Is Joel Kinnaman the New Robocop?

The star of The Killing has been offered the lead in Jose Padilha's remake. Is he better than Chris Pine?

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

The remake of Robocop is happening whether we like it or not, and if it keeps going in direction we may actually kind of like it: director Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) has reportedly offered the lead role to a relative unknown as opposed to the previous rumors of Michael Fassbender or Chris Pine. Over the already busy Oscar weekend, Deadline caught word that Joel Kinnaman, the co-star of AMC's hit series The Killing, has the role if he wants it.

Yeah, Joel… You might want to take that one.

It's not the first time a relative unknown has been tapped to play Robocop. Back when Paul Verhoeven was directing the original 1987 version, he wanted his Turkish Delight star Rutger Hauer to play the lead role. The producers reportedly wanted a big star, specifically Arnold Schwarzenegger, instead. Eventually they compromised and cast up-and-coming star Peter Weller, who had appeared in the genre oddities Of Unknown Origin (which found him facing off against a rat… not an evil, monster rat, either, but just a plain, old fashioned, albeit rather large rat) and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.  It worked out more or less for the best. 

This time the studio seems to be in agreement that an unknown star is best, otherwise an actual offer wouldn't have been made. Perhaps they realized, as we ourselves have pointed out, that characters are driving audiences to theaters these days, not stars. The star of Robocop is Robocop, not the actor playing him. They can afford to get an unknown quantity like Kinnaman, whose biggest American role outside of The Killing was a small but notable role in this month's Safe House, who will probably kick ass in the part and not cost them an arm and a leg… at the risk of making a Robocop pun.

CraveOnline will be back with more Robocop news after we buy that for a dollar.