Evan Reitmanthe influential director and producer behind the beloved comedy of animal house to Ghostbusters He died. He was 75 years old.
Reitman died peacefully in his sleep Saturday night at his home in Montecito, California, his family told the Associated Press.
“Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father and grandfather who taught us to always look for the magic in life,” children Jason Reitman, Katherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said in a joint statement. “We are relieved that his work as a director has brought countless others around the world laughter and happiness. As we mourn in private, we hope that those who knew him through his films will always remember him.”
Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, said: “Tonight, the Lady Bearing of the Torch cries, as we all do in Colombia, and movie fans around the world. Evan Reitman has been an integral part of this studio’s legacy, but he has been more of a friend. A great talent and a superior man; we will miss him greatly. We send all our condolences to his family.”
Known for punk big comedy that captured the zeitgeist of its era, Reitman’s big break came with the raucous college fraternity dispatch. National Lampoon Animal House, which he produced. Directed by Bill Murray in his first starring role in kofta Then again in Stripsbut his most important success came with the year 1984 Ghostbusters.
Not only did the irreverent supernatural comedy starring Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis gross nearly $300 million worldwide, it earned two Academy Award nominations, spawning a true franchise. , including spin-offs, TV shows, a new movie, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Which opened last year and was directed by his son, director Jason Reitman.
Evan Reitman said: The Hollywood Reporter in november that Ghostbusters: The Afterlife It was an emotional project for him, especially seeing his original three strands in uniform. “It was a very personal and sometimes tearful experience,” he said. THR. “The day all three of them first showed up and were checking things out — it was extraordinary; just feeling energized, not just for me, but I felt it in the cast and cast. I felt it all over.”
In an interview with Scenario Last year, Jason spoke about the experience of working with his father on the film. “It is impossible to explain how it feels to be next to not only the number one authority in the world Ghostbusters But he’s also one of the greatest storytellers of our time, and I can turn to him and trust him while making the film.”
Before son Jason came aboard the franchise in his own style, Evan Reitman was originally supposed to direct his third film. Ghostbusters movie but Withdrawn After the death of original star Harold Ramis and Bill Murray’s reluctance to ride at the time. He ended up as a producer on this movie, which eventually became 2016’s female-led Ghostbusters Directed by Paul Feig.
“I am in utter shock,” Fig chirp Sunday night. “I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Evan and it has always been a learning experience. He directs some of my favorite comedies of all time. Each of us in comedies owe him a lot. Thank you for everything Evan. Really.”
As for the hereaftersaid Evan Reitman Scenario He was crying after hearing Jason’s idea to continue the franchise. “I started crying on the way back, as soon as Jason told me the story,” he said in the same interview. “The first time he made it clear that he thought he had Ghostbusters The idea that he was thinking of doing it, he told me the story, and I could feel her feelings and how the right idea was to continue this story that I was fortunate enough to pull off in 1984.”
hereafter It earned $128.8 million domestically and received a positive response. While Sony hasn’t announced a sequel, it has left the door open for more.
While Reitman has collaborated with Murray several times, their first meeting didn’t go well, Reitman He said In a 2016 interview with PBS. Reitman said that their first meeting was at a rehearsal National spelling With Murray, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Ramis and Brian Doyle Murray. Reitman noted that the group had been working together for some time.
I made a mistake in saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if…. “He made some suggestions,” said Reitman. “They all stop and look at me. Bill, the bravest of the group, walks toward me. He wraps my scarf around my neck in a really dangerous way and says, ‘Hey, thanks for coming, see you later’ and pulls me right out of the room.”
Reitman was looking forward to directing again and had plans to lead this year Tripletsits sequel twins, the 1988 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as unexpected twins. He was set to direct the project, which was expected to film in the early part of this year in Boston and see Tracy Morgan join the franchise as a long-lost brother. This could have been his first directorial effort since the 2014 Kevin Costner sports drama Draft Day.
Among other notable films directed by Reitman Kindergarten cop, Dave, Jr. And Six days and seven nights. also produce Beethoven, old school And Eurotrip, And many others, including several for Jason. Nominated for the Best Picture Oscar alongside Jason and Daniel Dubicki higher in the air, Directed by Jason in 2010.
Reitman was also nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Television Film in 1996, as part of the producing team for late shift Which sparked the late-night rivalry between David Letterman and Jay Leno.
He was born in Komarmo, Czechoslovakia in 1946, where his father owned the largest vinegar factory in the country. When the Communists began imprisoning the capitalists after the war, the Rittmanns decided to escape, when Rittmann was only four years old, traveling in fist-barge bound for Vienna.
Joined by a relative in Toronto, Al Rittman displayed his business tendencies in his show: starting a puppet theater, entertaining at summer camps, and playing cafés with a folk music group. He studied music and drama at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and began making short films.
Ryan Parker, Aaron Koch and Hilary Lewis contributed to this report.