Hugh Laurie out as ROBOCOP's villain. Clive Owen to replace him?

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So remember how excited everybody got about the fact that Hugh Laurie had been cast as the villain in director Jose Padilha’s Robocop reboot? Well firstly, those were still the halcyon days before the film’s script details were revealed and we lost all hope, and secondly, that actually never happened.

Turns out that while the celebrated actor was looking at the role, he never officially agreed to it. But now he has officially pulled out, leaving a bad-guy shaped hole in the production.

Deadline reports that there is a small group of actors who are looking to plug that hole, with fellow English actor Clive Owen being one of them.

While Owen is not a bad choice, and he certainly has the acting chops to pull it off, he’s no Hugh Laurie. While Owen often times has a more severe look about him, that would be perfectly OK for more grim fare, I always felt that there’s an almost madcap nature to Laurie, just under the surface, which coupled with some of that acerbic bedside manner he displayed so brilliantly in House would have made him a great villain for this film.

His loss is really just one more nail in the coffin for me when it comes to this reboot. We’re going to need to see some footage to this soon, and it better be bloody impressive, because at this point it’s merely the strength of the rest of the cast (Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel) that’s even keeping the barest of slivers of hints of whispers of hope alive for me.

Read  Dead or alive, this new Robocop figure is coming with me

There’s no word yet on what the other names on that list are, but who would you like to see face off against Robocop? My personal choice is based on nothing more than he’s my favourite villainous actor of all time, but John Malkovitch would own this role.

Last Updated: August 27, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • I can’t think what would make for a good villain. Though Kurtwood Smith and Ronny Cox did a great job in the first film, the theme was not about the villains but about man-vs.machine in an inverse sense (the scriptwriter called it the anti-Terminator). In subsequent attempts to introduce a real hero-vs-villain dynamic, it always failed – even with Cain and his later robot form.

    So it really doesn’t matter who they choose for the job. Robocop worked because it had several themes underwriting it. The villains just added the appropriate malice to propel things forward. It never was about Robo killing Clarence and his boss as much as turning from machine to man.

    The more I think about it, the more this film seems like a bad idea.

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