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Reitman Talks Up in the Air, Clooney

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 15, 2009 at 11:54AM

Six years ago, Jason Reitman picked up the Walter Kirn novel Up in the Air and showed it to his father Ivan (Ghostbusters), who acquired film rights. Jason took a short stab at a film treatment of the book about a businessman who is obsessed with collecting frequent flier miles.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Six years ago, Jason Reitman picked up the Walter Kirn novel Up in the Air and showed it to his father Ivan (Ghostbusters), who acquired film rights. Jason took a short stab at a film treatment of the book about a businessman who is obsessed with collecting frequent flier miles.

But the screenwriter and shorts filmmaker had to earn his stripes as a director with Thank You for Smoking before he was given the chance to direct Up in the Air by his father's production company. Then the younger Reitman took a detour to make Diablo Cody's Juno . By the time he came back to Up in the Air, the world was changing around him, so that the movie he had started to write became a very different animal indeed.

I talked to Reitman at the small Telluride Film Festival in the Rockies where he debuted Juno two years ago, before he premiered Up in the Air at his home town, Toronto. He talks about how he landed George Clooney, who he had always had in mind:


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This article is related to: Directors, Headliners, Video, Interviews , Jason Reitman, George Clooney


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.