Robert Schwentke to breathe life into R.I.P.D.?

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Robert Schwentke has been a busy man lately — and he hasn’t even taken his next assignment yet. The “Flightplan” director is preparing to promote “Red,” his new Bruce Willis action movie that Summit is releasing in the fall. And he’s been linked to a few potential new projects, including an adaptation of the Robert Ludlum thriller “The Osterman Weekend” and the underwater adventure “Shadow Divers.”

We’re now hearing the German director has met on, and is being considered for, the director’s chair on “R.I.P.D.,” the adaptation of the Dark Horse graphic novel that will star Ryan Reynolds. “R.I.P.D.” has been a priority for studio Universal and Dark Horse, but, as we reported last week, it hit a speed bump when favored directorial candidate McG opted to take a different movie, the romantic comedy “This Means War.”


Schwentke had been in contention with McG for the “R.I.P.D.” job. But with the “Terminator Salvation” filmmaker out of the running, Schwentke is back in the “R.I.P.D.” mix, sources say. That “Red” is starting to generate some strong buzz hasn’t hurt the filmmaker’s stock either.

Universal wants to shoot “R.I.P.D.,” a crime movie about dead cops patrolling the underworld, next summer, when Reynolds has an open slot in his schedule. But it wants a director to begin work pretty much right away on the effects- and design-heavy picture, heightening the urgency of the quest.

If he lands the gig, Schwentke would be continuing his move in an action direction after the love-story detour of “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” though the premise of “R.I.P.D. is darker than much of what he’s done before.

Schwentke is said to really like the “R.I.P.D.” source material. Of course it’s not always about the creative aspects — few filmmakers would turn down the chance to work with an A-lister like Reynolds, and on a film with a hefty production and marketing budget to boot.

— Steven Zeitchik


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