Ivan Reitman

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Reitman in 2018
Born(1946-10-27)October 27, 1946
DiedFebruary 12, 2022(2022-02-12) (aged 75)
NationalityCanadian
Alma materMcMaster University
Occupation
  • Film and television director
  • film and television producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1968–2022
Notable work
Spouse(s)
Geneviève Robert
(m. 1976)
Children3, including Jason and Catherine

Ivan Reitman OC ( /ˈrtmən/; October 27, 1946 – February 12, 2022) was a Czechoslovak-born Canadian film and television director, producer and screenwriter. He was best known for his comedy work, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. He was the owner of The Montecito Picture Company, founded in 1998.

Films he directed include Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Dave (1993), and Junior (1994). Reitman also served as producer for such films as Animal House (1978), Space Jam (1996), and Private Parts (1997).

Early life

Ivan Reitman was born in the predominantly ethnic Hungarian town of Komárno (known as Komárom in Hungarian), Czechoslovakia, on October 27, 1946, the son of Klara (Raab) and Ladislav "Leslie" Reitman.[1] Both of Reitman's parents were Jewish; his mother survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, and his father was an underground resistance fighter.[2][3][4] His family arrived in Canada as refugees when Reitman was four years old. Reitman attended Oakwood Collegiate in Toronto and was a member of the Twintone Four singing group.[citation needed] He attended McMaster University,[5] receiving a Bachelor of Music in 1969. At McMaster he produced and directed many short films.[6]

Career

Reitman's first producing job was with the then-new station CITY-TV in Toronto. CITY was also the home of the first announcing job of his later friend and collaborator Dan Aykroyd. However, Reitman's tenure at CITY was short and he was fired during his first year by station owner Moses Znaimer.[citation needed]

In Toronto, he produced the stage production Spellbound (1973)[7] which evolved into Broadway production The Magic Show.[6]

Reitman in 2011
Reitman in 2011

Reitman's first commercial film ventures were as producer of two films for director David Cronenberg, Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977). His big break came when he produced National Lampoon's Animal House in 1978 and directed Meatballs in 1979. From there, he directed and produced a number of comedies including Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984),[8] Legal Eagles (1986), Twins (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989),[9] Kindergarten Cop (1990), Dave (1993), Junior (1994), Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), Evolution (2001), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), and No Strings Attached (2011).

In the early 1990s, Reitman began to direct fewer films, but increased his role as a producer and executive producer through his company, Northern Lights Entertainment.[10] He helped to produce the animated film Heavy Metal (1981), as well as the live-action films Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), Beethoven (1992), Beethoven's 2nd (1993), Space Jam (1996), Howard Stern's film Private Parts (1997)

In 1998 Reitman founded The Montecito Picture Company, a film production company located just south of Santa Barbara.[citation needed] In 2007, Reitman was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.[11]

He next produced the comedy I Love You, Man (2009), starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Also in 2009, he produced the Academy Award-nominated film, Up in the Air, directed by his son Jason Reitman. Later, Reitman had planned to direct the erotic thriller Chloe (2009), but he couldn't attract the cast he wanted; so Reitman decided to only serve as a producer and asked Atom Egoyan to direct the film.[12] Chloe has since enjoyed commercial success and became Egoyan's biggest moneymaker ever.[13]

In his final decade, Reitman also co-produced the biographical film Hitchcock, released on November 23, 2012, directed the 2014 sports drama Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner, and served as executive producer on 2021's Space Jam: A New Legacy as he had done for the first film.

In mid-January 2019, news of a new Ghostbusters film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, came through with Ivan's son Jason Reitman taking over as co-writer and director.[14] Ivan remained producer, and stood in for Ramis as Egon Spengler using digital makeup.[15] The film was released on November 19, 2021, marking his final film before his death.

Unmade projects

In the early 1980s, Tom Mankiewicz wrote a script for a film entitled The Batman, with Reitman attached to direct. He planned to cast Meatballs star Bill Murray as Batman, David Niven as Alfred Pennyworth, William Holden as Commissioner James Gordon, and singer David Bowie as Joker.[16] Following the deaths of Holden and Niven and rewrites of the script, Reitman left the project and was replaced by Gremlins director Joe Dante, but the film was never made.

Reitman in 2013
Reitman in 2013

In April 1996, it was reported that Reitman was attached to produce, and possibly direct, a Wonder Woman film.[17] However, three years later, he passed the project on to writer Jon Cohen and left for unknown reasons.

In 2000, Reitman along with Wolfgang Petersen, Rob Reiner, M. Night Shyamalan, Alan Parker, Tim Robbins, Terry Gilliam, Brad Silberling and Peter Weir were considered to direct Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone but the directing job was given to Chris Columbus instead.[18]

In March 2007, New York magazine, citing no sources, stated that Sony Pictures Entertainment wanted to replace Reitman on Ghostbusters III with a younger director, but that Reitman's original contract precluded this.[19] In early 2010, it appeared as if Reitman would direct the film,[20] but in September 2014, after Harold Ramis' death, Paul Feig was officially set to direct a new film, which was released in 2016 as a reboot of the franchise.[21][22]

In March 2012, it was reported that a sequel of Twins, entitled Triplets, was in the works, and that Reitman would co-produce the film.[23][24] Deadline reported in September 2021 that Reitman would both direct and produce Triplets and that shooting was scheduled to begin in January 2022. The status of the film is unclear following Reitman's death.[25]

In 2013, it was revealed that Reitman had plans to make a sequel to Evolution,[26] but they never came to fruition.

In June 2016, it was reported that Reitman would produce a prospective animated series Ghostbusters: Ecto Force.[27] In July 2017, Reitman stated that Ecto Force had been postponed to focus on an animated Ghostbusters film that he would produce and co-direct alongside Fletcher Moules.[28]

Personal life and death

Reitman married Geneviève Robert in 1976. He had two daughters and a son, Jason, who is a film director best known for his films Juno, Thank You for Smoking, Up in the Air and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. His daughter Catherine is the creator, executive producer, writer and star of the CBC comedy series Workin' Moms. His other daughter, Caroline, attended Santa Barbara City College. He and his French-Canadian wife, who converted to Judaism, brought up their children in the same tradition.[29]

In 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his contributions as a director and producer, and for his promotion of the Canadian film and television industries".[30] In April 2011, he received the Mayor's Prize at his native city of Komárno, Slovakia.[31] He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.[32]

In 2014, he said "I've always been something of a conservative-slash-libertarian."[33]

Reitman died in his sleep at his home in Montecito, California, on February 12, 2022, at the age of 75.[34]

Filmography

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Film

Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
1968 Orientation Yes Yes Yes Short film; also editor, cinematographer and composer[35]
1971 Foxy Lady Yes Yes No Directorial debut; also editor and composer[36]
1973 Cannibal Girls Yes Executive Story Story co-written with Robert Sandler and Daniel Goldberg[37]
1979 Meatballs Yes No No [37]Golden Reel Award
1981 Stripes Yes Yes No [37]
1984 Ghostbusters Yes Yes No [37]Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film; voice roles: "Zuul / Slimer"
1986 Legal Eagles Yes Yes Story Story co-written with Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr.
1988 Twins Yes Yes No [37]
1989 Ghostbusters II Yes Yes No [37] Voice roles: "Man Walking Outside Firehouse / Slimer"
1990 Kindergarten Cop Yes Yes No [37]
1993 Dave Yes Yes No
1994 Junior Yes Yes No [37]
1997 Fathers' Day Yes Yes No
1998 Six Days, Seven Nights Yes Yes No
2001 Evolution Yes Yes No
2006 My Super Ex-Girlfriend Yes No No
2011 No Strings Attached Yes Yes No Cameo: "Secret High director"[37]
2014 Draft Day Yes Yes No [37]

Producer only

Year Title Notes
1969 The Columbus of Sex [36] Also cinematographer
1975 Shivers [37] Also music supervisor
1976 Death Weekend [38]
1977 Ilsa, the Tigress of Siberia [38] As "Julian Parnell"
1978 Animal House [37]
1981 Heavy Metal [39]
1992 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot [38]
1996 Space Jam [37]
1997 Private Parts [38]
2009 Post Grad [38]
Up in the Air Nominated—Academy Award for Best Picture[37]
Chloe
2012 Hitchcock
2016 Ghostbusters [37]
2017 Baywatch [38]
Father Figures [38]
2020 A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting
2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife Motion capture role, with Harold Ramis' likeness superimposed[40][41]

Final film project

Executive producer only

Year Title Notes
1977 Rabid Also music supervisor
1978 Blackout
1973 The Magic Show
1983 Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
1987 Big Shots
1988 Casual Sex?
Feds
1992 Beethoven
1993 Beethoven's 2nd
1997 Commandments
2000 Road Trip
2002 Killing Me Softly
2003 Old School
2004 EuroTrip
2006 Trailer Park Boys: The Movie [42]
2007 Disturbia
2009 Hotel for Dogs [43]
The Uninvited
I Love You, Man
2020 Godmothered [44]
2021 Space Jam: A New Legacy

Television

Year Title Director Writer Executive
producer
Notes
1997 Metropolitan Hospital[45] No Creator Yes Unsold pilot
2004 Cooking Lessons[46] Yes No No TV movie

Producer only

Year Title Notes
2006 That Guy TV movie
2008 Atom TV 5 episodes (segments "Border Patrol")

Executive producer only

Year Title Notes
1979 Delta House[47] 13 episodes
1994 Beethoven 13 episodes
1996 The Late Shift TV movie
1997 Mummies Alive! 42 episodes
1999 The First Gentleman TV movie
2001–02 Alienators: Evolution Continues 13 episodes
2006 That Guy TV movie

Music videos

Year Song Artist
1984 '"Ghostbusters"[48] Ray Parker Jr.

References

  1. ^ "Leslie Reitman | Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara". jewishsantabarbara.org.
  2. ^ Kohn, Eric (November 14, 2007). "Director Shows His 'Stripes'". Forward. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  3. ^ "Ivan Reitman Biography (1946-)". www.filmreference.com.
  4. ^ Bloom, Nate (January 21, 2011). "Jewish Stars 1/21". Cleveland Jewish News.
  5. ^ "McMaster University Alumni". Retrieved January 10, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "McMaster University Alumni Community".
  7. ^ "Spellbound". Variety. 273 (6): 43. December 19, 1973. ISSN 0011-5509 – via archive.org.
  8. ^ Barton, Steve (January 13, 2010). "Ghostbusters 3 Director Confirmed!". DreadCentral. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  9. ^ "Ivan Reitman Verbally Confirms He'll Direct 'Ghostbusters 3'". January 13, 2010.
  10. ^ Britton, Bonnie. "Director of 'Junior' has delivered plenty of hits." The Indianapolis Star (November 25, 1994).
  11. ^ "Canada's Walk of Fame: Ivan Reitman". canadaswalkoffame.com. Archived from the original on October 30, 2006.
  12. ^ Warner, Andrea (March 24, 2010). "Atom Egoyan lets 'Chloe' put words in his mouth". thewriterlylife.blogspot.hk.
  13. ^ Pevere, Geoff (December 7, 2010). "The Digital Revolution: Part 1". The Star.
  14. ^ Roffman, Michael (January 18, 2019). "Ernie Hudson on new Ghostbusters movie: "Everybody is in"". Consequence. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  15. ^ "Original Ghostbusters director stood in as Egon Spengler in Afterlife". Ghostbusters News. November 25, 2021. Archived from the original on November 26, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  16. ^ "10 Batman films that almost happened". Batman News. July 5, 2013.
  17. ^ Burr, Ty (April 1, 1996). "Comic movies". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  18. ^ Tilden, Imogen (October 30, 2001). "Harry Potter, the film and the phenomenon in numbers". The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  19. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude. "Reitman Foils Studio's Ghostbusters Reboot Plans", Vulture, March 17, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2022
  20. ^ Rosenberg, Adam (January 13, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Ghostbusters 3' Script Is In, Ivan Reitman Confirms He WILL Direct". MTV. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (August 2, 2014). "'Ghostbusters 3' Targets Paul Feig as Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  22. ^ Squires, John (March 10, 2015). "Latest on New Ghostbusters Movie Universe; Chris Pratt in the Mix? Four Films?!". Dread Central.
  23. ^ "'Twins' Sequel 'Triplets' in the Works for Arnold, DeVito...and Eddie Murphy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. March 29, 2012.
  24. ^ Red Carpet News TV (January 22, 2013). "Arnold Schwarzenegger Confirms Terminator 5, Conan and Twins Sequels" – via YouTube.
  25. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 14, 2021). "'Twins' Sequel 'Triplets' Set: Tracy Morgan Joins Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito & Director Ivan Reitman In Hot Toronto Package". Deadline. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  26. ^ "Are there any plans to make a sequel to the film Evolution (2001)". Movies & TV Stack Exchange.
  27. ^ Brennan, Colin (June 21, 2016). "Original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman to produce futuristic Ghostbusters cartoon". Consequence. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  28. ^ Takao (August 7, 2017). "Ghostbusters: Ecto Force postponed for new film". ToonBarn. Archived from the original on February 24, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  29. ^ Hanau, Shira (February 15, 2022). "Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters director, Auschwitz survivor son, dies at 75". The Jerusalem Post. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on February 14, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  30. ^ "Governor General Announces 57 New Appointments to the Order of Canada". Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. December 30, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  31. ^ "Primátor ocenil osobnosti mesta Komárno". komarno.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  32. ^ "Ivan Reitman". Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  33. ^ "Ivan Reitman Cops to Libertarian Subtext of Ghostbusters". September 23, 2014.
  34. ^ Bahr, Lindsey (February 13, 2022). "Ivan Reitman, producer, 'Ghostbusters' director, dies at 75". AP NEWS. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  35. ^ "Orientation, 1968". Digital Archive @ McMaster University Library. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  36. ^ a b HOFSESS, JOHN. "The magic and decidedly 'ungroovy' garden of film-maker Ivan Reitman | Maclean's | NOVEMBER 1970". Maclean's | The Complete Archive. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Morris, Chris (February 14, 2022). "Ivan Reitman, 'Ghostbusters' Director, Dies at 75". Variety. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g Sobczynski, Peter (February 14, 2022). "Ivan Reitman: 1946-2022 | Tributes". Roger Ebert. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  39. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (February 11, 2022). "Heavy Metal Comes To 4K Blu-ray On April 19th". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  40. ^ "Original Ghostbusters director stood in as Egon Spengler in Afterlife". Ghostbusters News. November 25, 2021. Archived from the original on November 26, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  41. ^ Inguanzo, Ozzy (November 2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife: The Art and Making of the Movie (First ed.). London: Titan Books. p. 191. ISBN 9781789096521.
  42. ^ "Reitman will serve as executive producer for Trailer Park Boys movie". The Globe and Mail. April 28, 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  43. ^ "Hotel for Dogs". TVGuide.com. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  44. ^ Kit, Borys (January 9, 2020). "Jillian Bell, Isla Fisher to Star in Disney+ Comedy 'Godmothered' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reoprter. Archived from the original on November 27, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  45. ^ Richmond, Ray (January 14, 1997). "Fox exex soft-shoe critical barrage". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  46. ^ Schneider, Michael (March 23, 2004). "Bellows 'Cooking' at CBS". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  47. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2012). Single season sitcoms, 1948-1979 : a complete guide. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7864-9305-0. OCLC 817224423.
  48. ^ Ryan, Mike (June 6, 2014). "The Inside Story Of The 'Ghostbusters' Music Video". ScreenCrush. Retrieved February 18, 2022.