MGM’s remake of RoboCop is scheduled to begin shooting soon. One thing you can’t do is make a movie like RoboCop without an antagonist; without someone for the titular, (mostly) mechanical law enforcement officer to butt heads with. Director Jose Padhila’s version is now one step closer to landing its villain as British comedian Hugh Laurie is in negotiations to join the cast in that capacity. The House star is working on a deal to play “the cold, sarcastic CEO of Omni Corp,” the company responsible for constructing RoboCop.
I actually like Laurie, despite the fact that I can’t stand House, and this could be a nice casting coup. In Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original, Ronny Cox’s Dick Jones is a villain with a dark, acerbic sense of humor. He’s cutthroat and brutal, but finds a wicked amusement in his sinister deeds.
I’ve been worried that this RoboCop update would be little more than a generic, straightforward action movie. One of the joys of the original, one of the things that makes it stand out (aside from being straight up badass), is the dark, satiric sense of humor that permeates the film. Casting Laurie would ensure some of this makes it into the remake. He’s good at biting-but-funny.
Laurie will join an eclectic cast that includes relative unknown Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) as Alex Murphy/RoboCop, Gary Oldman as RoboCop’s creator, Abbie Cornish as Murphy’s wife, and Samuel L. Jackson as a media mogul. I sort of assumed that Jackson was going to be the villain, but apparently that’s not the case. Or at least not the whole story.
As much as I try to temper my expectations, I keep finding myself getting excited about RoboCop. Not super, over the top psyched, but there are twinges. That’s weird, because on a rational level I find this to be a completely unnecessary exercise. Maybe I’m wrong and it will kick a lot of ass.