SCIFI.radio regrets to confirm the death of director/producer Ivan Reitman. The director of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II and the producer of Ghostbusters: Afterlife passed from this mortal plan of existence and ascended to the afterlife on February 12, 2022 at the age of 75.
Reitman was born in Komárno,Czechoslovakia , October 27 1946. His mother was a concentration camp survivor, his father a resistance fighter. His family immigrated to Canada when he was four years old.
He died in Montecito, California, Feb. 12, 2022.
He was owner of the Montecito Picture Company. Like actor William Shatner, though he did most of his theatrical work in California, he maintained his Canadian citizenship. He passed away in his sleep, and although no cause of death has been officially announced yet, it is believed to be natural causes. Given how many projects he had in pre-production, it is obvious he was not expecting to fade away in the near future.
His children, director Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said via a joint statement:
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life, We take comfort that his work as a filmmaker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world. While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will remember him always.”
Reitman is credited with introducing both Jim Belushi and Bill Murray to wider audiences. Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger thanked Reitman for taking a chance on him when the rest of Hollywood thought he was limited to action roles. “I’ll always be grateful that he took a chance on this Austrian action-hero in a comedy during a time when the studios just wanted me to focus on finding new ways to kill bad guys, blow things up, and show off some muscles.”
In addition to the comedies Stripes, Animal House, and Kindergarten Cop, Reitman also directed and/or produced science fiction and horror. Reitman was executive producer of Spacehunters: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), featuring fellow Canadian Michael Ironside as the evil Overdog.
He directed the horror film Cannibal Girls (1973) which was nominated for the Midnight Audience Award at the 2010 SFSW Film Festival.
He produced the cult classic animated feature Heavy Metal, one of the seminal animated films of our age. Reitman produced the horror from The House on the Lake.(1976). He directed and produced Twins (1988), a comedy about a eugenics experiment with unexpected results.
Reitman produced A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020). He produced Space Jam (1996) and was executive producer of the sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021).
Reitman produced five episodes of Atom TV and was the executive producer of all 42 episodes of Mummies Alive.
At the time of his death, Ivan Reitman had several intended projects announced, both live action motion pictures and animated TV series. It is to be hoped that either his son, director Jason Reitman or his employees at Montecito Picture Company can finish these projects without him, as they sound good. Juliet; Summer of Love; Triplets, a sequel to Twins, where Eddie Murphy is discovered to be a third brother to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito; Ghost Busters Ecto Force, and a TV show based on Stripes.
Our deepest condolences to Mrs. Reitman, Genevieve Roberts, their children Jason, Catherine, and Caroline, and especially to his grandchildren. As the Vulcans say, we grieve with thee.
What were some of your favorite Ivan Reitman films? Please share your memories with us in the Comments Section. We want to hear from you.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.