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‘The Killing’s’ Joel Kinnaman MGM’s New RoboCop

Film project is a first for writer Joshua Zetumer

MGM is moving forward with its attempts to revive its RoboCop franchise, and have hired Joel Kinnaman to take on the title role.

Kinnaman will play Alex J. Murphy, a cop who was killed in the line of duty, but revived using technology, becomes a super cop with cybernetic abilities, depending on how closely the reboot will follow the 1987 original.

Kinnaman, 32, most recently played Stephen Holder in the popular AMC series “The Killing” alongside Mireille Enos and Jamie Anne Allman. He also played Christer Malm in 2011’s “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” as well as Keller in “Safe House.”

His other credits, according to Internet Movie Database, include the Swedish thriller Johan Falk series where he played Frank Wagner.

The original Robocop starred Peter Weller in the title role, and was written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, and directed by Paul Verhoeven. It was shot on a $13 million budget, and made $53.4 million at the North American box office. That would equate to about $101.2 million when adjusted for inflation.

The new film is written by Joshua Zetumer and directed by Jose Padilha. Padilha is a Brazilian director known internationally for his Elite Squad series. Zetumer is working on his first Hollywood assignment.

Neumeier reportedly developed the idea of having a robot cop when he saw a poster for “Blade Runner” and learned that it was a film about cops hunting robots. He said he thought it would be interesting to reverse that for what would become a venerable 1980s franchise.

No word on when filming will start, but it’s expected to begin by the end of the summer with MGM prepping a 2013 release.

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