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Making Ghostbusters: Afterlife Was a Family Affair

Original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman talks about "passing the Proton Pack" to his son

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Ghostbusters Afterlife director Jason Reitman with his father and original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman.
And the cat’s in the cradle with the silver spoon...
Screenshot: Sony Pictures

It’s always disconcerting trying to accomplish something with someone looking over your shoulder while you do it. It’s even more awkward when it’s a parent, especially if you’re trying to do something that they’re old hands at. So pity poor Jason Reitman, who had to make the entirety of Ghostbusters: Afterlife with his father and director of the original two Ghostbusters movies, Ivan Reitman, apparently standing next to him the entire time.

I’ve not been excited about Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which has felt like a desperate, sniveling attempt by the studio to kowtow to the belligerent fan-bros who lost their minds over Ghostbusters: Answer the Call by leveraging every bit of nostalgia that can be wrung from the original movies. I’m guessing it still will be. But it’s really hard to not be touched by this video of the two Reitmans, discussing how Afterlife is such an important part of their family, as Jason Reitman (an Oscar nominee for Up in the Air and Juno) finds himself directing a follow-up to his father’s most famous film—a film he was on the set of as a child—at the same age Ivan was when he made Ghostbusters.

Honestly, having your dad backseat-driving for a major motion picture sounds absolutely miserable, especially when you’re trying to live up to his incredible legacy. And reading between the lines of this video, it’s obvious that having his father around for what seems like the entirety of the film was not always pleasant. But what an incredible, utterly unique bonding experience it must also have been for the two of them—with the flip side that it’s almost certainly going to be truly awful for them if Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a flop. After seeing this, it’s kind of hard not to root for the movie a bit.


Time will tell—specifically, the time of November 11, because that’s when Ghostbusters: Afterlife hits theaters.

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