Interview: ‘Draft Day’ director Ivan Reitman on why he’s not doing ‘Ghostbusters III’

The latest from director Ivan Reitman ("Stripes," "Ghostbusters") is "Draft Day." Credit: Getty Images
The latest from director Ivan Reitman (“Stripes,” “Ghostbusters”) is “Draft Day.”
Credit: Getty Images

Ivan Reitman returns to the director’s chair with the football drama “Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner as the beleaguered general manager of the Cleveland Browns. For Reitman, the film signals a change in what sort of material he wants to direct — which means someone else will be helming “Ghostbusters III.”

How do you go about getting non-football fans to care about football?

That’s the magic trick of this movie. When we were making it, I knew that if it was only for football fans then the film wasn’t right. Because it’s really not so much about football, even though it takes place in the football world. It’s really about human drama and being under pressure and rising against it.

And you have Kevin Costner as the guy dealing with that pressure.

There’s just something about the guy that looks like he should be doing this and could have done it in his life. I said this to him when I first met him, that there’s kind of this inner goodness that he represents, this all-American kind of good guy quality that we as men want to follow, and it’s what makes him effective as a movie star. It’s sort of what Gary Cooper and all those great, classical old-time Hollywood guys had.

How did he respond to that?

He sort of smiled shyly at me and changed the subject. [Laughs]

Being in charge of a major-league sports team is such a public job, with so many fans and critics offering unsolicited opinions. Sort of like being a movie director, right?

There’s 100,000 reviewers out there, not counting all the people who review your movie anyway as individuals and tell their friends, “Yeah, it sucked.” It’s part of public life today, and it’s why I could relate to the story very easily. I felt very much like his job is the job of a director in a movie. I’ve had to deal with those kinds of pressures.

What are your priorities for choosing projects to direct at this point in your career?

At this age, if I’m going to continue directing, I think it will be things that are a little smaller and more intimate that have a stronger emotional core to them. It sort of led to that decision of withdrawing from “Ghostbusters” as a director. I wanted to do it, but I was always torn for that reason. And then with Harold Ramis’ death, it just didn’t seem right for me to continue as the director, and I actually thought I’d be more effective as the producer of the project.

What do you think about the die hard “Ghostbusters” fans out there who don’t think a third movie is a good idea?

People are cynical, and there’s now a million critics out there who let everybody know on a daily basis what they think about everything. People are always almost 90 percent negative on what they don’t know, because what’s in their imagination is not necessarily correct. I know we have a script that I think will work, and I have a long history of making things work. I’ve been wrong a bunch of times, but I think this is a really good one, and I think it’s worth making. The studio does, too. So we’ll see. It will either work or it won’t. This will be a very considered sequel, if it’s going to happen.

Did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger keeps talking up the planned “Twins” sequel, “Triplets,” during his press appearances?

Oh yeah? I know he wants to do it, but I’m not sure if Universal wants to do it. We have an actually pretty good script that just came in. As a producer I’m certainly interested. I think there’s an audience for it, and I think the studio is trying to make up its mind.

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter @nedrick



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Local

Flood Wall Street protesters shut down lower Manhattan…

Riding the momentum of Sunday’s People’s Climate March, more than a thousand protesters filled Broadway in lower Manhattan on Monday, shutting down traffic. Flood Wall…

Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

Style

Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.

Education

Here are this year's most creative college application…

The college application essay is one of the only times during the admissions process where a student can showcase his or her personality. While many…

Style

Nicola Formichetti on Diesel, the digital revolution and…

The artistic director of fashion label Diesel – and stylist for Lady Gaga – is creating human connection through social media.

Education

Your older siblings probably had a big impact…

As many high school students agonize over where to go to college, it turns out they turn to a very familiar source for advice and…