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Jason Reitman's Dad Inspired Him To Cast Paul Rudd In Ghostbusters: Afterlife

When it comes to choosing a career path, following in the footsteps of a parent is no easy accomplishment. For many who choose this direction, the size of those shoes to fill depends on the level of success that parent has achieved. For filmmaker Jason Reitman, those shoes couldn't be much bigger. His father, Ivan, directed and produced comedic hits that included "Stripes," "Kindergarten Cop," and most notably, "Ghostbusters." And if living in the shadow of your highly talented father isn't hard enough, Jason decided to add the latest installment of the "Ghostbusters" franchise to his growing credits list. At first, it scared him. And though he was focused on his own vision, that didn't stop Jason from using a bit of inspiration he got from his dad.

Although Ivan has now passed the "Ghostbusters" torch to his son, that doesn't mean Jason hadn't already planted his flag in the Hollywood scene. The Canadian filmmaker has been behind successful films such as "Juno," "Up in the Air," and "Young Adult." With "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" though, he was taking on a direct sequel to a film made by his father. Set 32 years after "Ghostbusters II," it follows a single mother who moves her kids to a farm in Oklahoma that happens to be owned by her father and the kids' grandfather, Egon Spangler (Harold Ramis), one of the original phantom-fighters. For Jason, there was plenty of inspiration to pull from when making this film, and that included the way he cast one of his stars, Paul Rudd.

Paul Rudd is the type of actor Ivan would cast

When it came to casting one of the major supporting roles in 2021's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," Paul Rudd seemed like an obvious choice for director Jason Reitman. "He's the kind of actor who makes everything he's in better," he told HMV. "He's a great writer, he's a great improviser, and he's a perfect Ghostbuster." Jason also explained how Rudd would be exactly the type of comedic actor his father Ivan Reitman would have chosen if only the decades lined up a little differently. "Paul Rudd is the kind of genius comedian that I can almost imagine my father casting back in 1984, had he been the right age," he said.

As for Rudd, himself, if there was any inspiration he could pull for how he played the role, it came from his own childhood memories. When Rudd was interviewed on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" at the time of "Afterlife" releasing in cinemas, the topic of the newest "Ghostbusters" naturally came up. Right away, both he and Meyers were able to tap back into the time they saw the original film.

"Our generation, I remember when that movie came out, it was an event," Rudd said. He also went on to talk about how there was more than just the older films to connect the latest installment with. And that was the Reitmans. "There's this lineage that's happening and to be part of all of that is pretty nuts," the "Ant-Man" star added. Now, Rudd is officially part of an ongoing franchise that continues to be part of our culture today. And if it wasn't for Ivan's inspiration on how he chose his actors, it may have never happened.