‘RoboCop’ Reboot Eyeing Cruise, Depp, and Reeves

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:52 pm,

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop was a landmark achievement back in 1987 and remains a pinnacle of the sci-fi/action genre more than twenty years later. Despite how well it’s aged, MGM is crafting a reboot of the property with Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) at the helm.

Padilha is currently collaborating with screenwriter Josh Zetumer to develop a new take on the material that will reintroduce audiences to the character of Alex Murphy – a slain Detroit police officer who’s resurrected as the cyborg RoboCop. Although the role has been played by numerous actors in various films and television shows over the years, most fans still regard Peter Weller’s performance in the original film and its sequel as the definitive portrayal.

The fact that Weller wasn’t an extremely recognizable star actually worked in favor of the film and allowed him to disappear into that role completely. The RoboCop reboot will most likely diverge from the original in a number of ways, and according to Clint at Moviehole, the casting of its lead actor might be the first obvious example of that.

Evidently, MGM is eyeing stars like Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Keanu Reeves for the role of Alex Murphy/RoboCop. Clint also indicates that if these actors haven’t already been approached about the project, they will be shortly.

Ordinarily, I’d disregard a rumor like this as nothing more than tabloid fodder – but Clint has an extremely reliable reputation and if he claims that he’s heard these names mentioned, I’m fairly certain that means there’s some truth to this. That doesn’t mean any of these guys will ultimately wind up playing the part, but  it does indicate that they’re looking for a recognizable name to headline the film.

I personally find it hard to imagine that Cruise, Depp, or Reeves would be even remotely interested in this (well, maybe Reeves…), but I do think it’s interesting that MGM is setting its sights so high. I’m sure those same three actors are probably on every studio short list for every potential blockbuster, but is RoboCop really a property that needs the added draw of an A-list celebrity?

The primary reason that reboots, remakes, and sequels are so attractive to this industry is that they represent established brands with a built-in audience. In my opinion, when you see the word RoboCop on a poster you already know if you’re interested in it or not. I always thought that was one of advantages in making a film like this – you don’t necessarily need an expensive star when the name sells itself. That’s how we wind up with guys like Christian Bale as Batman or Henry Cavill as Superman.

robocop reboot writer RoboCop Reboot Eyeing Cruise, Depp, and Reeves

We’ve heard before that RoboCop is a high priority project for MGM, and trying to land a well-known leading man is probably an attempt to help hedge their bets. I’m just saying – my mom loves George Clooney, but dressing him up as a robot wouldn’t make her any more interested in seeing this film. I’d prefer that they go after an up-and-coming actor who doesn’t bring the baggage of his last few films with him into the role. Save that money for another facet of the production.

Some might argue that the role of a cyborg who has most of his face covered and speaks with monotone delivery doesn’t require much in the way of acting chops – but the subtle nature of the character is precisely why you can’t throw just anyone into the costume. Weller’s depiction of Murphy is still the one I find most tragic – and the most effective. RoboCop 2 gets a bad wrap from a lot of fans, but the scene where Murphy has to lie to his ex-wife about who and what he has become is incredibly powerful. It’s also a revealing glimpse at the untapped potential of this series and why I was  slightly more optimistic about this reboot when it was in Darren Aronofsky’s hands.

I like that they’re chasing actors with a certain degree of gravitas, but in this case I can’t help but feel that the film would be better served by someone who’s on the verge of being a star – not someone who’s already headlined other tentpole franchises.

If nothing else, perhaps this indicates that we may see more of Murphy before his transformation – which is an aspect I think would not only help the narrative, but also help further separate the RoboCop reboot from the original.

Source: Moviehole.

TAGS: Robocop
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  1. I like all these actors – even weirdo Cruise – but this movie DOES NOT NEED TO BE MADE. It is a bad idea, period.

  2. Loved the Doom movie!,,,

    What they need to make is a new Doom 360 game!

    • Id is still too busy with mobile games, plus Rage 790!

  3. Keanu is already a robotic actor with a monotone voice, and he’s a total stiff, except for Bill and Ted. The Day the Earth stood still ring any bells?

  4. Or, as it’s known on the internet…The Day The Earth Fell Asleep

  5. None of the above. No one played it like Peter Weller. Get an unknown or get Guy Pierce. He at least looks like Peter Weller from 1987.

  6. While the ’87 original still holds up very well a re-boot/remake of the franchise is due.
    The tragic nature of Alex Murphy is a timeless story telling tool. Having his life taken from him and unable to obtain rest with dignity, he is a corpse that has been used to personify the morality he fought to uphold. That in itself creates an existential conflict between one’s one humanity being defined by the mores he lives by, the idea of a soul, etc.
    Now more than ever, we as a society are dependent on technology. From children to seniors, everyone is hooked up. Robocop can reflect that as an absolute integration.We also feel that today is a hyper-violent, standing on the edge of oblivion era.
    We are also fully aware of the power that any given corporation holds, OCP is the name of the finical crisis, bail-outs, conspiracy theories. While the rich get richer, the poor can only strike back.
    So much of our civilization, our society today from the most benevolent extreme to it’s most corrupt extreme can be personified by a heavily conflicted protagonist.

    • nothing is ever due for a remake. what is due is originality. wanna make a film dealing with mans need to create technology to fix everything, then create a film dealing with it and leave old movies alone. remakes are crap. always have been, always will be.

  7. The only actor out of those 3 that would be best for the role, is NONE OF THEM.

    One word.

    Viggo Mortensen.

    • Viggo Mortenson is exactly who i think could play robocop put your hand over keanu cruise or depp eyes and noise and they look horrible do that to viggo and there you got robocop he got the jawbone

  8. It doesn’t matter who they cast, because they are going to turn Robocop into Ironman. I assure you right now, he will have gadgets, and shoot rockets and move like a greased ninja. Those are the things that will kill the character. Robocop worked because he was a walking tank with a hand cannon and a conscience. He might as well be Robobatman now, I guarantee.

  9. I guarantee this reboot WILL BE PG-13. You watch. Guaranteed.


  11. I have a novel idea, how about Jamie Foxx, it can then be called Brobocop!

  12. I’m surprised nobodys mentioned Garrett Hedlund from Tron Legacy. He looks just like Peter Weller’s son.

    But I hate remakes so bah humbug!!!

    • Hahaha I soo agree with you!! When I saw Tron, I immediately thought this guy look like a “better” looking Peter! He would make a good robocop..his voice is kinda deep and he already walks like a robot!

  13. i think thats cool 2 make a new robocop movie u knw with a new look new start ,but i would really like 2 see a real keep u on the edge of your seat type action like robo cop verses terminator now i knw what some might think robo will most likely get his butt torn up by terminator but what if robocop had a new ndestructible suit with all kinds of weapons with a new blaster gun.The would take place in around the same time skynet and the machines taking over . while john conner has his men dropping like flies he seeks recruitment survivors to help fight off the machines he grows desperate 4 a answer as he is scanning the radio 4 survivors he hears of one robo cop . so thats wut i have i dont know if any 1 will like but i think that would make one hell of a movie

    • I don’t agree but I give you an A for imagination. :)

  14. The only way I would even consider Cruise, Depp and Reeves would be to invite them all to the studio, not to audition, but to tell them to GTFO!!

  15. I agree on reboot but also thinkin the actor that played as robo in the series not prime directives his movements sucked but with detective managon if peter cant do it if possible needs to be that guy in series. Or start film from where lewis died what ever it is I hope it competes to transformers. Robert burke did ok in 3rd robo but didnt like the voice set up the series guy kicked butt. He nailed it good job dude.

  16. I agree on reboot but also thinkin the actor that played as robo in the series not prime directives his movements sucked but with detective managon if peter cant do it if possible needs to be that guy in series. Or start film from where lewis died what ever it is I hope it competes to transformers.

  17. I agree on reboot but also thinkin the actor that played as robo in the series not prime directives his movements sucked but with detective managon if peter cant do it if possible needs to be that guy in series.

  18. Sorry people on all coments software malfunction …..lol

  19. Sorry people on all coments software malfunction …..lol

  20. I vote for Frederick Weller (Marshal from ‘In Plain Site’). Being a younger cousin to Peter Weller puts him at the right age for the part with a certain amount of family resemblance below the face shield, where it counts. And it is a nice homage to the original movie. We know he can be quirkie, which would help sell the transformation from ‘mouthy human’ to ‘still robot’. I always thought Peter Weller did that transformation particularly well to sell the part.

  21. OMG this is the worst idea ever. I’am officially annoyed, RoboCop is a classic that’s about to be brutally destroyed. RoboCop is known for it’s orginality, brutality and dark humor a reboot would fail to retain any of this. Tom cruise as alex murphy that’s the worse idea ive ever heard I couldn’t even imagine it. This news depresses me !

    • There is no need for an A list actor at all for this role. Plus Tom cruise is the only one with a muscular jaw line which will look good as robocop. Just picturing Johnny depp in the mask with those lips and jaw line made me throw up a little in my mouth.
      This is going to just as bad as what happend to predator films.

  22. Keep in mind that the majority of being Robocop under the helmet is being emotionless. To put aside one’s personality.

    Can anyone see Tom Cruise being a flat character without the little hints of ‘I have a plan’ behind the smile and eyes?
    or Johnny Depp being able to control himself *that* well?

    I could almost see Reeves being flat… he is for a lot of his acting anyway that it wouldn’t be a stretch.

  23. If they set their sites high for these actors, chances there will be no sequels, of they end up changing Murphy out with someone else. Would I like to see a new Robocop? If they did it right, HELL YAH!

  24. The bigger the actor payroll, the smaller the effects budget. I’d rather see a no-name actor looking to make his reputation and more money for shooting, effects, on-location travel rather than back-lot etc.

  25. I agree with most of the comments. No A-lister is needed for this. Since it’s changed director as well, I don’t have much faith in this anymore…

    …It’s all about the Superman remake. General Zod + Zack Snyder + Chritopher Nolan = Win!

  26. I wouldn’t mind paying to see them blow holes through Cruise (kidding, mostly). On the topic of the reboot itself, I have to agree with the author. Bring in a good, newish actor who won’t steal the show by just being him. Robocop has to be able to shine for himself.

    On that note, if they get anybody, I’d say they should consider Gerard Butler.

  27. they shouldn’t touch robocop… its one of my fav movies of all time, a classic sci-fi movie that was ahead of its time in the 80’s. but to bring a slow walking, mono tone talking robot police man that can’t do much but deflect bullets with his massive chest in this day and era of super hero movies would be a total let down to the fans. and lets face it, no one would ever portray a better robocop than peter weller…

  28. I think Michael Fassbender would be great as Robocop. What do you think?

  29. i agree, axle, michael fassbender would be the perfect choice to play murphy/robocop, he has the jawline, and he is a great actor who can give depth to robocop. I think rebooting robocop is a good idea. robocop is a classic, but i felt as though they could have done way more with him. i really hope they do, do this, and cast fassbender in the lead