Jason Reitman
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Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
CFC In LA 2012 19 (6962385999) (Jason Reitman cropped).jpg
Reitman in 2012
Born (1977-10-19) October 19, 1977 (age 43)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
EducationHarvard-Westlake School
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film producer
Years active1988-present
Known for
Michele Lee
(m. 2004⁠–⁠2014)
Children1
Parent(s)Ivan Reitman
Geneviève Robert
RelativesCatherine Reitman (sister)

Jason R. Reitman (; born October 19, 1977)[1] is a Canadian-American film director, screenwriter, and producer, best known for directing the films Thank You for Smoking (2005), Juno (2007), Up in the Air (2009), and Young Adult (2011). He has received one Grammy Award, one Golden Globe, and four Academy Award nominations, two of which are for Best Director. Reitman is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. He is the son of director Ivan Reitman.

Early life

Reitman was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada,[1] the son of Geneviève Robert, an actress sometimes billed as Geneviève Deloir, and comedy director Ivan Reitman. Reitman has two younger sisters: Catherine Reitman, an actress, producer and writer, who is three years younger, and Caroline Reitman, a nurse, who is 12 years younger.[2]

Reitman's father was born in Czechoslovakia, to Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors. Reitman's paternal grandfather ran a dry cleaner and then a car wash.[2]

His mother is from a Christian background, and of French-Canadian descent; she converted to Judaism.[3][4][5] When he was still a child, his family moved to Los Angeles.[6]

His father, Ivan, directed the films Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Stripes, and Kindergarten Cop. Reitman grew up on set, and has photos of himself as a baby on the set of Animal House in 1978.[2] This showed him that making movies is "a job that people do, that it's not just this piece of magic that happens."[2]

Jason described his childhood self as "a loser... a movie geek... [and] shy."[7] In the late 1980s, Reitman began appearing in small acting parts and serving as a production assistant on his father's films. He spent time in the editing rooms of his father's movies, learning the process.[7]

Reitman graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in 1995; Reitman was a high jumper in high school, coached by Occidental College Hall-of-Famer Phil Sweeney.[8]

Reitman attended Skidmore College and was going to major in pre-med studies before transferring to the University of Southern California (USC) to major in English/Creative Writing. At USC he performed with improv group Commedus Interruptus.[9]

Film career

Reitman started out making short films during his time at USC.[2] Throughout his 20s, instead of accepting offers to make commercial feature films, Reitman began making his own short films and directing commercials. Although he was offered the opportunity to direct Dude, Where's My Car? on two separate occasions, he declined.[7]

Reitman's first feature film, Thank You for Smoking, opened in 2005. Reitman developed the Christopher Buckley novel into a screenplay and, eventually, a film. The film was a commercial and critical success. It grossed over $39 million worldwide by the end of its run, and was nominated for two Golden Globes. After the success of Thank You for Smoking, Reitman mentioned in an interview that his next film would be adapting another book (a "white collar satire") into a film. He also mentioned that he had plans to work with Buckley again on an original project.[10] Although the first of these projects would eventually become Up in the Air, this second project has not come to fruition.

His second film, Juno, generated great buzz after it premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival[11] and was released in December 2007. It was Roger Ebert's favorite film of 2007 and received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Ellen Page's performance as the title character, Diablo Cody's original screenplay, and Reitman himself for Best Director. Reitman did win other awards for his work on Juno, including Best Director at the 2008 Canadian Comedy Awards. The film grossed over $140 million at the U.S. box office, making it the largest success of Reitman's career and more successful than any of his father's films since Kindergarten Cop.[12]Brad Silberling was originally attached to direct the film, but he dropped out over casting differences.[13] Reitman was in the middle of writing a screenplay when he came on board to direct Juno and, at one point, he expressed intent to finish writing and to direct this screenplay.[14]

In March 2006, Reitman formed the production company "Hard C Productions" with producing partner Daniel Dubiecki. The company had an overall deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures, the company that distributed Reitman's first two films. Reitman described his production company's goal as being to produce "small subversive comedy that is independent but accessible".[15] Reitman states that he and Dubiecki "want to make unusual films, and anything that turns a genre on its ear".[16] Through Hard C Productions, Reitman is set to produce and direct Banzai Shadowhands, a comedy about "a once-great ninja who is now living a life of mediocrity". Shadowhands will be written by The Office's Rainn Wilson. Reitman met Wilson on the set of his father's film My Super Ex-Girlfriend, in which Wilson had a supporting role.[15] No start date for filming has been set, and it is unclear as to whether or not Wilson is finished with the script.

Hard C Productions produced films The Ornate Anatomy of Living Things and Jennifer's Body. Anatomy has been written by Matthew Spicer and Max Winkler, and will revolve around "a Gotham bookstore clerk who discovers a museum devoted to his life".[17]Jennifer's Body is a horror comedy written by Diablo Cody and starring Megan Fox, about a cheerleader who is possessed by a demon and starts feeding off the boys in a Minnesota farming town.[16] In 2009, Reitman left Hard C to form Right of Way Films.

In 2001, the year the novel Up in the Air was published, Sheldon Turner discovered the book and wrote a screenplay adaptation, which he sold to DreamWorks in 2003. Jason Reitman later came upon the novel (initially attracted by the Christopher Buckley blurb on the cover) while browsing in the Los Angeles bookstore Book Soup.[18][19] Reitman persuaded his father Ivan Reitman to purchase the book's film rights, and the elder Reitman commissioned a screenplay from Ted and Nicholas Griffin, who used some elements from Turner's script in their own work. Jason Reitman then developed his own screenplay, incorporating some of the elements from the Griffins' script that had (unbeknownst to Reitman) originated with Turner. Some of Turner's inventions that were utilized in the final film include Ryan's boilerplate termination speech ("Anyone who ever built an empire or changed the world sat where you're sitting right now..."), a key plot point involving a suicide, and the character of Ryan's partner (written by Turner as male).[19][20]

Reitman initially attempted to claim sole credit for writing the film, and later admitted to being confused when the Writers Guild of America ruled that he should share credit with Turner. He and Turner later appeared at a WGA event where both said they were happy to share credit now that the course of events, and Turner's contribution to the final product, had been made clear.[19][20]

In the spring of 2009, Reitman directed Up in the Air starring George Clooney. Up in the Air is based on a novel written by Walter Kirn about a corporate downsizer who travels from city to city and is fanatical about collecting his ten millionth frequent flier mile. The film features real-world characters cast from the ranks of the recently downsized. "Hidden within a film that seems to be about corporate termination and the economy is a movie about the decision whether to be alone or not," noted Reitman,"[21] in an interview conducted just prior to the film's nationwide release. Sheldon Turner and Reitman's Up in the Air screenplay won the Golden Globe Award for best screenplay in 2010.

Reitman also executively produced the erotic thriller Chloe, theatrically released by Sony Pictures Classics on March 26, 2010.[22] Reitman helped persuade Amanda Seyfried to star in the film.[23] The film had enjoyed commercial success and became director Atom Egoyan's biggest moneymaker ever.[24]

On January 15, 2019, Reitman announced he would be working on Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a continuation of the original Ghostbusters films directed by his father, which is slated to be released on June 11, 2021.[25][26]

Other work

Before his feature film career began, Jason Reitman wrote and directed six short films. He financed his first short film, "Operation", with money he made by selling ads in desk calendars. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998.[27]

He was a guest on The Howard Stern Show on April 10, 2008; when he was asked if he would direct Ghostbusters III and cast Howard, he said "Do you know how many times I get asked if I want to do Ghostbusters III? Looking at my career so far, I mean, if you just looked at my two films, I would make the most boring Ghostbusters movie. It would just be people talking about ghosts, there wouldn't be any ghost-busting in it." Stern, a friend of Ivan Reitman, also revealed that he had seen Jason's early short films and was impressed enough to offer him the opportunity to direct an episode of Son of the Beach (a TV series he produced, a goofy parody of Baywatch), which Jason declined, citing that he was busy obtaining financing for Thank You for Smoking at the time.

Reitman produced and directed the 2007 holiday season commercials for Wal-Mart with advertising agency Bernstein-Rein. He has also directed ads for Burger King, Nintendo, BMW, and Buick.[27] In television, Reitman directed two episodes of The Office entitled "Local Ad" and "Frame Toby". Reitman also directed a three-part pretaped sketch for the NBC show Saturday Night Live called "Death by Chocolate," about a walking candy bar, played by episode host Ashton Kutcher, who murders people; stabbing a homeless man, shooting a doctor, cutting off a life support machine on a coma victim, and slicing Andy Samberg (dressed as a lumberjack) with a chainsaw.

Since 2011, Reitman directs the Live Read series, a monthly live staged reading of film scripts as part of the Film Independent at LACMA.[28]

In 2020, Reitman directed The Princess Bride, a television adaption of novel of the same name for Quibi featuring an ensemble cast to raise money for World Central Kitchen.[29]

Personal life

Reitman is a self-described libertarian.[30]

When Reitman was 16 and still in high school he moved in with a woman 10 years his senior. They separated after 7 years.[2]

In 2000, when he was 23, Reitman started dating his next-door neighbor, writer Michele Lee,[31] with whom he co-wrote the 2004 comedic short "Consent."[32] They married and have one child, a daughter named Josie, born in 2006.[33] After being together 10 years, Reitman filed for divorce in June 2011 and was divorced as of 2014.[2][33]

Filmography

Short films

Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1998 Operation Yes Yes Yes
1999 H@ Yes Yes No
2000 In God We Trust Yes Yes executive
2001 Gulp Yes Yes No
2002 Uncle Sam Yes Yes No Documentary short
2004 Consent Yes Yes No

Television

Year Title Director Executive
Producer
Notes
2007-2008 The Office Yes No Episodes "Local Ad" and "Frame Toby"
2015 Casual Yes Yes
2020 The Princess Bride Yes No

Acting credits

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Twins Granger Grandson
1989 Ghostbusters II Brownstone Boy #2
1990 Kindergarten Cop Kissing Boy
1993 Dave Vice-President's Son
1997 Fathers' Day Wrong Kid in Alley
1998 Operation Woodsy Freedom Fighter Short film
2000 In God We Trust W.F.F.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
2005 Independent Spirit Awards Best Screenplay Thank You for Smoking Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards Best Screenplay Won
National Board of Review Best Directorial Debut Won
Norwegian International Film Festival Audience Award Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Toronto Film Critics Association Best First Feature Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Most Promising Director Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Best Breakthrough Filmmaker Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2007 Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival Grand Prix Juno Won
Canadian Comedy Awards Best Direction Won
Christopher Award Feature Films Won
Gijón International Film Festival Special Prize of the Young Jury Won
Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Won
Palm Springs International Film Festival Chairman's Vanguard Award Won
Rome Film Fest Golden Marc'Aurelio Award Won
St. Louis International Film Festival Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Won
Stockholm Film Festival Audience Award Won
Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award 2nd place
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Director Nominated
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina Best Foreign Film Nominated
Amanda Award Best Foreign Feature Film Nominated
Argentinean Film Critics Association Award Best Foreign Film, Not in the Spanish Language Nominated
Bodil Awards Best American Film Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Director Nominated
Gijón International Film Festival Best Feature Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Director Nominated
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Best Non-European Director Nominated
Robert Award Best American Film Nominated
2009 AFI Award Movie of the Year Up in the Air Won
Austin Film Critics Award Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Director Won
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Won
National Board of Review Best Adapted Screenplay Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Screenplay 2nd place
PEN Center USA West Literary Award Won
Palm Springs International Film Festival Award Director of the Year Award Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Adapted Screenplay Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award Best Adapted Screenplay 2nd place
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Toronto Film Critics Association Award Best Screenplay
(tied with Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds)
Won
USC Scripter Award
(shared with Walter Kirn)
Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Won
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award Best Director Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Director Nominated
David di Donatello Award Best Foreign Film Nominated
Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directing - Feature film Nominated
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Best Non-European Director Nominated
London Critics Circle Best Director of the Year Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Producers Guild of America Award Best Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award Nominated
Robert Award Best American Film Nominated
Rome Film Fest Golden Marc'Aurelio Award Nominated
Satellite Award Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award Best Director Nominated
Stockholm Film Festival Bronze Horse Award Nominated
2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival Chairman's Vanguard Award
(shared with Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt and Diablo Cody)
Young Adult Won

References

  1. ^ a b "Crew: Jason Reitman, Director, Co-Screenwriter, Producer". Up In the Air (official site). Archived from the original on 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Maron, Marc (April 14, 2014). "Episode 488 - Jason Reitman" (podcast). WTF Podcast. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ Goodman, Lee-Anne (December 5, 2009). "Jason Reitman just 'had to make' 'Juno'". Canadian Press. CTV News Toronto. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ Lamble, David (December 17, 2009). "Frequent flier brings the bad news". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "He and his French-Canadian wife, who converted to Judaism, are bringing up their children in the same tradition."
  6. ^ "Jason Reitman Biography". movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ a b c Ebert, Roger (December 8, 2007). ""Juno's" Reitman on Ellen Page: "She's the real thing. Fearless"". Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ From the Commentary to Juno. Reitman states that the High-Jumper is a call out to his days as a High-Jumper.
  9. ^ Wheeler, John (December 1, 2009). "Reitman finds himself on the ascent". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ Wines, Shawn. "Lobbying is Kind of Funny Archived 2007-10-16 at the Wayback Machine", Ignore Magazine, 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  11. ^ Evans, Ian (2007), Juno premiere at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, retrieved
  12. ^ "Juno - Box Office Mojo", Box Office Mojo, 2007-01-03. Retrieved on January 4, 2008.
  13. ^ Kreps, Daniel. "Page, Reitman Join Juno", Ioncinema.com, 2006-10-04. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  14. ^ Reuven, Shmuel. "Exclusive: Jason Reitman Talks Juno and Ghostbusters Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine," Jew Review, 2007. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  15. ^ a b Kit, Borys and Nicole Sperling. "Reitman, Wilson say 'Bonzai'", The Hollywood Reporter, 2006-11-20. Retrieved on January 4, 2008.
  16. ^ a b Kit, Borys. "Reitman has the jump on Cody's 'Body'", The Hollywood Reporter, 2007-11-13. Retrieved on January 4, 2008.
  17. ^ Garrett, Diane and Peter Gilstrap. "Searchlight interested in 'Anatomy'", Variety, 2007-05-14. Retrieved on January 4, 2008.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (2009-12-09). "Reitman on origins of 'Air': Pic inspired by Buckley quote in book". Variety. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b c Pond, Steve (2010-01-25). "'Up in the Air' Holds a Damage-Control Screening". The Wrap. Retrieved .
  20. ^ a b Zeitchik, Steven (2010-01-15). "Screenwriting credits, floating up in the air". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Jason Reitman: Up In The Air". SuicideGirls.com. 23 Dec 2009. Retrieved .
  22. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=chloe.htm
  23. ^ http://www.screendaily.com/reports/interviews/the-great-entertainer/5006120.article
  24. ^ Pevere, Geoff (December 7, 2010). "The Digital Revolution: Part 1". The Star. Toronto.
  25. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (October 21, 2020). "'Ghostbusters' Sequel Moves to Summer 2021". Variety. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ Alexander, Bryan (January 15, 2019). "'Ghostbusters' is returning: Jason Reitman to direct a new movie in the original universe". USA Today.
  27. ^ a b "Jason Reitman - Libertarian Archived 2007-02-02 at the Wayback Machine", Advocates of Self Government, 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  28. ^ Breznican, Anthony. "Jason Reitman's "Live Read"". Departure. Retrieved 2014.
  29. ^ Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ https://reason.com/archives/2018/11/21/jason-reitman-on-the-front-runner-gary-h/
  31. ^ Biography for Michele Lee on IMDb
  32. ^ Consent on IMDb
  33. ^ a b Steinman, Alex (June 22, 2011). "'Up in the Air' director Jason Reitman files for divorce from wife Michele Lee". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011.
  34. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944/awards
  35. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467406/awards
  36. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1193138/awards
  37. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1967545/
  38. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2582802/fullcredits/

External links


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