It says something about Hugh Laurie’s on-screen reputation that even when he’s playing a good guy, he’s a bad guy. The British actor just rounded out eight seasons of his hit Fox series House, whereon he became synonymous with cantankerousness, lechery, and just about any other vice you can think of. So it’s no surprise that his first bit of casting news to follow the House finale would pit him as a full-fledged villain — he can clearly handle that kind of weight. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Laurie has been cast as the central antagonist in the developing RoboCop remake.
Laurie will play a nefarious executive of Omni Consumer Products, the company that turns Detroit police officer Alex Murphy (The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman) into the titular cyborg. The equivalent to Laurie’s character in the original 1987 RoboCop was OCP Vice President Dick Jones, portrayed by Ronny Cox (although it is not yet confirmed whether or not Laurie will be playing the exact same character).
In any event, Laurie’s take on Jones will likely up the ante on the menacing and sinister in his RoboCop baddie from, Cox’s more straightforward interpretation. While Laurie’s Dr. House does anything but hold back when it comes to lambasting his patients, colleagues, and closest friends, there is an air of subtlety inherent in Laurie’s performances that makes them all the more mystifying and, often, terrifying.
It is also interesting to note that while Kinnaman, 32, is about ten years younger than the original RoboCop (Peter Weller) was when taking the role, Laurie, 63, is actually ten years older than Cox was. Director José Padilha is spanning a wider variety of generations with his developing flick.
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