Hugh Laurie NOT Onboard For ‘RoboCop’ Remake

Published 1 year ago by

house series finale fitting farewell Hugh Laurie NOT Onboard For RoboCop Remake

Hugh Laurie picked up two Golden Globes and the adoration of a generation with his recurring role as the crotchety namesake on House, M.D. Laurie devoted the past eight years of his life to playing television’s most irascible doctor, offsetting his work on the show with the occasional film acting (Flight of the Phoenix, Street Kings) and voice-over jobs (Monsters vs Aliens, Arthur Christmas).

MGM’s RoboCop franchise do-over was poised to become Laurie’s first major post-House project, with the actor playing the money-grubbing CEO of fictional company OmniCorp in the year 2029. However, the latest word from Hollywood insiders is that Laurie has decided to pass on the opportunity, some two months after initial reports of his possible involvement emerged.

This news comes as a relatively minor blow to the RoboCop remake, given that Laurie was never going to be involved in any major capacity. Moreover, the controversy-steeped project has managed to amass a strong cast that includes rising star Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) as the titular human cop-turned-cyborg protagonist, along with such people as Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jackie Earle Haley in significant supporting roles.

Variety‘s Jeff Sneider reported yesterday that (according to his sources) Laurie has concluded his RoboCop talks, and later confirmed that the actor is “definitely out of ROBOCOP reboot, not that he was ever ‘in’.” Sneider’s latter comment alludes to the fact that Laurie never progressed beyond the negotiations stage. We assumed he had already inked a deal to appear in the sci-fi film, as did most of the blogosphere (despite the lack of confirmation).

The situation recalls what Marvel experienced during pre-production on Iron Man 3, when Jessica Chastain passed on the female lead (due to a scheduling conflict) – only to be officially “replaced” by Rebecca Hall a matter of days later. Expect a similarly short turnaround between today’s announcement concerning Laurie, and a followup report about a different actor snagging the antagonist role in RoboCop.

robocop reboot sony distributor Hugh Laurie NOT Onboard For RoboCop Remake

MGM shelved the RoboCop remake when it declared bankruptcy, following years of rumors that Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) would be directing. Once the studio’s financial woes had been resolved, José Padilha (Elite Squad) was instead hired on, working from a fresh script draft penned by newcomer Josh Zetumer. Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) did some script polishing thereafter, followed by James Vanderbilt (Amazing Spider-Man).

Padilha has been outspoken about his interest in updating the political subtext and social satire of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film with his remake, while delving further into the psychology of RoboCop. A leaked script draft featured numerous heavy-handed references to contemporary issues (outsourcing to China, battling al-Qaeda, tensions with Iran), with several ideas seemingly lifted from such films as Iron Man and Transformers.

It also contained a handful of references to modern Hollywood attitudes about how to properly recycle older content – where films must somehow be darker and edgier, yet still qualify as non-offensive and manage to snag a consumer-friendly PG-13 Rating. That self-awareness served the 21 Jump Street reboot well (note: it was actually Rated R), but the RoboCop script does not seem so clever as to likewise have its cake and eat it too.

RoboCop opens in U.S. theaters on August 9th, 2013.

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Source: Jeff Sneider

TAGS: robocop

21 Comments

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  1. No reason to watch it now.

    And Hugh, come one, it’s time to play Dr Strange!

    • The Sorcerer Supreme? I really like him but he just doesn’t have the voice to pull off some of those *ahem* “interesting” incantations believably. That’s why my vote has always been for Neeson, because he both looks the part and he has the commanding voice and presence.

  2. why -dr.sam beckett-, just because of laurie,i mean come he is just dr.house,i wouldn´t pass a film because of him. especially not when there are three great actors( s.l.jacks, gary oldm and j.ear.healey) in the movie. i don´t know much about kinnaman to describe him as a great actor,we will see. – no reason to watch it now-, haha what a b..ls…t .

    • Before House, the man was a multi-talented comedian and actor in such shows as:

      A Bit Of Fry And Laurie
      Jeeves & Wooster
      Blackadder The Third

      Not to mention guest roles in various other tv shows before Hollywood called with Stuart Little.

      The only names I’ve heard of that are still in this are Jackie Earle Haley (who I only know from Watchmen, Semi Pro and Nightmare On Elm Street) and Samuel L Jackson.

      While I won’t say Hugh not being in this is a turn off, I am a little more concerned than I was when the leaked script came out.

  3. Hugh Laurie also backed out of superman returns so perhaps he got the same bad vibe with this movie. Afterall it will probabaly be the worst movie ever made

    I want a house movie but change the setting to 19th century england, come on hollywood do it

    • lol, are you suggesting Laurie is our proverbial bird in the mine?

  4. yes,i know it stays in the article from screenrant,no need to write the same things from the article. and street kings and f.o.t.ph were big flops. you praise him as he were robert de niro or another a-class actor. oh and he was playing in a british comedy series,why you don´t mentioned that.

    • I find Street Kings solid movie , mainly because of Whitaker performance.

    • Who are you talking to? Yikes, I don’t want to be THAT guy, but could you use some punctuation?
      I agree with DSB though. This movie seems like a stinker already

      • the comment to that i was talking to is gone or blocked,strange.

    • Hugh is a better actor than De Niro.

      • Nothing has been mentioned about Hugh Laurie’s part in Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant. I love this movie!

  5. dr.house the vicodin junkie.

    • Little know fact, House’ Vicodin addiction was an error by Laurie, the original script had House being addicted to collecting viking memorabilia, Laurie read the script wrong and a character was born

      • interesting facto Bubbs

    • Merdan, THAT’S all you got out of the House character??? A vicodin junkie? I’m sorry you couldn’t appreciate him. He was a rich character that by rights we should hate for his many many glaring faults, but instead, like a puppy who shat in your favorite pair of shoes, we forgive him and love him even more.

  6. The script is cool, I’ve read it.
    The Bloggers are wrong. Again. Whats-his-face read a very old draft.

    • lol, good luck.

  7. Some actors need only one role to establish their acting greatness. Hugh Laurie as House was (is) beloved by millions of fans, me included. I wish someone would sign him up for a recurring role somewhere, I miss my Hugh fix.

    I think he would make a great Admiral turned renegade or villain (oh yes) in the new Star Trek reboot/remake/whatever.

  8. For me personally, I would love to see Tim Curry as the evil OmniCorp CEO.Just take a look at something like “The Three Musketeers.” Who better for a money-grubbing, power hungry overlord?

  9. Robocop is still one of the best movies from the 80s, still very meaningful and watchable today, has aged a little with the CGI but does not need a remake at all. Red Dawn was a campy flick, go ahead and try harder. Total Recall doesn’t need a remake, especially if it’s pretty much the same story. Obviously no creativity if good classics need to be redone in Hollywood, like Psycho would really be any better ever.

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