José Padilha continues to line up name actors for his RoboCop reboot. The latest addition to the party is Jackie Earle Haley, the fan-fave star of Watchmen (and the decried Nightmare on Elm Street remake) who’s been enjoying a second-wind career since his Oscar-nominated turn as a pedophile in Little Children.
Haley has landed the role of Maddox, "the guy who dispenses the military training" for Robo. That's in keeping with Padilha's vision of Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) as a cop-turned-cyborg who struggles immensely with his remnants of humanity - more so than the character did in Paul Verhoeven’s 1980s sci-fi classic.
It's also being reported that Jay Baruchel is among the actors who "are circling the final leads" to be cast in RoboCop. The Tropic Thunder and She's Out of My League alum could be eying an expanded role (similar to Abbie Cornish as Murphy's "widow"), or a new role like Haley's. The Robocop cast also includes Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and House's Hugh Laurie in supporting and/or antagonistic capacity.
Production on RoboCop gets underway this September in Toronto (standing in for Detroit), with a plan to get the film into theaters next summer. Haley will once again grace the big screen with his presence in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, due out this November in the States (after his turn in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows earlier this year). Similarly, Baruchel will show up in Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen's End of the World prior to the release of Padilha's updated take on the RoboCop property.
Viral marketing for RoboCop is already underway, with a faux ad from the malicious OmniCorp promoting its ED-209 and teasing the RC-2000 (three guesses as to what that scientific name refers to). The banner for said unmanned drone technology was flying high a few weeks ago, at Comic-Con 2012.
That’s a wise strategy on MGM’s part, as the film still has to win over people who are adamantly against any rebooting of Verhoeven’s popular sci-fi catalog (we’ll see if next month’s Total Recall helps, or fails, to change their minds). Padilha's already done a good job drumming up interest for an updated RoboCop, giving the film a leg-up on the developing Starship Troopers reboot.
RoboCop opens in U.S. theaters on August 9th, 2013.