Ivan Reitman was interviewed by Chris Chiarella in a recent issue of Home Theater Magazine, in which (as you’d expect) Ghostbusters comes up – the interview was about the DVD release of My Super Ex-Girlfriend, but GB kind of dominated. GhostDiva kindly sent a transcript of the the GB bits.
Q: With Ghostbusters, did you feel you introduced a new genre? It was a great fantasy/adventure, but I don’t anyone had blended those with comedy so successfully before.
A: Well, thank you. I don’t know if it was “new.” I think there’d been versions of it. I don’t think anyone had done it where the tone was quite so…right. The comedy is pretty pure and very contemporary, the scary parts are legitimately scary, and the science fiction, even though it’s a bit spoofed, plays on this grand scale.
Q: I’ve heard some creative people say that success can be a trap. Was there any downside to the Ghostbusters phenomenon?
A: It took me a long time to say yes to another movie, as a director. I had quite a run, for about 20 years, of making one hit after another. So, I can’t say it was a determent, although I think it made me a very difficult “yes.”
Q: The pressure to commit to the right project next.
A: The bar gets set higher and higher. Between the periods of Animal House and Ghostbusters, in those five years, I , one, directed and, two, produced the two highest-grossing comedies of all time, with some pretty good hits in between.
Q: With so many of your movies at Universal, and them strictly in the HD camp, and Sony all about Blu-Ray, are you going to have to back both formats if the split continues?
A: I guess. I have a big chunk at Universal; I have a very big chunk at Sony because Sony has all the Bill Murray movies: Meatballs, Stripes, and the two Ghostbusters. And Heavy Metal. I think the Ghostbusters movies and Stripes are three of the biggest titles ever-because they keep doing new editions of them! [laughs]
Also of note, Reitman owns 4000+ laserdiscs, all of them suffering bit-rot now.