Michael Keaton is the new Dan O'Herlihy.
The "Batman" thesp has signed on to star as OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars in MGM/Columbia's upcoming "RoboCop" remake helmed by Jose Padilha ("Elite Squad: The Enemy Within") and starring Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing") in the title role. "House" star Hugh Laurie and Clive Owen had both previously been rumored for the part of the company's leader, who greenlights the program that leads to the creation of the eponymous cyborg.
The CEO character was played by the late O'Herlihy in Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original, though given that he was known only as "The Old Man" in that version and that he played a rather limited role in the storyline, I'm guessing the character has been expanded significantly for the update.
“Michael is the final addition to the amazing cast we have assembled for this film and it is so great to have the last puzzle piece in place," said Padilha in a statement. "It is thrilling that everything has come together to bring this innovative new vision of RoboCop to life. We’ve got a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209’s and I can’t wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets."
The original film starred Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, a police officer who is resurrected as a powerful cyborg after being brutally murdered by gangsters in a dystopic near-future Detroit.
Also set to star in the remake (which is technically being billed as a "re-imagining") are Gary Oldman as the scientist who creates the cyborg and Samuel L. Jackson as a media titan who plays a key role in the RoboCop program. The film is slated to begin shooting next month.
Keaton has kept a fairly low profile over the last several years, with his last feature credit being a supporting role in the 2010 comedy "The Other Guys" starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Do you think Keaton is a good choice for the CEO role, or would you have preferred Hugh Laurie or Clive Owen instead? Sound off in the comments.