Musical producer

Ivan Reitman, director of ‘Ghostbusters’ and producer of ‘Animal House’, dies at 75 | Movies

The Reitmans joined a relative in Toronto, where Ivan showed his penchant for showbiz: starting a puppet theater, entertaining at summer camps, playing coffeehouses with a folk band. He studied music and theater at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and started making short films.

With friends and $12,000, Reitman made a nine-day movie, “Cannibal Girls,” which American International agreed to release. He produced a $500 weekly weekly revue, “Greed”, with Dan Aykroyd, and partnered with the Lampoon group in their off-Broadway revue which featured John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Murray. This quickly led to “Animal House”.

Reitman seized the moment after the massive success of “Animal House” and raised funds to make “Meatballs,” which would be tamer than the hard-R “Animal House.”

He cast Murray to star, which would prove to be a big break for the comedian, but Ramis later said Reitman didn’t know if Murray would actually show up until the first day of filming. But it was the start of a successful, long-standing partnership that would produce the wartime comedy “Stripes,” which Reitman said he envisioned on the way to premiering “Meatballs” and “Ghostbusters.”

Reitman also cast Schwarzenegger in his first major comedy, opposite Danny DeVito in “Twins.” There was such uncertainty surrounding the project that all forfeited their fees for a share of the profits, which would prove to be a lucrative deal when the film grossed $216 million against a production budget of $18 million. In September 2021, it was announced that a sequel, “Triplets” was in the works with Reitman leading its original cast, as well as Tracy Morgan as their long-lost brother.