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Michael Keaton To Replace Hugh Laurie As The Villain In RoboCop

He's been Batman, he's been Beetlejuice, and now he's set to be Robocop's number one target. Reports have surfaced saying that Michael Keaton has been selected as the actor to replace Hugh Laurie as the villain in director Jose Padilha's upcoming remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 sci-fi/action classic. He joins a cast that already includes Joel Kinnaman (as the titular hero), Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Ehle and Michael K. Williams.

The news comes from a Variety reporter's Twitter feed, and thus doesn't contain many extra details. While Laurie had been linked to the project since June, last week it was announced that he would no longer be playing the film's antagonist. At the time there were rumors that Clive Owen would be the actor to replace the House star in the movie, but it would seem that Keaton was able to win out. While Keaton recently completed work on the upcoming thriller Penthouse North from director Joseph Ruben, its been a while since he appeared on the big screen. In 2010 he played the police captain in the Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy The Other Guys and that same year voiced Ken in Toy Story 3, but he hasn't had any feature credits since.

While I'm happy to hear that Keaton is getting more work - lord knows he's always great to see on screen - it's worth wondering if the RoboCop project is worth associating with. Earlier this week Padilha's close friend and fellow Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles told reporters that Padilha has been going through hell trying to get the movie made and early reactions to the script from writers Nick Schenk, James Vanderbilt and Joshua Zetumer weren't exactly positive. How do you feel about the Keaton casting? Let us know in the comments section below.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.