently 2018’s The Front Runner. When speaking to Empire, Reitman shared his experience taking on his father’s famed franchise, saying this: 

It's hard because we're having this kind of meaningful father-son experience together on set but, simultaneously, both of us are stubborn, creative forces, sometimes agreeing, sometimes not, both deeply passionate about getting this right.

Additionally, Jason Reitman said that making the movie was like “navigating the shadow” of his parents, which he feels can be a pretty universal experience between parents and kids even if yours didn’t helm one of the most iconic ‘80s movies. As he shared to the magazine: 

No matter what your parents do, or who they are – that is the journey of being a child.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife will ignore the 2016 Paul Feig reboot of the franchise and pick up the story with the grandchildren of Egon, who was played by the late Harold Ramis in the original films. Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard and Malignant’s Mckenna Grace will be his grandchildren, and Carrie Coon will be their single mother and Egon’s daughter. 

After being evicted from their home, the Spengler family will move to a farmhouse in Summerville, Oklahoma left for them by the former Ghostbuster. When the kids notice a series unexplained earthquakes, they start to delve into the Ghostbusters’ history, with the help of their teacher, Paul Rudd’s Mr. Grooberson. 

And as we know, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts are in fact part of the film… somehow. It’s pretty cool that this particular story is going to be the next chapter for the Ghostbusters franchise, and it truly seems to have been a journey passed down from father to son. Ivan Reitman serves as a producer on the film, and one would assume that the slight differences in his and his son's creative sensibilities would cause them to occasionally bump heads while making Afterlife

Following a number of delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is finally set to be released in theaters on November 19. The movie found its first audience over the summer at CinemaCon, where CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell called it a “solid continuation” to the original films. Check out the full lineup of 2021 movie releases here on CinemaBlend.  

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.