Dan Aykroyd, who not only played the role of the brilliant Dr. Raymond Stantz in Ghostbusters but was a creative force behind the blockbuster 1980s supernatural comedies, expressed his sympathies today about Ivan Reitman’s death.
“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,” said Aykroyd in a statement sent to Deadline. “Now on Thursdays who am I gonna call?”
Aykroyd joins former franchise castmate Ernie Hudson, aka Winston Zeddemore, who weighed in to pay tribute to Reitman last night; as well as Paul Feig, who directed the 2016 all-femme reboot; and that movie’s castmembers Carrie Coon and Mckenna Grace.
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Aykroyd wrote the first two Ghostbusters movies with the late Harold Ramis, and served as an EP on Feig’s 2016 film as well as last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which has grossed close to $200M worldwide and has taken the Columbia Pictures franchise through four movies to over $937M global. Aykroyd also starred in the Reitman-directed 2001 DreamWorks-Sony sci-fi comedy Evolution.
Aykroyd reportedly conceived Ghostbusters initially for himself and comedy partner John Belushi before the latter’s death in 1982. He was inspired to write Ghostbusters given his fascination with the paranormal as well as the comedy spooky movies of Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope and The Bowery Boys.
Aykroyd played Ray Stantz three times — in the 1984 original, its 1989 sequel and the 2021 version of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. He also played the role of Cabbie in the 2016 Feig-directed movie.
Ivan Reitman Remembered By Sony Chief Tom Rothman As “Inseparable Part” Of Columbia Pictures Legacy; “A Legend” By Comedy Peers –
Ivan Reitman was a huge part of the media tour for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, showing up onstage at CinemaCon with Jason Reitman, as well as NYC Comic-Con, where they also previewed the comedy to fans.
Reitman directed the 1984 and 1989 Ghostbusters movies and produced all four movies in the series. Ghostbusters took comedy tentpoles to a new level in 1984 with special effects and was nominated for two Oscars: Best Visual Effects and Best Original Songs for Ray Parker Jr.’s title tune, which also won a Grammy. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is nominated for a BAFTA Award this year for Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects.
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
Working with Ivan was an honor and a pleasure and I’m so grateful that I was invited into the universe he helped to build, one that continues to resonate with fans the world over. 💔 pic.twitter.com/24N3L6nOjY
— Carrie Coon (@carriecoon) February 14, 2022
From Ghostbusters: Afterlife star Mckenna Grace posted on Instagram:
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