Chris Pine Eyed for Lead Role in ‘RoboCop’ Reboot?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

When MGM announced their plans to reboot RoboCop, fans of the original film weren’t exactly shy when it came to expressing their skepticism. After going through a series of setbacks and false starts, the project quickly began to pick up momentum again back in March when Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha signed on to direct. His involvement was the first sign that this incarnation of the character would probably be markedly different from Paul Verhoeven’s interpretation of the material.

Padilha is not particularly well-known in the United States, but his Elite Squad films enjoyed enormous success in his home country. They also showcase how differently he handles action and violence. Where as Verhoeven tended to go over the top with those elements to enhance their horrific qualities – push them into the absurd via comedic touches, Padilha’s approach appears to be far more grounded and realistic. We still know next to nothing about Josh Zetumer’s script, but the expectation is that this version of RoboCop will be grittier and not quite as tongue-in-cheek as the original.

In addition to utilizing a different tone than that of its predecessor, this reboot might also be making some significant alterations to the Alex Murphy/RoboCop character. Back in April, there were rumors that MGM had added Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, and Keanu Reeves to their wish list of candidates – three actors who, quite frankly, seemed like long shots at best. According to Twitch Film, the studio has a new top pick for the title role – Star Trek‘s Chris Pine.

Does the world want a younger, prettier Robocop? Apparently MGM does as Twitch has learned that the Star Trek actor is the studio’s top choice to take the lead in the upcoming reboot of the scifi franchise. There is no word as to whether director Jose Padilha agrees with the selection and the offer has not yet gone out but we’re told Pine currently tops the MGM casting list.

This is by no means a confirmation of Pine’s involvement – it’s simply stating that MGM would like him in the role. While Pine seems like a more realistic choice than Depp, Cruise, or Reeves – there’s no indication that Padilha is in agreement with the studio on this.  We know that the Jack Ryan reboot Moscow is currently going through another rewrite and that the filmmakers behind Star Trek 2 have indicated in not so many words that they’re in no real rush to get that film in theaters – so Pine’s availability might not be an issue.

robocop reboot writer Chris Pine Eyed for Lead Role in RoboCop Reboot?

Ever since MGM emerged from their bankruptcy fiasco, the RoboCop reboot has been a high-priority project for them – so it’s fair to assume that we’ll be seeing it sooner rather than later. If Pine is interested, this is a film that could be ready to go in front of cameras in the very near future.

Even if he isn’t interested, the fact that his name is even getting tossed around seems to hint that MGM might now be interested in casting a younger actor in the role. At 30, Pine is a decade younger than Peter Weller was when he made the original. It may strike some as a somewhat superficial aspect to get hung up on – especially when the bigger issue is making sure that the actor inside the costume has the gravitas this part requires.

Weller’s introspective and understated performance was a great counterpoint to the more sensational elements in Verhoeven’s original. The character’s struggle with his humanity is his single most compelling attribute, and Weller did a remarkable job at putting all of that on the screen. Whoever inherits the role will have some giant, titanium shoes to fill.

Whether Pine is ultimately involved or not, all signs currently point to this being a very different take on RoboCop.

Source: Twitch Film.

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  1. I have a big, fat, “Eh” for this.

    Chris Pine should pursue a project that is a little more attractive to somebody of his looks.

  2. This film is an 80s flashback that simply doesn’t need to happen. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of beautifully written scripts out there just waiting to be picked up. Why couldn’t this and the scores of other remakes’ scripts just be left to gather dust?

    • Seriooously, didn’t the original Robocop movies say all that needed to be said ?

      • I agree. The rest are just mindless movies.

      • @ Robb S.

        If you mean the Robocop films 1-3, then yes.

  3. Lets not make Capt. Kirk ALSO Robocop PLEASE!!?

    I also don’t get why they feel this needs to be rebooted (other than maybe to correct the silliness that was Robocop 3 and to a lesser extent 2) If it looked dated and could use a fresh SCI take on it, that would be one thing but it still holds up very well even today.

    They will have a hard time matching the excellence of the original movie but if they can do that lets hope they can come up with some better sequel ideas.

  4. I’m not a fan of Chris Pine. but I want him to do this movie that way I can enjoy the opening scene where he is getting nailed by a rain of bullets & insults

  5. LOL @Jamie

    Yeah im not the biggest Pine fan either however I go see movies for the movie not really who is in it.

    As for the reboot/redo whatever it is…

    Meh Im all for it. I enjoyed Robocop but think with what the tech can do nowe can make it (if done right) 100 times more enjoyable. Not better… but just more enjoyable.

  6. Oh heck no. MGM better make a longer list of candidates. I mean c,mon, they actually want someone as young as Chris Pine & Prettier? Lol, Pine looks little short for the role imo, would remind me of that punk kid from Robocop 2 if they did a remake sequel of it. I know i won’t see the film if Pine is Robocop. I enjoyed the the Robocop films, even the 3rd film to a lesser intent but the first film will always be my favorite. I only watched the first dvd of Prime Directives films, didn’t like it as i thought it was worse than Robocop 3 so i didn’t bother watching the rest. I wish them luck finding the right person for the role of Alex Murphy/Robocop because id like to see another great film in the franchise. Im just curious about how & if they could top by having another Cyborg or Android that would equal ED-209 from the original for Robocop to face off against besides human criminals as he did in the original. Thats one the things i loved about Robocop & Robocop 2 films, were ED-209 & Cain(Robocop 2) that Robocop faced.

  7. You know I always said that the one thing Robocop needed was a pretty boy as Robo. I mean the costume just screams show off my face. Gotta have great eyes for that visor…

    A Robocop Reboot should be boycotted by every fan of the original with even half of a brain.

    ‘Nuff Said.

  8. Robocop is a classic, I hope Chris Pine does great job if he is picked to play the role.

    He was great in Unstoppable.

  9. I will watch Chris Pine in anything BUT another trashing of the Star Trek franchise.

  10. Anyone else gettign bored of the word “Gritty”?

    Jebus, just because Nolan did it right with batman begins now everything must have that down to earth vibe about it does it?

    Hollywood lack of originality spans right through from thier choice of films to thier choice of words.

  11. chris pine is a okay actor, he was good as kirk, but they need to cast a charater of peter wellers talent. i’ve said this before, but i prefer michael fassbender in this role. and if they are going to “reboot” one of my favorite sci-fi films, they better make it original and change up the design and concept of robocop, possibly adding more human body parts and organs under the armor rather then just the face, part of the brain, and partial spinal column

    • well said

    • I think they should make him like 8TH Man…

  12. Who is the Peter Weller of today? Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Jim Sturgess (Fifty Dead Men Walking) or James McAvoy all seem to be busy. So, I am curious what Chris Pine could do but he’d have to bring his ‘A’ game. Then again it could be another false start…

    • Agreed on all points. This Could be just another false alarm. I’m very much not looking forward to a “Younger/Prettier” RoboCop. I do hope for a remake though, if only to rid the original movies of the plague that was the campiness…though in all honesty, I think that’s what made them so special, is they’re the first comic book movies that came across as a real live comic book. really, they should just go get Frank Miller to pen a new script and direct. No one woudl do a better job than the man who CREATED RoboCop.

      • No! RoboCop was NOT created by Frank Miller. RoboCop was not a comic book first. RoboCop was very first the 1987 film. Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner created RoboCop for the movie. Frank Miller wrote a sh*tty script (RoboCop 2) and began the downward spiral that is known as the RoboCop franchise.

    • How could you not have James Franco on that list, they should do whatever they can and wait as long as it takes to get him.

  13. Was the original RoboCop not gritty? I think it was ahead of its time in terms of gritty. If anything I think the remake will be less gritty in an effort to seek a wider audience aka kids. You remember when the prototype went haywire and started killing board members. RoboCop shooting the dudes nuts through the lady hostage. And I am positive Alex death scene will not be as horrific and gruesome as the original. [dude had his hand blasted off]

    RoboCop was never suppose to be such a financial success and when it was the studio quickly made the sequels more kid friendly in an effort to start a TV show and sell toys.

  14. I always wanted to see RoboCop Vs Terminator. but they’ll never do that…just like Batman Vs. Predator or Superman Vs Aliens…or hell, even Batman Vs. Spawn.

    • we can wish. i loved the book batman vs. predator.

  15. Hopefully they can get Zack Efron for this. All kidding aside they will need a great actor to live up to Peter Weller’s performance. There is also no way they go with an “R” rating for this reboot. “The kids, the kids” they say. “They need something to watch & toys to buy. You don’t care about making money. No! I care about the kids.” I wish we could stop pandering to the kids demographic. Kids will copy what adults do. When Ninja & Horror movies were huge in the 80′s I know I was watching. I was 9 when I saw Robocop for the first time and it was amazing in all its R-rated glory. Made a huge impression. Lets hope the remake will be good but we know what we all really want. Black Robocop.

  16. I think that if they remade this one it would just come out looking like a cheap knock-off of the iron-man movies.

    I could care less who plays him, he just has to do a good impression of the robot dance move.

  17. Sci Fi may be dead on TV, but its alive and well in film. However, if the writers want some original ideas, why not get some books, read them and see what can be adapted, rather than steal from what has already been made.

  18. It would be great if interested, James Cameron directed the Robocop reboot after he’s done with the Avatar films.

  19. several questions arise and possible problems also.
    1. with today’s technology would robocop be as bulky? if they slim him down or redesign him he will lose that iconic look
    2. is it going to be the same future detroit? apocalyptic detroit?
    3. enemies? goofy looking cgi robots? i would prefer a real robot. please no special power people. i don’t want to see some mutant biker gang with telekinesis.
    4. the voice….. whoever plays him has to have the voice. if we have the original design, then we may only see the lips and chin for the most part.
    5. it has to be rated R . the need for robocop sprung from the violence that the police couldn’t handle.

    • Perfect! Well said, sir. I know a bulky, slow-walking RoboCop would not fly this day and age, but I do see a redesigned RoboCop working very well and is something I’m frankly excited about. I even see it working with the iconic exposed chin/mouth.

      It must be extremely violent. It must be R-rated. The villains must be regular humans, cybernetics, futuristic weapons and robots allowed. It must be a future Detroit. Rundown and destroyed, not all cyberpunked-out.

      Wasn’t there news a couple months ago that Darren Aronofsky said the RoboCop reboot was dead?

      • Aronofsky also tried to kill Wolverine. Just because Mr. Black Swan leaves a project doesn’t mean it’s dead. Especially the 2 lucrative franchises he left hanging to do a Noah’s Ark movie. Either commit or don’t. I like Aronofsky but pick a project and stick to it. Everyone was so excited about Robocop. He drops out. Everyone was so excited about Wolverine. He drops out. I don’t really know if anyone is as excited for Noah’s Ark. Hope he knows what he’s doing. The last time he tried something like this it was the Fountain and although I thought it was pretty good I believe it was not only a commercial disappointment but was also hammered by critics.

      • @ Chase357

        I dunno, I didn’t mind a bulky, slow-walking Robocop then, and wouldn’t mind now. I doubt it would make any differance how fast he’d walk, etc. because he did walk faster & seemed stronger in the straight-to-dvd Prime Directive films which i didn’t care for. I agree about the Robocop being violent but i doubt it will be extremely violent because i read how the studio wanted more of the theatrical cut violent scenes cut out but luckly Paul verhoven pushed for the film to stay as it is already. I wonder how they can pull off robots that could equal up to ED-209 & Cain a.k.a (Robocop2) Those two were awesome as they were leathal. One thing for sure, it better have a great cast & actor in the role or Murphy/Robocop. Otherwise i’ll just stick to Robocop 1-3 instead.

  20. el mejor brigacop fue arnold, lejos, yo lo pondria a stallone de brigacop y a chuck norris de su creador, lejos, el mejor creador de robocopes que existio en el planeta, ademas, es chuck por dios! el otro dia lo vi vendiendo una juguera en la tele, lo viejo que esta, pero sigue siendo el mejor terminator, lejos, ademas segun dicen cuanto mas viejo esta mejor, no?

  21. Viggo Mortensen should play Robocop! Anybody agree with me?

  22. I know who id like to direct the film. Id like to have James Cameron be asked to direct or leave have no remake/reboot at all. Id be happy to wait for Cameron to finish both Avatar sequels & more time he needs aslong he considers bringing the same kind of success back to the Robocop franchise just as he started the Terminator franchise.

    • I agree with Wally West.
      For me, he’s always portrayed a great balance between reality(violence, death, tragedy etc..) and humanity(sense of purpose, doing the right thing, emotion, fighting for what you believe in). Then there is his remarkable ability to create a world/possibilities/fantasies that is/are perfectly believable and awe-inspiring.

      Another great trademark of his, is that he can cast memorable characters, quite memorable. Then there are the memorable scenes from his movies.

      He would be perfect- IF he wanted in on the deal of course.

      Just think of those great, memorable movies, worlds/possibilities, memorables scenes, the human spirit etc.. in these movies:

      - Alien
      - Aliens
      - The Abyss
      - True Lies
      - Titanic

      There are other directors worth taking a punt on such as Chris Nolan. If any of these 2 guys can get their hands on this, I’d wager they’d continue the brilliance and fascination.

      McG and their like should just stay as far away as possible from this.

  23. They wouldnt have to change a thing to get that post-apocalyptic look in Detroit. They’ll save tons on location costs and props.