Ryan Reynolds' next big comic-book movie, R.I.P.D., could start filming any day now. A few weeks ago, casting calls went out for a bunch of supporting roles. And Reynolds already has a high-powered co-star: Jeff Bridges.
R.I.P.D. is based on a comic from Dark Horse, and all indications are it's going to be a pretty fun romp. There's a definite Men In Black vibe to both the comic and the movie's script, with a hefty dose of Ghostbusters. It's pretty easy to see how the comic chops of Reynolds and Bridges could transform this film into a must-see.
Minor spoilers ahead...
In R.I.P.D., Reynolds plays Nick Walker, a Chicago cop who gets gunned down by his partner, Simon Hawes. And then Walker wakes up in the afterlife, where he's offered a chance to join a secret elite police force: the Rest In Peace Division. So many people are dying nowadays, due to the soaring population, that some of the dead manage to escape from going into the light, and instead hide out on Earth. Walker's job is to spend the next hundred years hunting down the dead on Earth.
There are just two rules: You can't kill a living person, and you can't interact with any of the people from your previous life. To make the second rule especially different, Walker is sent back to duty in Chicago, the city he patrolled when he was alive.
Walker gets paired with a veteran partner: Bocephus "Bo" Pulsipher, a former Wild West lawman who died back in the 1800s. There are many, many funny scenes of Bo showing Nick the ropes, including the two of them watching Nick's funeral and Bo commenting on the mediocre turnout. Bo is kind of a grouchy old stick-in-the-mud who idolizes Hoyt Stenson, the lawman he partnered with when he was alive. He's sort of a gruff mentor with a hefty dose of the crazy — and the dynamic between Nick and Bo is not that dissimilar to the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones relationship in the first Men In Black.
Bo was originally going to be played by Zach Galifianakis until he bowed out and Bridges stepped into the role. I'd say we traded up. On the other hand, you can easily see Bo as a Galifianakis role, with the same mixture of lunatic and sage he displayed in It's Kind of a Funny Story.
The main difference between R.I.P.D. and M.I.B. is the fact that R.I.P.D. is much more of a cop movie, with an overt focus on organized crime and police corruption.
All in all, it's got a fun vibe to it, and if it manages to keep the loose, silly humor that's in the source material, and Reynolds and Bridges have as much chemistry as they ought to, then it could well be a comedy classic on the level of the original M.I.B. Here's hoping!