It seems like MGM and Jose Padihla are looking for a big name to take Peter Weller’s iconic role in their upcoming RoboCop reboot. Rumor has it that Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves are all being considered for the role, but even if that’s true, we can’t really know if any of them will likely take the role. Personally, I think they’re all too niche to take it, but it seems that when it comes down to it, MGM wants someone recognizable in that suit.
I’m not really sure why they want such a big name headlining the reboot; the name should speak for itself. Padihla is looking to do a complete reboot, departing from the original, but there’s really little insight as to why a name like Depp or Cruise would help that. Not to mention the idea that names like this are likely to not be attracted to this sort of project. You tend to look for names on their way up in these instances — hello, Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man or Henry Cavill as Superman. As Screenrant points out, this may be a move to focus the story more on Alex Murphy before he becomes RoboCop to separate this rendition from the originals, but even if that’s the case, big names aren’t necessarily the answer. If they’re looking to rely on back story, they should seek out up-and-comers or guys on the cusp of mega-stardom. With a franchise as well-known as RoboCop, adding in a name that many viewers have a preformed opinion about when they’re likely to also hold strong opinions about the franchise itself is just too much. Give us an Ian Somerhalder or even a Jeremy Renner (though on second thought, he’s in too many movies right now, let’s give him a rest).
Audiences will go to the theater because of the hold the original has on them. Adding a big name will only serve as confusion, and likely, a point of contention for fans.