Ever since news of a Robocop reboot was announced, we here at Screen Rant have maintained that popular opinion of the film would ultimately hinge on the lead actor who was selected to play the role of future cop Alex Murphy, who is transformed into the cyborg lawman known as Robocop. Today we have a word on who that actor might be – and its not previously rumored stars like Russell Crowe or Michael Fassbender.
Deadline has the exclusive that Joel Kinnaman – the actor best known for his role as detective Stephen Holder on AMC’s hit series The Killing – has been made an offer by MGM to become the new Robocop.
If he accepts the offer, Kinnaman will be in for constant comparison to the original Robocop, portrayed onscreen by actor Peter Weller (who will next be seen in Star Trek 2). Weller’s Robocop role not only made a geek icon out of the actor – it propelled the character of Robocop into the cultural zeitgeist, where it still exists today thanks to movie sequels, animated shows, video games, a handful of well-renowned comic book series, and other such merchandising. That’s all to say: Kinnaman will have some big shoes to fill.
The actor has been in a standout in the recent projects he’s starred in, including The Killing, the sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour, the American Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the recent Denzel Washington / Ryan Reynolds spy thriller, Safe House, in which Kinnaman has a scene-stealing cameo. The Swedish actor definitely has the chops to play Murphy/Robocop – and physicality shouldn’t be much of an issue, if the new Robocop design is anything like its bulky, armored predecessor. Any man can look buff and menacing when attached to the right cyborg body.
The Robocop reboot is being helmed by Brazilian director José Padilha (pictured above), famous for the action-packed Elite Squad movies – the first of which is currently Brazil’s highest-grossing film of all time. Padilha has already discussed some modern story ideas and themes of the new Robocop, which is being scripted by Gran Torino writer Nick Schenk.
The original Robocop (directed by Paul Verheoven) was a scathing social satire touching on everything from government and corporate corruption, economic inequality in America, commercialism and more. A lot of those themes are still relevant today, and the advances (and probable advances) in technology offer a lot potentially great and fun ways for the filmmakers to explore them.
I say all that to say: approached correctly, Robocop could potentially be a worthy and worthwhile reboot.