'Ghostbusters' director Ivan Reitman dies aged 75

Ivan Reitman at the premiere of Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Ivan Reitman at the premiere of 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman has died aged 75, his family has confirmed in a public statement where they revealed his loss was "unexpected".

Reitman's family revealed: "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 film-maker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world."

Ivan Reitman is most well known for his work on the 1984 film Ghostbusters which has since gone on to have a successful franchise with the most recent instalment being Ghostbusters: Afterlife which was released in 2021.

The official social media account for the franchise has paid tribute to Reitman with a post that reads: "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."

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It adds: "A great talent and an even finer man; he will be dearly missed. We send his family all our condolences. - Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group"

In addition to his work on Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman produced two of David Cronenberg's early horror films and went on to work on John Landis' Animal House which helped him to launch his career working on some of the biggest comedies of the 80s and 90s.

Before Bill Murray played his now-iconic role of Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters, Reitman directed him in his first starring role in the 1979 film Meatballs. He also helped Arnold Schwarzenegger break into comedy with the 1988 film Twins, and they worked together again on Kindergarten Cop and Junior in the 90s.

Many industry professionals have posted tributes to Reitman, with Bridesmaids' Paul Feig writing: "I’m in absolute shock. I had the honor of working so closely with Ivan and it was always such a learning experience. 

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He added: "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."

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Comedian Judd Apatow wrote: "Opening night of Ghostbusters at UA Plainview was like a rock concert. The place exploded with joy. It was one of the most memorable moments of my childhood. Ivan Reitman influenced everything we all love about film comedy. A true legend."

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And Road Trip actor Breckin Meyer wrote: "Ivan Reitman produced Road Trip and there wasn’t, and still isn’t, a day that we forgot what a COMEDIC MASTER he was. Growing up on his work & THEN getting to work with him was a dream. He was encouraging, brilliant and pretty much right about everything. RIP Ivan and thank you."

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress