Last week, the "Robocop" remake lost a critical piece of its casting puzzle when Hugh Laurie bowed out from negotiations. Early reports indicated that MGM was seeking Clive Owen as a replacement, but it's Michael Keaton who has come aboard to play the Omnicorp CEO who commissions the construction of Robocop.
This places Keaton in the role of the film's antagonist, which is an interesting turn that's somewhat against type. For most of his career, he's been a funnyman or a good guy, so he'll get an opportunity to show of some slimy, villainous chops here. While the role--previously described as being cold and sarcastic--seemed tailor made for Laurie, Keaton feels more intriguing in the role simply because it's an odd choice.
Of the casting, director Jose Padilha has said that Keaton is the "final addition to the amazing cast we have assembled for this film and it is so great to have the last puzzle piece in place." Furthermore, the director indicates he has "a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209's" and that he "can't wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets."
This latest casting coup and enthusiasm from Padilha comes at a crucial time, as the film has been caught in the cross-hairs lately. First, an early draft of the script was leaked to less than rave reviews, and, last week, Padilha indicated to a friend that working on the film has been "hell" since he has to fight the studio for every single idea he's had.
Perhaps he was just having a rough day or something was lost in translation (the message was relayed in Portuguese) because he seems rather enthused about the whole thing now. He has reason to be since one couldn't really ask for a better cast with which to make their American filmmaking debut. In addition to Keaton, the film will star Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish, and Michael K. Williams.
The remake will go into production shortly, which will give Padilha and crew less than a year to deliver the film for its release date next August.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Michael Keaton
- Hugh Laurie
- Jose Padilha