MOTW: Five Fun Facts About "R.I.P.D"

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
July 17th, 2013

MOTW: Five Fun Facts About "R.I.P.D"

What happens when a popular police officer dies and discovers that not all law enforcement officials stay dead? The studio behind "R.I.P.D." hopes that viewers want to watch the film and find out for themselves. Ryan Reynolds ("Green Lantern") plays Nick, a police officer who dies and finds himself transferred to the R.I.P.D., where he must learn the rules of the world with the help of Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"). Once fans learn more about the filming and production of the film, they might appreciate "R.I.P.D." even more.

Based on a Comic Book

Before it was a hit Hollywood film, the story was actually a comic book written by Peter M. Lenkov. Lenkov wrote the screenplays for the films "Demolition Man" and "Son in Law," and he has also worked on television shows such as "Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories" and "Hawaii Five-O." He worked on the story behind "R.I.P.D." for Dark Horse Entertainment, which also released the original "Witchblade" comics. Lenkov won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative for the comic "Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained."

In the comic book, Nick is a police officer who willingly joins the R.I.P.D. after learning that he can find and bring down the man responsible for his death. The only stipulation is that he must work for the department for 100 years, no matter how long it takes him to seek his revenge. Some fans of the comic will wonder how closely the film follows that storyline, because early trailers show some humorous scenes that weren't in the comics.

Goodbye Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster is a two-time Academy Award winner for Best Actress, and film fans immediately started whispering when Universal Studios announced she signed on for the film. Foster typically takes on dark and gritty films that show the strength of her acting. She won an Oscar for "The Silence of the Lambs," and her more recent roles included films such as "Panic Room" and "The Brave One." Many thought Foster would give the film a darker and more serious tone, but some wondered why she would star in such a film. After Foster left the role, Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds") joined the cast.

What Happened to Zach Galifianakis?

Zach Galifianakis is one of the best comedic actors of the last few years. Though the actor appeared in several films and on television, he rose to fame thanks to his role in "The Hangover." That film helped him launch a career that included two sequels to the film and roles in "Due Date" and several other popular films. When he announced his role in "R.I.P.D.," fans knew the film would be funny.

Those fans were disappointed when Galifianakis dropped out before filming began. Galifianakis claimed that filming interfered with his role in "Southern Rivals," which also starred Will Ferrell. "Southern Rivals" later became "The Campaign," and that film arrived in theaters in September 2012. By the time Galifianakis realized he could still do "R.I.P.D," the studio had already cast Jeff Bridges in his role.

Avoiding Competition

Summer is the season of the Hollywood blockbuster, and studios want their films to come out on top. Before "R.I.P.D." landed in theaters, Universal Studios announced a release date of June 28, 2013. When the studio realized the competition it faced, it pushed back the release date by almost a month. As it's a sci-fi film, the studio didn't want to compete against the big-budget film "World War Z," and it realized that parents might take their kids to see "Monsters University." It also faced competition from "The Heat" and "White House Down," both of which came out on the same date.

By releasing the film in July, the studio avoided going head to head with similar films in the genre. The only sci-fi film coming out in July is "Pacific Rim," and that comes out more than a week before "R.I.P.D." does. Universal Studios hopes that by releasing the film closer to the end of the summer, it can garner more viewers.

The Comic-Book Connection

"R.I.P.D." has a number of connections to the comic-book world. Reynolds previously took on the role of Green Lantern in the film of the same name, and the studio behind that film hopes to begin working on a sequel by the end of 2013. Parker played a lead role in the Bruce Willis film "Red," which was first a graphic novel. The director of "R.I.P.D" is Robert Schwentke, who also directed "Red." The film also stars Kevin Bacon, who appeared in "X-Men: First Class," and Stephanie Szostak from "Iron Man 3."

Based on a popular comic book, "R.I.P.D." is a sci-fi film that tells a dark and sometimes funny story. Those who watch the film might enjoy it even more after learning some of the fun facts behind the film, including its connections to comic books and the stars who dropped out of the film.