How is the movie adaptation of R.I.P.D. different from the comic? There appears to be no wiki for the comic. But seeing as to how the movie is considered to be a flop, I'm curious to know how faithful the script was to the original.

  • 2
    A script can be perfectly faithful to a brilliant comic, and still be made into a stinker of a movie. Even if Jeff Bridges is in it.
    – Beta
    Aug 29, 2013 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


Quite a bit different, in terms of story elements, things chased, people chasing and locations chased to. But I suspect even if they followed the comic to the letter, there was something missing from this movie, an inner connection with the viewer it fails to make; a film full of snazzy props and witty patter, but alas, signifying nothing.

The comic promotional information sold the comic thusly:

Welcome to the Rest In Peace Department--the devoted, yet dead, officers of divine law enforcement "patrolling the deadbeat. . . reporting to one boss." Yep--THAT boss. Nick Cruz died an untimely death, at the height of his personal and professional life. Why did he join the R.I.P.D.? Well, not knowing the identity of his killer has left his soul a bit. . . restless. Now he hunts some of the most fiendish creatures, hoping for the chance to find out who set him up so he can get into heaven.

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The movie producers, however, cannot blame the comic for the changes they made in the screenplay:

  • The initial premise of a frame which results in the death of the young police officer (Nick Cruz, in the comic, Nick Walker in the movie) is the same.

  • The magical MacGuffin (object which powers the plot, bad guys want it, good guys want to prevent them from having it) is different. The comic uses the Sword of the Archangel, Michael, the movie, the staff of Jericho.

  • The comic has a chase scene where the protagonists end up in hell putting down a rebellion, defeating the bad guy and recovering the McGuffin. The movie puts the viewer in hell (as the bad guys invade Heaven, steal the Staff of Jericho and some other artifact which creates some techno-magic device bringing the dead back to Earth.

  • The two works are completely different in their story and tone and does not seem to be a true adaptation of the work but more of a derivation of the characters and setting with a completely different story written for the screenplay.

This sounds as if this was definitely a case of Adaptation Decay (where the subsequent materials is much worse than the source - obligatory TVTropes warning). Critics also found it unbearable to watch:

Film critic Roger Moore gave the film one-and-a-half out of four stars, calling it "the worst comic book adaptation since Jonah Hex." - Moore, Roger (2013-07-19). "Movie Review: R.I.P.D. - "Jonah Hex Redux"". Movie Nation. Retrieved 2013-07-19.

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