Jason Reitman Explains Why He Made A Ghostbusters Movie, Finally, After Being Asked About Following In Dad Ivan’s Footsteps For Years

Paul Rudd with mini Stay Puft in Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer

It can’t be easy following in the footsteps of a famous director father, which is precisely what Jason Reitman did when he kicked off his directorial career with Thank You For Smoking many years ago. This year, he’ll follow even further in his famous dad’s footsteps by bringing Ghostbusters: Afterlife to the big screen, several decades after the original Ghostbusters premiered back in 1984. It’s a franchise that has been a part of the younger Reitman’s life for almost as long as he can remember. Now, he’s explaining why he finally decided to take on a film in the franchise on his own.

Ahead of the first screening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife at CinemaCon 2021, both the elder and young Reitman took to the stage to talk about the moving coming together and how much it meant for both of them. In particular though, for Jason Reitman, the new movie is going to be a culmination of years of getting asked about his father’s famous property and why he had never taken on the mantle himself. He told audiences, including CinemaBlend:

For the first 40 years of my life I was asked one question more than any other question. It wasn’t when I was going to get married. It wasn’t when I was going to have kids. Or how I was doing. It was: Are you going to make a Ghostbusters movie? And eventually I did. And for the last three years, people have been asking, ‘Oh, what changed, why?’ It’s the same answer as all time: There was a story I needed to tell. And I wanted to make a movie for my father. And I wanted to make a movie for my daughter.

Those all seem like good reasons to move forward with a new movie in the Ghostbusters franchise, and those who saw the movie during its Las Vegas screening mentioned the movie is “loyal” to the original and is very much in keeping with what Ivan Reitman, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and the rest of the gang tried to do in the original run. Insofar as that “make a movie for my daughter comment,” Mckenna Grace in particular has been noted as doing great work in Afterlife. (Can confirm).

The story and the path the film ultimately took stems from the fact that director Jason Reitman doesn’t honestly feel as if it is his own movie but a movie that is on a path that other sets out on first. He also explained he wanted to create something for the whole family to enjoy.

Ghostbusters is one of those rare franchises, where it doesn’t belong to the filmmakers anymore. Unlike any other movie I’ve ever made, it doesn’t belong to me. It doesn’t belong to my father. Technically it belongs to Sony, but really it belongs to all of you. ...We wanted to make a movie that had mystery, had laughs, had you singing the theme song as you walked out of the movie theater. A film you could bring your families to.

We already know the movie will feature nods to the original, having seen the first footage from the film. This time around, the adventure brings in some new cast members in Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon and more surprises. The first looks at the movie have also included Easter eggs, returning characters and more.

This week it was confirmed the film, like many before it over the last couple of years, has been pushed back. There’s a silver lining, though. Sony only pushed it back a week, so we’re still getting it in time for the holiday season this year. To see more upcoming movie release dates, take a look at our full schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.