Legacy Unleashed: Ghostbusters Director Jason Reitman discusses 'Frozen Empire' and honoring Ivan Reitman

“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” is “at times funny, at times scary, always fun,” says director Gil Kenan
“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” is “at times funny, at times scary, always fun,” says director Gil KenanPhoto credit: Columbia Pictures

"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" has been hailed by director Gil Kenan as a rollercoaster of emotions, promising laughter, scares, and non-stop entertainment. Three years after the torch-passing release of "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," which marked a new era for the franchise, director Jason Reitman, son of the late Ivan Reitman, is gearing up for his next installment, "Frozen Empire."

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Ghostbusters: Frozen EmpirePhoto credit: Columbia Pictures

Jason, discussing the project with his father before Ivan's passing, reminisces, "We sat outside with my dad and we started telling him all our ideas for the next Ghostbusters movie. We laid it all out for him, and it’s the last story that I ever got to tell my dad – the story of Frozen Empire, a new adventure for the Ghostbusters back in Manhattan." This sentiment adds a poignant layer to the film's narrative, tying the legacy of the Reitman family into the fabric of the franchise.

Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Podcast (Logan Kim), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr. Hubert Wartzki (Patton Oswalt) in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), Podcast (Logan Kim), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Dr. Hubert Wartzki (Patton Oswalt) in Ghostbusters: Frozen EmpirePhoto credit: Columbia Pictures

Co-written by Jason and his "Afterlife" collaborator Gil Kenan, who now takes the helm as director, "Frozen Empire" sees the return of the Spengler family to the iconic New York City firehouse. Teaming up with the original Ghostbusters, they discover a top-secret research lab aimed at advancing ghost-busting technology. However, when an ancient artifact unleashes an evil force, old and new Ghostbusters must unite to save their home and the world from a chilling catastrophe.

Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), the Ecto-1, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), the Ecto-1, Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) in Ghostbusters: Frozen EmpirePhoto credit: Columbia Pictures

Dan Aykroyd, reprising his role as Ray Stantz and serving as executive producer, praises the film's ability to stay true to the franchise's roots while evolving the story for a new generation. He remarks, "What really impressed me was the way Jason and Gil have continued the story in ways that feel drawn from the DNA we drew up in 1984. Ultimately, these were regular guys – and now, an ordinary family – who joke and tease and push each other, but they also save the world from terrifying spectral menaces and take that seriously. I love that combination on the big screen."

For Kenan, the appeal of the Ghostbusters franchise lies in its ability to blend scares with comedy, a formula he aims to preserve in "Frozen Empire." He reflects, "Ghostbusters changed my life as a kid – the unique blend of scares and comedy... I had never experienced anything like it in a movie theater before." He hopes to offer a similar experience to today's youth, bridging the gap between generations of fans and introducing a new wave of viewers to the magic of Ghostbusters.

(Back) Callie Spengler, Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard); (Front) Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
(Back) Callie Spengler, Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) and Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard); (Front) Phoebe Spengler (McKenna Grace) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) in Ghostbusters: Frozen EmpirePhoto credit: Columbia Pictures

"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire," distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures hits cinemas on April 10, 2024. Whether you're a die-hard fan or new to the franchise, this film promises to be a thrilling adventure for all. 

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