Ivan Reitman Remembered By Sony Chief Tom Rothman As “Inseparable Part” Of Columbia Pictures Legacy; “A Legend” By Comedy Peers – Updated

UPDATED WITH LATEST: 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, died Saturday night, 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.

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“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.

Jason Reitman Honors Father Ivan Reitman: “I’ve Lost My Hero”

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 are 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:

Danny DeVito starred in two Reitman-directed tentpoles, Twins and Junior, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which grossed back in their day, $325M WW.

From left: Ivan Reitman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Danny DeVito on the set of ‘Junior’ - Credit: AP
From left: Ivan Reitman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Danny DeVito on the set of ‘Junior’ - Credit: AP

AP

DeVito tells Deadline on Monday morning, “My friend of 50 years has passed and I am very, very sad. He was a kind and loving man who, from the first moment we met nearly 50 years ago, exhibited warmth, love and kindness, and amazing contributions to the entertainment industry. Ivan and his family have meant so much to me and I know to so many others. I send my love and condolences to his family. He will be in my heart forever.”

DeVito’s Twins and Junior co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger also weighed in via his social media accounts, calling Reitman “a mensch – a wonderful father and husband, a fantastic friend, a great human being.”

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:

Ernie Hudson, who played Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore in three movies and Uncle Bill in the Feig directed 2016 version said:

From Toronto Film Festival CEO Cameron Bailey:

“Ivan Reitman’s movies cultivated our taste for anarchic comedy, the sweetest of friendships, and a beautiful way of looking at the world that made everything seem possible,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “We’re shocked at his passing, but take comfort in the joy and laughter that he brought to so many all over the world.”

“Ivan’s own story represents the best of Canada. Born to Holocaust survivors, he and his family came to Toronto as refugees. His grit, his commitment and his sense of humour all came from the same place — a deep appreciation for the gift of life. Those qualities that catapulted him to global success as a filmmaker also made him terrific company.

“The Ivan Reitman who started out producing David Cronenberg’s horror classics Rabid and Shivers is the same man who directed Ghostbusters, Kindergarten Cop and Dave, which is one more reason why we loved him. He understood the gamut of what movies can offer, and he embraced all of it.

“When we were looking to build a permanent home for TIFF, Ivan and the Reitman family contributed the land where their parents’ car wash business once stood. Even more, he supported TIFF’s vision of a home for film culture. Every day at TIFF Bell Lightbox, we show and champion movies thanks to Ivan.

“TIFF wouldn’t be what it is today without Ivan Reitman. We mourn his loss. We are devastated for his family and send our deepest sympathies to his wife Geneviève, his children Jason, Catherine and Caroline, and his sisters Agi and Susan. And we celebrate his remarkable legacy.”

Carrie Coon, who starred in the Ivan Reitman produced Ghostbusters: Afterlife, said the following:

Breckin Meyer starred in the Reitman executive produced 2000 feature comedy Road Trip which launched the major motion picture career of filmmaker Todd Phillips:

Tim Matheson, Animal House actor:
“These photos of Ivan Reitman from the set of Animal House tell you all you need to know about him: loving, supportive, kind, gracious and so very, very talented! A splendid artist who never said a harsh word about anyone.”

Reitman on the toga party set - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson
Reitman on the toga party set - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Matheson and Reitman - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson
Matheson and Reitman - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Ivan, Genevieve and baby Jason Reitman - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson
Ivan, Genevieve and baby Jason Reitman - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Director John Landis and Reitman - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson
Director John Landis and Reitman - Credit: Courtesy of Tim Matheson

Courtesy of Tim Matheson

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