Michael Keaton Takes the Villain Role in ‘RoboCop’ Remake

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michael keaton robocop Michael Keaton Takes the Villain Role in RoboCop Remake

Negotiations to have Hugh Laurie portray the antagonist in José Padilha’s RoboCop remake/reboot unexpectedly failed to result in a deal last week. Clive Owen was rumored to be among MGM’s top choices to take Laurie’s would-be role, but the part has instead gone to Batman and Beetlejuice fan-fave Michael Keaton.

Keaton is playing Raymond Sellars, the conniving head of the futuristic OmniCorp responsible for turning critically-injured police officer Alex Murphy (The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman) into a new lucrative war-time product: a cyborg cop, armed and ready for battle. This is the last major casting update for the project, which is scheduled to being principal photography in a matter of weeks.

Deadline is confirming that Keaton has come aboard for RoboCop, which will mark only the fourth occasion the actor has appeared on the big screen over the past eight years (discounting his voice acting as Ken in Toy Story 3). The quirky actor turns 61 next week, but has tentative plans to reprise his iconic Tim Burton role as “the ghost with the most” in Beetlejuice 2if the currently-developing sequel doesn’t collapse, that is.

Padilha has released the following statement with regards to the casting of Keaton in RoboCop, as well as the impending start date for production on the re-imagining of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 cult classic:

“Michael 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. It is thrilling that everything has come together to bring this innovative new vision of RoboCop to life. We’ve got a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209’s and I can’t wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets.”

Earlier this week, the story leaked out that Padilha has found the process of developing RoboCop within the studio system quite frustrating, according to his good friend and fellow Brazilian filmmaker, Fernando Meirelles (City of God). However, Padilha also assured Meirelles the remake will indeed be good, despite (or, rather, because of) his difficult experience.

robocop reboot gran torino screenwriter Michael Keaton Takes the Villain Role in RoboCop Remake

An unenthusiastic script review for RoboCop began circulating a couple weeks back, suggesting that writers Joshua Zetumer and Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) might be struggling to aptly incorporate the intriguing concepts Padilha wants to explore. However, we’ve since heard rumors that draft has been heavily revised; at the least, James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man) did some polishing.

Creative struggles and constant re-scripting are all standard procedure for studio films; obviously, though, that is no guarantee the RoboCop re-do will turn out well. Nonetheless, the script/director have proven promising enough to land strong acting talent like Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Jennifer Ehle – with Keaton as a final solid addition (so that’s encouraging).

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

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Source: Deadline

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35 Comments

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  1. Just arched robocop last night on Netflix, I liked it plenty I can understand why it was such a huge movie for its time. I’m interested to see how they redo it I’m sure it will be great.

    • I’d say more ‘cult’ than ‘a huge hit’. More like Starship Troopers. Good choice on Keaton, imo, interesting.

  2. Wow, I didn’t see that one coming.

  3. Sounds like a good move. I think Keaton will make a great villain.

    • o.k now keaton that´s an interesting and good choice(about 20 years older then owen). i like reboots but i never had high hopes for -total recall- or -dredd-(i have a feelin that it´ll fail),i´ve watched recall yesterday and have found it good and i would give it the same rating like screenrants 3.5 stars. but in the -robocop- remake i have high hopes that it will be great. i never wait for masterpieces if they reboot everything,i´m good with it if they are watchable because the original can mostly never be topped but in case of -robocop- it must be very good,it´s like if you would reboot -the terminator-.

  4. Way to bring on the host with the ‘most’. I have new hopes for this picture now, Keaton is always entertaining. I can’t believe he’s 62. He must still be pretty sprite if he’s going to play Betlejeuse, or Bettlejuice.

    • Sorry 61.

  5. wow 61! he looks younger.

  6. Now I WILL see this movie…unless keaton drops out and Val kilmer takes his place lol

    • Nick Cage would be all over it if he drops out…

  7. So he’s playing the “Dick Jones” role correct ? Who’s playing the “Clarence Boddicker” villain part in this ?

  8. Yay. I like Keaton.
    Now it’s time for Keaton to battle Laurie for role of Sorcerer Supreme.
    Please Marvel please!

    • Neither of those two have the commanding voice and stage presence to pull off Dr. Strange convincingly. With lines like, “I bind you with the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak!” people are just gonna laugh if the wrong actor is used.

      Both of those two have a comedic background and Dr. Strange has NEVER been known for his sense of comedic timing. No, the right person for the role needs to be more classic and serious background. *cough* Liam Neeson *cough*…… think about it, he has played both the Jedi master, The God Lion, Aslan, Ra’s Al Ghul, and even ruler of the Olympian gods, Zeus!

      • I’d have Neeson in anything, but frankly, it’s too obvious of a choice.

        And Laurie could absolutely pull it off.

        • I will go with the obvious choice any day!

          I like Laurie but he neither looks like Strange or and [as I said above] doesn’t have the correct deep voice to pull it off. This has absolutely nothing to do with his acting ability because he’s top notch.

  9. Great choice! I actually think in his prime he could’ve made a better Robocop than he did as Batman.

  10. Great 2 see Keaton back on the big screen.I’m still not that enthused about this reboot though. Sorry I’m old school and I still (and will always) love the original. Willing 2 give this a chance, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this reboot doesn’t live up 2 the hype.time will tell.

  11. I like it (lol Robocop pun)! Keaton is a good idea/addition to the cast.

    Unfortunately, while I’m happy with the casting, I’m not so sure about the movie (given the recent articles painting a negative light on script/direction/production).

    We’ll have to wait for an actually screening to determine if it was all worth it.

  12. keaton will be fantastic. this is what i have ben waiting for. let’s hope he can pull it off and even do beetlejuice 2 as well and also good action comedy and drama. and a role in expendables 3.

  13. keaton will be fantastic. this is what i have been waiting for. let’s hope he can pull it off and even do beetlejuice 2 as well and also good action comedy and drama. and a role in expendables 3.

  14. Excellent! Michael Keaton as the villian will be awesome! Can you fly Bobby?

    • no that was Clarrence Boddicker who said that, Michael Keaton will be playing the ‘Dick Jones’ head-honcho type character, hopefully they get a crazy ass unknown young actor to play the Boddicker role along with the other members of the gang

  15. According to Drew McWeeny’s tweets, there will be no Clarence Boddicker in the film, or any villain similar to him. It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with Murphy’s death without him.

  16. I love Michael Keaton, but I just don’t see him as a villain. I’ve seen him in too many good/normal guy roles.

  17. This has a decent cast, will be great to see Keaton on the big screen again, but overall, this remake doesn’t sound great at all.

  18. Robocop climbs mount Megacheese film at 11…

  19. “I’m bad-man.”

  20. I like this choice to put Michael Keaton in the role of a Villian. I think this reboot will be great, it has a great ensemble cast behind it to ensure that it won’t be a disappointment. I loved the original RoboCop.

  21. Anytime you include Keaton in anything it’s a win for us all IMO. But…
    That’s not saying much for the film when that’s the only good news we’ve heard so far. As always I’ll watch because that’s what movie geeks like me do but so far this is a wait for HBO movie for me. Maybe it can work it’s way up to a rental but that will probably be it…

  22. HELL YES! Keaton is the man and will make a great villain

  23. Anyone who has seen “Desperate Measures” and/or “Pacific Heights” knows Keaton can be Beyond Creepy as a bad guy! This is a good move! I’m actually looking forward to the movie now!

  24. I’m only to go see this potential train wreck if they get Keaton to quote TLC again.

  25. I agree with all positive comments on Michael Keaton. He ia one of those talented actors – very likeable presence who’s profile never quite hit the heights that he deserved it to (ditto Ray Liotta)He always gives quiet, assured performances, but has the ability to play crazy, maniacal roles as well.

    His casting is the first – and probably only positive from this remake that just seems a certainty to fail. You would’ve thought studios would learn from the failures of Total Recall, Conan etc but i guess not.

  26. This movie will be great and for these — reasons: Jose padilha, Gary Oldman, Samuel L jackson, Marianne jean-baptiste, Michael k williams, Jackie earl haley, Michael Keaton. NUFF SAID

  27. Paul Verhoeven is what made Robocop work- culty? Yes- but good in the same way that only Sam Raimi can make a movie- dislike the suit- looks like one of those dumb suits in the GI Joe movie- early impressions look like they saved the arm- much like how they joked about saving the arm in the original-Lets hope he keeps the TJ Laser cowboy twirl-

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