The comedy community and “Ghostbusters” fans everywhere are remembering Ivan Reitman, who died Saturday at 75. Actors and filmmakers, including several people who worked closely with Reitman, paid tribute to the Canadian director and producer who directed the megahit “Ghostbusters” and helped ignite the movie careers of comedians including Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
Reitman also directed “Meatballs” and “Stripes,” and produced films including “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “Space Jam,” “Up in the Air” and last year’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”
Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said in a statement, “Tonight, the lady with the torch weeps, as do all of us at Columbia, and film lovers around the world. 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.”
Jason Reitman, Ivan’s son, wrote on Twitter, “I’ve lost my hero. All I want is the chance to tell my father one more story.” Jason Reitman directed the most recent “Ghostbusters” movie, taking over the franchise from his father.
I’ve lost my hero.
All I want is the chance to tell my father one more story.
He came from a family of survivors and turned his legacy into laughter.
Thank you for the kind messages. Enjoy his movies and remember his storytelling gifts. Nothing would make him happier. pic.twitter.com/tSijfxSnLg
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 14, 2022
“Ghostbusters” star Dan Aykroyd said, “The loss of my friend, collaborator, champion, and one of the last great creative talents of the BIG SCREEN era crumples me. Now on Thursdays who am I gonna call?”
Feeling heartbreak today for Geneviève, Catherine, Caroline, Jason and family. The loss of my friend, collaborator, champion and one of the last great creative talents of the BIG SCREEN ERA crumples me. Now on Thursdays who am I gonna call?
— Dan Aykroyd (@dan_aykroyd) February 14, 2022
Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a lengthy statement on Twitter, writing, “Ivan Reitman is a legend. In Hollywood, he was bigger than life. He was comedy royalty.”
“In life, he was a mensch — a wonderful father and husband, a fantastic friend, a great human being,” Schwarzenegger continued. “He was kind, he was generous, he was smart as hell, and he was always there for you. I am devastated, and my thoughts are with the Reitman family.”
Thanks for everything, Ivan. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/lEBmGB9eue
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 14, 2022
Actor Kumail Nanjiani also called him “a legend,” observing “the number of great movies he made is absurd.”
Emily V Gordon, writer and Nanjiani’s spouse, said, “What a massive loss. Too many amazing movies to even list here.”
A legend. The number of great movies he made is absurd. RIP. https://t.co/1d1tWCdrcb
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) February 14, 2022
Paul Feig, director of the 2016 “Ghostbusters,” said, “I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience…All of us in comedy owe him so very much.”
I’m in absolute shock. I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. He directed some of my favorite comedies of all time. All of us in comedy owe him so very much. Thank you for everything, Ivan. Truly. ❤️❤️ https://t.co/SGnI7OcT9s
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) February 14, 2022
Mindy Kaling tweeted, “Ivan Reitman was old school in the best way, and kind. I loved working with him. It’s sad he’s gone, it makes me feel older and like my childhood movies are more faraway than ever.”
Ivan Reitman was old school in the best way, and kind. I loved working with him. It’s sad he’s gone, it makes me feel older and like my childhood movies are more faraway than ever. RIP ❤️
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) February 14, 2022
Filmmaker Todd Phillips shared the first time he met Reitman, through son, Jason. Phillips posted his tribute via Instagram. He wrote, ” When I first began to dream about a career in filmmaking I would always yield to panic. How could I do it? I didn’t have any connections in the movie business— I didn’t have an uncle who worked at one of the studios or a cousin who punched up scripts— I didn’t even KNOW anyone who lived in Los Angeles.” Phillips continued,” But that all changed in 1998, when I met Ivan Reitman at the Sundance Film Festival. Ivan had directed some of my favorite comedies as a kid including Meatballs, Stripes and Ghostbusters. He was at Sundance to support his young son Jason who had a short film at the festival that year. Jason was gracious enough to introduce me to Ivan and from then on I had someone in my corner. I had my “uncle” and he was an absolute BEAR.”
Guy Branum, who appeared in Reitman’s romcom “No Strings Attached,” remembered on Twitter, “I got to be in a movie because Ivan Reitman saw me on TV and thought I was funny. He was impossibly kind, astoundingly funny, and made so many of my favorite movies. I’m so sorry for his family’s loss.
Actor W. Earl Brown said “Animal House” inspired him to be in movies and “I was ecstatic to get cast in ‘Draft Day,” though as his tweets relate, it took Reitman a while to have faith in his acting.
ANIMAL HOUSE made me want to be in movies, so I was ecstatic to get cast in DRAFT DAY. Ivan’s producing partner was a big DEADWOOD fan, so I think he pushed to hire me. My first day on set…
— W. Earl Brown (@WEarlBrown) February 14, 2022
“Harold and Kumar” writer-director Jon Hurwitz said, “What a legacy of classics” while naming several of Reitman’s well-known titles.
Animal House, Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Beethoven, Dave, Space Jam, Private Parts, Road Trip, Old School. What a legacy of classics. Ivan Reitman was always kind and supportive when our paths crossed. My deepest condolences to his family. #RIP pic.twitter.com/F0q41Cz52l
— Jon Hurwitz (@jonhurwitz) February 14, 2022
Sam Brown of the Whitest Kids U’Know comedy troupe said, “The man was a legend.”
I just heard about Ivan Reitman and am deeply saddened. Trevor Zach and I had the pleasure of writing with him on a project and it was such an honor. With no hyperbole the man was a legend. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the people who worked with him everyday
— Sam Brown (@SamBrown42069) February 14, 2022
The “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Twitter posted a photo of him in an original Ghostbusters suit and said “see you on the other side.”
See you on the other side. Rest In Peace Ivan Reitman 10/27/46 – 2/12/2022 pic.twitter.com/Bd9O5DkDz7
— Ghostbusters: Afterlife (@GBAfterlife) February 14, 2022
Songwriter Diane Warren wrote, “Thank you for the movies.”
Very very sad news.thank U for the movies Ivan Reitman🎬💔 https://t.co/k12QUQl09b
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) February 14, 2022