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Ivan Reitman's Final Movie Is A Bittersweet Capstone To His Career

The devastating death of Ivan Reitman at the age of 75 shook the world of entertainment when the popular director's passing on February 12 was announced the following day. Reitman was a well-known icon of the industry. He started his career in the late 1960s, and stayed active until the very end, making many popular movies along the way. 

Reitman is particularly well-known for directing a number of classic Bill Murray comedies in the late 1970s and 1980s, including "Meatballs," "Stripes" — and, of course, "Ghostbusters" and its sequel, "Ghostbusters II." His cultural legacy would obviously be set in stone with "Ghostbusters" alone, but his career as a filmmaker extended far beyond this period of comedic creativity. Knowing this, it's surprising to realize that the last movie he worked on managed to honor his legacy in so many ways. Let's take a look at how Ivan Reitman's final movie is a bittersweet capstone to his career.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife honors Ivan Reitman on multiple fronts

Though Ivan Reitman was famous as a director, he was also an extremely successful producer. In this capacity, he was involved in a great many projects that ranged from comedies like "National Lampoon's Animal House" and "Space Jam" to more serious fare like "Disturbia." 

As a producer, Reitman was attached to a number of projects — some of them still at pre-production or announcement stage — until the very end. However, the last Ivan Reitman project that wrapped up during his lifetime held a particular significance on a number of fronts. The movie in question is none other than "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," a canonical sequel to the two Reitman-directed "Ghostbusters" movies. What's more, the movie is also very much Reitman-directed — at the helm of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" was none other than Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman's son and an award-winning writer and director of his own right.  

This isn't the first time the father and the son have worked together — notably, Ivan Reitman produced six-time Oscar nominee "Up in The Air," which Jason wrote and directed. However, in a joint interview with The Guardian in 2021, it was clear that the father was visibly moved by the fact that the pair were able to work on "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" together, and the son certainly welcomed the experience, as well. "Of course you want people to like your movie," Jason Reitman said. "But if I had to narrow it down to who I made this movie for, it was my Dad."