Ivan Reitman's Key Role In The Ghostbusters Reboot

Ivan Reitman, who helmed the original two Ghostbusters movies back in 1984 and 1989, respectively, was attached to helm the next chapter of the franchise all the way back in 2010 - but all that changed when Harold Ramis died and Reitman stepped away from the project’s director’s chair. Eventually Paul Feig came aboard to replace him, ultimately completely changing the direction of the film, but the filmmaker did still play a very key role in the production, specifically as the protector of the Ghostbusters legacy.

It was yesterday during a special Ghostbusters presentation on the Sony Pictures studio lot in Los Angeles, CA that Ivan Reitman defined his role during the making of the reboot as he sat beside writer/director Paul Feig, and co-writer Katie Dippold. Asked about not wanting the new film to feel like a copycat or clichéd, Reitman explained how he saw his role as a producer on the project, and as the present representative of the old guard. Said the filmmaker,

This was really their vision, and I thought it was my job, really, to just warn them when I thought they were going over the line, one way or the other - which was just to perhaps do something that I thought would be insulting to the original film. Which they did not do; I just thought it was my job to make sure. And at the same time say, ‘Hey, that’s really cool. You should think about that!’

It was in early 2014 that Ivan Reitman announced his decision to vacate the wheel of the next Ghostbusters movie (which at the time was still being planned as Ghostbusters 3). At the time, the filmmaker was not only dealing with the death of friend and colleague Harold Ramis, but also had just come off the making of his football movie Draft Day. He explained that he found making a smaller and dramatic project "so much fun and satisfying," and after Ramis’ funeral left him in deep thought, he told Sony executives Amy Pascal and Doug Belgrad that he would rather produce the new Ghostbusters instead of directing it.

Certainly one of the most interesting things about the new Ghostbusters movie will be seeing how it compares and contrasts to the original in terms of style. Paul Feig and Ivan Reitman have some shared sensibilities, but you also wouldn’t exactly confuse their individual bodies of work. Exactly how much influence Reitman’s work had on Feig during the making of the movie will be a different angle to view the film through – knowing that Reitman made sure that the new title is an authentic Ghostbusters story.

We have a lot more Ghostbusters content coming your way, so stay tuned – and get ready for the film to arrive in theaters July 15th.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.