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Why we think Jason Reitman isn't returning to direct Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

It's all about his family's legacy

Ghostbusters Frozen Empire trailer screenshot
Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. With Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire heading back to the New York City firehouse where it all started, it feels like a full circle moment for the franchise, with one big exception – Frozen Empire is the first Ghostbusters film in the mainline continuity that isn’t directed by someone named Reitman. After helming 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, why is Jason Reitman not returning to Frozen Empire as director?

No official reason has been given, but there has been plenty of speculation about why Jason Reitman isn’t returning to direct another Ghostbusters film. The series was originally directed by his father Ivan, who returned as producer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Ivan unfortunately passed in 2022, which may have prompted his son Jason to pass the baton.

In a report from Deadline when the change in directors was announced, Jason Reitman said, “A few years ago, my father handed me the keys to Ecto-1, and together we made Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Words will never express how grateful I am to have made a film with my father by my side. It’s now time to hand those keys to my creative partner and fellow Ghostbuster Gil Kenan, a brilliant director who will keep the Spengler spirit alive. I can only hope to provide him the same producorial care and support that my father showed me.”

There is a lot crammed into that statement, but it seems that his father’s passing has a lot to do with Jason Reitman’s decision to hand the Ghostbusters franchise over to someone else. We can only speculate about the real reasons – he may not have wanted to get tied down to a long-running franchise at this stage in his career, or he may simply want to see what other directors can do in the world his father helped create. He will, however, be involved in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire as a producer.

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About the Author
Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon


Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)