Ivan Reitman, the director of the original “Ghostbusters” and producer of hits like “Animal House,” died Saturday night. Now, those who loved and worked with the filmmaker are remembering “a true legend.”
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” Reitman’s children said in a joint statement shared with the Associated Press that was published Sunday. “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.”
Early Monday morning, “Ghostbusters” star Ernie Hudson tweeted out his condolences to the family, writing, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ivan’ Reitman. Truly a great man and filmmaker who I had honor and privilege of knowing and working with. Deepest condolences to Jason and the entire family. May he RIP.”
Paul Feig, who directed the 2016 remake of “Ghostbusters,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth, also paid tribute to Reitman.
“I’m in absolute shock. I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience,” Feig tweeted. “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.”
Reitman died in his sleep at his home in Montecito, California. He was 75. His first big hit was the 1978 college comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which he produced. It subsequently launched the film career of “Saturday Night Live” star John Belushi.
Reitman later went on to direct fellow “SNL” star Bill Murray in his first big-screen starring role in “Meatballs” and the Army comedy “Stripes.” His biggest hit, of course, was with 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”
Fellow film director Phil Lord also mourned Reitman on Monday morning, revealing that Reitman was one of the first to see an early cut of Lord and his partner Chris Miller’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” — and apparently, Reitman wasn’t fully blown away by it.
“He sought us out and encouraged us when we made our first movie,” Lord wrote. “He saw an early cut of Spider-verse (‘Half of this is the best movie I have ever seen and the other half is bad’) and spent DAYS giving us helpful notes… RIP Ivan.”
You can read more tributes to Ivan Reitman from Judd Apatow, who called him a “true legend,” Al Roker, Mindy Kaling and more, below.