Elite Squad helmer José Padilha – the man charged with directing the RoboCop remake/reboot – already has a good idea about how to differentiate his sci-fi project from director Paul Verhoeven’s popular original 1987 film, thematically speaking. The new RoboCop will also have the benefit (or detraction – depending on your perspective) of modern digital-effects and CGI to visually distinguish itself from Verhoeven’s production.

However, while MGM has previously expressed an interest in having an A-lister like Tom Cruise – or a younger actor, such as Chris Pine – in the title role, Padilha has someone a bit different in mind.

Padilha and his RoboCop screenwriter (Josh Zetumer) are – by their own assertion – on the verge of finishing the “final treatment” for the remake, and will meet with MGM officials within a week’s time. The next step in pre-production will be to cast the film, starting with the lead role of onetime human cop-turned-cybernetic law enforcement officer, Alex J. Murphy.

Michael Fassbender is apparently Padilha’s top choice to portray the character – and the director plans to meet with the actor in the very near future.

You can watch the video where Padhila discusses his interest in recruiting Fassbender for RoboCop HERE (fair warning, though – that clip is in Portuguese).

Michael Fassbender in ‘X-Men: First Class’

MGM would presumably be more than happy to have Fassbender play the new incarnation of RoboCop, seeing that he’s rapidly becoming an in-demand talent – thanks to his supporting turn in Inglourious Basterds, his scene-stealing performance as a young Magneto in X-Men: First Class – and his buzzed-about role in David Cronenberg’s new awards-hopeful drama, A Dangerous Method. With an important role in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus – and possibly a First Class sequel – on the horizon, Fassbender’s bankability only looks to increase in the immediate future.

Here’s the million dollar question for fans, though: Is Fassbender the right man for the job?

Fassbender is certainly mature enough to deflect criticisms that the new RoboCop persona could be a “younger and softer” variation on Peter Weller’s portrayal of the character – and if you’ve seen Fassbender in films like the X-Men prequel or Centurion, then you know he’s can definitely play a ruthless, yet morally complex badass onscreen. Add those two factors together and it’s hard to argue that this doesn’t like a potentially great idea (on paper, at least).

Part of the problem with this scenario is that Padilha is far from the only filmmaker who’s interested in hiring Fassbender, now that he’s become a hot commodity. So although the director may want the actor for his RoboCop refashioning – that doesn’t guarantee that he’s going to get him.

Nonetheless, we shall continue to keep you posted on the status of the RoboCop remake – which, according to Padilha, could begin principal photography by Spring 2012 – as the story develops.

Source:  José Padilha