Look Sharp, Partner: Costume Design
Costume designer Susan Lyall worked with Schwentke on two of his previous films, Red and Flightplan, and had the enjoyable task of not only dressing the film's contemporary characters but also Roy's Old West sheriff and a multitude of R.I.P.D. cops -- officers from almost every period within the past few centuries. Considering that whatever era an officer dies in marks the era of clothing he or she wears for eternity, the producers and writers took great pleasure in adding their suggestions to incorporate some iconic cop references into the mix.
Lyall welcomed the process, which surprisingly invited considerable research. She states: "Every member of the R.I.P.D. has a visual reference attached to him or her. Some, audiences will pick out right away [i.e., Serpico, Popeye Doyle and Cagney & Lacey], but the rest of the looks came from real research.
"It was actually liberating because it didn't have to be Boston-police specific," she adds. "We could choose a police uniform from any state or decade. We had to create a universe and create rules of R.I.P.D., just in order to function for ourselves. They're not rules that are necessarily apparent to the audience, but the rules existed for us to limit our universe and find a way to kind of make sense of what was a very open concept."
While Nick would remain dressed in 2013-appropriate Boston Police Department gear, Roy was a bit trickier. For the grizzled cop, Lyall brought in hints of rock-and-roll imagery -- from the wraparound sunglasses to the cut of his vest and long sheriff's duster. The rogue sensibility offers a visual link to the graphic novel's aesthetic as well as indicates that Roy is the longest-serving officer there (to Proctor's alternate annoyance/enjoyment). Indeed, his multiple infractions during his tour of duty just keeps extending his time with the R.I.P.D.
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