Michael Fassbender To Be New Robocop?27.09.11 # Remake # 2 Comments
Wow, Michael Fassbender really has it all, doesn’t he? Just days after winning his very own cup named in honour of one of Mussolini’s fascist pals, it looked like his next acquisition was going to be the Robocop remake gig, as he stepped into the stainless steel shoes previously sported on the big screen by Peter Weller and, less famously, Robert John Burke. However José Padilha, the chosen Robocop director, has sounded a note of caution, suggesting that said casting is far from locked.
Fassbender is undoubtedly a piping hot property in Hollywood at present. This year has already seen him headline his first comic blockbuster, playing the young Magneto in Fox’s X-Men: First Class, essay a classic role of English literature, as he donned mutton chops to became the latest screen Rochester, in aid of Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre, and also star in not one but two Venice Film Festival contenders (it would have been three had his X-Men commitments not forced him to bail out of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, to be replaced by Tom Hardy).
The pair of Venice contenders benefiting from the Fassbender factor were David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method – in which the actor plays pioneer of psychoanalysis, Carl Jung – and Steve McQueen’s Shame – in which he plays a sex-addicted Manhattan executive. And it was his latter balls out (literally) performance that led to him being named Best Actor by the Darren Aronofsky-led Venice jury, picking up the Volpi Cup for his efforts.
For a long time it had looked as if Aronofsky was going to be the man who revived Robocop for the 21st century, as he attached himself to MGM’s proposed remake, only for the long-running money woes of said studio to prevent the project from making any great degree of forward progress. By the time MGM was back in any kind of movie-making good health, Aronofsky was out of the picture, with it being announced in March of this year that the director of the Robocop remake would be Brazilian José Padilha, the man behind documentary Bus 174 and both Elite Squad movies.
And it was during a TV interview to discuss the second Elite Squad, just named as Brazil’s official entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, in which Padilha seemed to suggest that Fassbender could be his pick as patrolman Alex Murphy, aka cyborg scourge of the underworld, Robocop. He was reported as saying the following:
There are some actors I like. I really like Fassbender, I’d like to talk to him – I’ll talk to him.
The director also revealed that the movie would again be set in Detroit, just as Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original was, and that the intention is to begin shooting in January, February or March of next year. However, although that appears all to be a matter of fact, Padilha has since moved to cool the speculation regarding Fassbender (who, it must be noted, has an ideally angular jaw to complement that iconic Robocop tin-hat), with the director being reported as saying:
[The interviewer] asked me ‘Who is going to be Robocop?’ I said ‘I don’t know. I’m not there yet.’ ‘Who is going to be Robocop?’ ‘I don’t know!’ So he says ‘How about Fassbender?’ I said ‘I think he’s great.’ That was it… I can give you other names if you like, like Chris Pine; there’s several of them. But I haven’t discussed this film with any actors.’
Indeed, the script (apparently entirely divorced from the Aronofsky version) is still to be written, with the story only existing in treatment form. But even if someone other than Fassbender winds up donning the Robocop armour, the actor will definitely be seen in a revival of a classic sci-fi saga next year, as he stars in Ridley Scott’s sort-of Alien prequel, Prometheus.