Having generated some Hollywood heat at Comic-Con with his upcoming comic book adaptation "RED," German filmmaker Robert Schwentke has closed a deal to direct "R.I.P.D" for Universal, his representation at CAA has confirmed to TheWrap.
Ryan Reynolds is attached to star in the feature adaptation of Peter Lenkov's Dark Horse comic, which follows a pair of deceased detectives in the Rest in Peace Department, a law enforcement division staffed by ghosts who battle other spirits that aren't yet ready to leave this world.
Reynolds will play a cop who is killed in the line of duty and joins the ghost-busting squad with the hope of catching his killer. He's partnered with a long-dead gunslinger from the Old West who has yet to be cast.
The "Clash of the Titans" team of Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi wrote the script, and Original Film's Neal Moritz will produce the supernatural-themed action movie with Dark Horse Entertainment's Mike Richardson. The film will be exec produced by David Dobkin, who was among the rumored candidates to be directing along with McG.
Scott Bernstein and Maradith Frenkel will oversee "R.I.P.D." for the studio, and production is expected to begin late next summer after Reynolds shoots two other Universal projects — "The Change Up" with Jason Bateman and "Safe House" with Denzel Washington.
Schwentke made his American debut with "Flightplan" in 2005, and followed that film with an adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's novel "The Time Traveler's Wife."
Summit is hoping to capitalize on the Comic-Con buzz surrounding "Red" by releasing the film in October, and Schwentke is set to work with the studio again on its remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1983 thriller "The Osterman Weekend." Robert Ludlum wrote the novel and Jesse Wigutow just signed on to rewrite the script.
While Schwentke was rumored to be among the candidates to direct "Wolverine 2" for 20th Century Fox (he ultimately opted out of the running), he remains attached to direct Fox 2000's submarine drama "Shadow Divers," which is an adaptation of Robert Kurson's 2004 novel.
Schwentke is represented by CAA and Jennifer Davisson Killoran.
The news was first reported by Deadline.