With Hugh Laurie no longer playing the villain in MGM’s remake of RoboCop, Clive Owen is now reportedly being courted for the role.

It appears that MGM is moving fast with the recasting, perhaps in an effort to keep the RoboCop remake on track for its August 2013 release date. Details from the film’s script were making the rounds earlier in the month, which gave many fans of the original film cause for concern. But those screenplay tidbits, while extremely revealing with regard to the film’s plot, didn’t explain who Laurie (and now Owen) might play.

Script shortcomings aside, the RoboCop remake had a lot of good buzz surrounding it in terms of its casting, with MGM choosing to go forego the more conventional choices in favor of genuine talent. The selection of Hugh Laurie in a villainous role was an inspired one, and could have made the film really fun, but Clive Owen does make for a solid replacement.

Deadline reports that several other actors are also being courted in MGM’s mad scramble for a new villain, but only Owen is mentioned by name. This gives off the impression that several lesser known actors are in contention for the role, but that Owen is the studio’s first choice.

In the title role will be The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman, whose star has been on the rise with brief stints in several films including The Darkest Hour and Safe House. However, RoboCop will be his introduction to mainstream audiences, and presents him as a potential future leading man and action star.

If Owen does join the production, he’ll be welcomed by a cast that includes the aforementioned Kinnaman, along with Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, and Jackie Earle Haley. Brazilian director Jose Padilha has been tasked with helming the project from a script by Nick Schenk, James Vanderbilt, and Joshua Zeturner.

RoboCop will hit theaters August 9th, 2013.

Source: Deadline