Director Jason Reitman has shared the reason why he finally decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and make a Ghostbusters movie. The highly-anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife acts as a sequel to 1989’s Ghostbusters 2 and boasts an incredibly stacked cast. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson will be reprising their roles as Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore – the Ghostbusters, unfortunately without the late Harold Ramis. Alongside them, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts will also be returning to the roles they first brought to life over more than three decades ago. Fans of the classic franchise will also get to see some new faces with Paul Rudd, Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon all set to star alongside the iconic original cast.
The much-loved first Ghostbusters movie had Jason’s father, Ivan Reitman, at the helm when it was released in 1984, and he later returned to also direct the sequel Ghostbusters 2, five years later. Co-written by Jason, this third installment centers on a struggling single mother of two who is forced to move her family into a dilapidated farm house that they inherited from the children’s grandfather. The kids learn that their grandfather was one of the original Ghostbusters, Egon Spengler, after having experienced strange goings-on within the town. The children have to use their grandfather’s research and equipment in fight to save their town (and the world) from the ghostly forces that threaten it.
Now, CinemaBlend reports that while speaking at an early screening of the movie at CinemaCon 2021, both Ivan and Jason Reitman shared what working on this film meant to them both. Jason discussed how questions of him following in his father’s footsteps with the franchise had been a constant throughout his life and how he felt that this movie was a story that he “needed to tell“. Check out Jason’s full quote below:
“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… 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.”
When it was announced back in 2019 that Reitman would be carrying on the Ghostbusters legacy and directing this third installment, many were both excited and curious to see what he would bring to the franchise. With a number of directing credits under his belt including Juno, The Front Runner and Thank You For Smoking, it was certainly debated as to which direction he could take the film in. The release of the first trailer was all the confirmation that fans needed that the movie would be true to the original, as the teaser featured a number of Easter eggs and nods to the franchise, giving away only the necessary information when it came to the plot.
Early reactions to Ghostbusters: Afterlife have been incredibly positive so far, with some calling it ‘a love letter’ to Reitman’s father and daughter. It seems as though maintaining the heart of this beloved franchise was the priority for Reitman when it came to creating this sequel, and with his father producing the film, it’s likely that those all-important threads of nostalgia will be woven throughout. Following a number of push-backs on release dates across the 2021 schedule, many were concerned that Ghostbusters: Afterlife could be delayed until next year. However, Sony recently shifted the release back by just a week to November 19, 2021, meaning fans do not have long to wait to see Jason’s take on his father’s classic.