Biography of Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman is a Slovak-Canadian director known for his playful treatments of comedic subject material particularly through the 1980s and 1990s. Reitman got his start as a producer, working on two David Cronenberg films. He made the switch to comedy with National Lampoon's Animal House, which he produced, and his directorial debut was the 1979 Bill Murray vehicle Meatballs. Throughout the 1980s he directed the films Kindergarten Cop starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ghostbusters, Twins (also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), Dave, Junior (again with Arnold Schwarzenegger), Evolution, and No Strings Attached.

Reitman is known for his comedies, broad and heartwarming fare usually built around absurd premises. Twins is about two very different men, who unbelievably discover they are twins (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito), Junior is about a man that gets pregnant, and Ghostbusters is about a group of scientists who start a lucrative business exterminating ghosts from various locales around New York City. Of all his films, Ghostbusters is perhaps Reitman's most iconic. In an interview, Reitman said of the film, "Partially, there’s a Wizard of Oz–like thing about it—the combination of scariness and comedy and the charming band of characters. Their sophistication worked for adults, and the silliness of trapping ghosts made it delightful for younger people. It was one of those rare movies that was fun to watch as a family. And the fact, of course, that I did a good job."

Reitman still directs and produces. Recent producing credits include the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters, the film Baywatch, and Father Figures. His son, Jason, is also a director who has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Director, and whose films include Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult, and Tully.

Study Guides on Works by Ivan Reitman

The genre of horror buddy comedy was not particularly common at the time that Ghostbusters was released, and it redefined the genre in unforeseeable ways. Star and writer Dan Aykroyd initially imagined that Ghostbusters would be a star vehicle for...