If you’ve seen Ghostbusters: Afterlife and curious how the film was made, you’re in the right place. Shortly before the film was released in theaters, I landed an extended interview with co-writer and director Jason Reitman to break down the making of the film. During the wide-ranging and informative conversation, Reitman revealed how the project came about, why they wanted the film to look like an Amblin movie from the ‘80s, the challenges of writing a film that needed to work for someone that has never seen a Ghostbusters movie and also fans that grew up watching the films, why he made some cuts after the CinemaCon screening, how they didn’t know the ending would work until very late in the process of making the film, the way every person that worked on the film planted Easter eggs, and more. In addition, he revealed what he’d want to see in a Ghostbusters ride at a theme park, which of his films changed the most in the editing room, and which of his fathers (Ivan Reitman) films someone should start with if they’ve never seen anything he’s directed.
As you’ve seen in the trailers, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the sequel to 1984’s Ghostbusters and 1989’s Ghostbusters II, as the film follows a mother (Carrie Coon) and her two kids (McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard) who move to Oklahoma, where the kids discover their grandfather’s past with the original Ghostbusters team. In addition to Coon, Grace, and Wolfhard, the film also stars Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor, and Tracy Letts. Also returning to the franchise are Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts. The film was written by Reitman & Gil Kenan.
Watch what Jason Reitman had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
- If he could get the financing for any project he wants to make what would he make and why?
- If someone has never seen anything he’s directed, what does he want them to start with and why?
- If someone has never seen one of his father’s movies, what should they start with?
- Which of his films changed the most in the editing room?
- What would he want to see in a Ghostbusters ride at a theme park?
- When did he realize he wanted to make a Ghostbusters movie?
- How did he ended up writing the screenplay with Gil Kenan?
- What were some of the other ideas they came up with which ended up not being used?
- How the codename for the film was Rust City.
- Did they ever consider another name besides Ghostbusters: Afterlife?
- How did he come up with the look for Afterlife with his cinematographer Eric Steelberg?
- Why they wanted the film to look like an Amblin film from the ‘80s.
- The challenges of writing a film that needed to work for someone that has never seen a Ghostbusters movie and also fans that grew up watching the films.
- Did anyone ever say, “you’re killing the mini-Stay Puft Marshmallow Men a bit too brutally in the film.”
- Who has the animatronic terror dog from the film?
- What were the obstacles they faced with trying to make the movie with the time and budget they were given?
- Did they build extra proton packs so he could keep one after they wrapped?
- Why did he work with two editors on the film?
- How long was his first cut of the film?
- How they made a cut to the film after showing it at CinemaCon.
- How many deleted scenes did they end up with?
- How he cut a oner with Finn Wolfhard going out to the car at the diner.
- Does the film have any hard to find Easter eggs?
- How everyone working on the film was placing Easter eggs in the film.
- Would we want to make a sequel to this film?
- Does he have an answer to what was being set up at the end of the film.
- How the ending required extremely advanced visual effects to make it work.
- How they didn’t know the ending would work until very late in the process of making the film.
- What will he direct next?
They also reveal what was the toughest shot for each of them to pull off and why.
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