BREAKING: Robert Schwentke has locked a deal to direct R.I.P.D., the Universal Pictures supernatural-themed action film that will star Ryan Reynolds. Schwentke, who is creating buzz for the upcoming Bruce Willis-Helen Mirren-starrer Red, will start shooting late next summer, when Reynolds has carved out a slot in his busy dance card. He is shooting The Change Up, followed by Safe House, and then, hopefully, R.I.P.D.
Based on a Peter Lenkov comic published by Dark Horse, R.I.P.D. is a law enforcement division staffed by dead guys. Reynolds plays a cop who is killed in the line of duty and enlists for the chance to stop his killer. He’s partnered with a long dead gunslinger. Script was written by Clash of the Titans scribes Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, the duo that also scripted Staycation for Warner Bros and The Boys for Sony. Schwentke is separately attached to direct an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Osterman Weekend for Summit Entertainment, which just set Jesse Wigutow for a rewrite. Schwentke is also attached to direct an adaptation of the Robert Kurson novel Shadow Divers at Fox 2000.
Original’s Neal Moritz and Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson are producing R.I.P.D., with David Dobkin exec producer. Schwentke’s repped by CAA and Jennifer Killoran.
EXCLUSIVE: Robert Schwentke, whose upcoming Helen Mirren-Bruce Willis-John Malkovich shoot-em-up Red got a big Comic-Con reaction, has taken the plunge on Shadow Divers, the Fox 2000 adaptation of the Robert Kurson book. It is one of a couple films Schwentke’s circling, projects that include a new Simon Kinberg-scripted version of the Robert Ludlum thriller The Osterman Weekend at Summit Entertainment, where Schwentke made Red. It isn’t clear yet what next picture his CAA agents will lock him into.
Last I’d written about Shadow Divers was several years ago, when Ridley Scott planned to direct a script by Cast Away‘s William Broyles. I’m told that Fox 2000 will tweak that script under Schwentke’s supervision. Kurson’s acclaimed book follows two wreck divers who uncover the hull of a German U-boat off the New Jersey coast in 1991. The divers became obsessed with discovering the truth behind the ship and the men who died inside it.
Schwentke has so far helmed The Time Traveler’s Wife and Flightplan since moving from German cinema to Hollywood fare. Here is a recent Red trailer.
Summit Entertainment joins the phalanx of studios bringing film footage and star casts to the geek altar that is Comic-Con. Summit, which for the past two years has brought its Twilight Saga cast to the event, this time herds the cast of its two upcoming action offerings, Red and Drive Angry 3D. Red stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban and Mary Louise Parker, director Robert Schwentke and graphic novel writer Warren Ellis will debut the film’s trailer and appear on a panel on July 22. The following day, Summit will assemble the Drive Angry 3D cast of Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner and director Patrick Lussier will debut footage from the 3D shot film about a vengeful father who hunts down the people who killed his family.
Among the other studios that are planning big events at Comic-Con, Disney is highlighting Tron Legacy, and is expected to mount a big spectacle (last year they recreated Flynn’s Arcade, which figured in the original film and the sequel); Sony will make a fuss about The Green Hornet; Warner Bros is expected to vamp the Zack Snyder-directed Sucker Punch and Harry Potter; Universal will be pressing the case for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World; Paramount has the Marvel Studios pic Thor. DreamWorks Animation is expected to show something from Megamind, and other studios are still making last minute plans for the San Diego event that begins July 21.
Summit Entertainment has just released its new trailer for Red, the Robert Schwentke-directed film that stars Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich and opens October 15th: