Screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay Talk R.I.P.D., THE BOYS, RIDE ALONG, BIG MAN JAPAN, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 345 days ago


While their previous filmography is rather diverse (Crazy/Beautiful to Clash of the Titans), screenwriters Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay tackled a whole new genre with the upcoming R.I.P.D.—a buddy cop movie.  The film is based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name and stars Ryan Reynolds as a newly deceased cop who joins a group of undead officers in the “Rest In Peace Department” to help combat a rising force of nefarious corpses.  Reynolds is introduced to the world of the dead by an R.I.P.D. veteran played by Jeff Bridges, and what follows is a buddy cop film of sorts with a supernatural bent as gleaned by the pic’s recent trailer.

With the film hitting theaters July 19th, I recently sat down with Manfredi and Hay for an extended interview.  During our wide ranging conversation they talked about how they started writing together, how Crazy/Beautiful happened, R.I.P.D., Ride Along, The Boys, Big Man Japan, their writing process, and so much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay:

  • ripd-jeff-bridges-ryan-reynolds:10 Introductions
  • :27 How’d they get started working together?
  • 1:13 How did Crazy/Beautiful happen?
  • 3:25 The different between the development process during Crazy/Beautiful and how it is now, when the marketplace is dominated by tentpoles.
  • 5:00 The current status of the screenwriting industry. Talk about prolonged development and the R&D process.
  • 6:18 How did they first get involved with R.I.P.D.?
  • 7:20 Why they were attracted to R.I.P.D. They wanted to make a buddy cop movie in a supernatural world.
  • 9:25 Talk about how the film changed along the way. It got bigger in scope as they went along.
  • 11:34 What is it like to be on set and see Jeff Bridges saying their lines? Talk about what the actors bring to the characters
  • 12:50 Talk about the differences between the movie and the comic book and how involved the comics creators have been with the script.
  • 14:23 Possible franchise talk. How much were they planning for a sequel?
  • 15:55 How did they get involved with Ride Along?
  • 17:00 Did Kevin Hart stick to the script much or is he all improv?
  • the-boys18:39 What’s the status of The Boys? Talk about the difficulty of getting a hard-R, high budget comic book movie made.
  • 20:05 How long have they been working on the script? Talk about director Adam McKay’s vision for the film.
  • 21:17 Has it ever been super close to getting made? They say the sticking point has always been the budget.
  • 22:27 How faithful is their script to the comic book? Talk about their conversations with the comic creators about the screenplay.
  • 24:03 How involved were Ennis and Robertson with the script?
  • 24:45 Will Simon Pegg be in the movie?
  • 25:13 They show a signed copy of The Boys from Robertson
  • 26:02 Could The Boys be Adam McKay’s next project? They talk more about McKay’s vision for the project.
  • 27:12 Do they keep a bunch of written scripts in a drawer somewhere or do they take them one at a time? They talk about their big influences, like The Blues Brothers.
  • 29:00 Talk about a movie they really want to get made called The Invitation and some of their smaller projects.
  • 29:42 Future projects. They’re currently adapting Big Man Japan. They say, “we’re doing an adaptation of a Japanese movie for Neil Moritz called Big Man Japan – well, the movie was called Big Man Japan, this will probably by “Big Man United States.  It’s a great, crazy movie about a guy who is blown up to size via electricity to fight of monsters…The Kaiju that constantly attack Japan.  It’s a mockumentary about this kind of underappreciated guy and you follow him around through Japan.  It’s a great, crazy, really fun movie.”
  • 31:02 Talk about hoping Pacific Rim does well because it would open the door for Big Man Japan to get made.
  • 32:00 Their writing process. They outline and edit together, but they write separately.


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