In the latest in a long line of casting announcements for Jose Padilha's Robocop, a remake of Paul Verhoeven's classic sci-fi film about a police officer who becomes property of a corporation after they turn him into a cyborg, Abbie Cornish is now in talks to play a pivotal role. The Sucker Punch star would play the wife of Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), who thinks she's a widow after her husband "dies" in the line of duty. She joins other previously-announced cast members Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson in the remake's rather impressive line-up.
But the most surprising aspect of Deadline's casting announcement is that Cornish's role has been described as "the female lead," which is a major departure from the original 1987 version of the film. In Verhoeven's Robocop, Murphy's wife, played by Angie Bolling, was a minor character who was only seen in flashback's to the hero's former life. She played a slightly larger role in the sequels, in which she became convinced that the famous "Robocop" was in fact her husband and even threatened to sue OCP over the transformation, but in all three films the female lead was clearly Murphy's partner, Officer Anne Lewis, played by Nancy Allen.
If the throwaway description of the remake is true, then it seems that Jose Padilha has made serious, fundamental changes to the original Robocop storyline. Which might be for the best, since as far as we're concerned at CraveOnline, the first film is as close to perfection as films get. Hewing too closely to the original classic could have resulted in unfair comparisons. At least this Robocop, however it turns out, isn't just trying to be a baldfaced retread of the source material.
CraveOnline will be back with more Robocop news after we rewrite our prime directives.