Michael Keaton has replaced Hugh Laurie in the new 'RoboCop' remake, which is set for release in 2013.
Laurie's departure was reported by Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, which said the 53-year-old British actor, best known for playing the title role in the FOX show "House M.D.," dropped out of the film project late last week amid negotiations. Laurie's spokesperson had no immediate comment.
The website on August 29 quoted Padilha as saying that Keaton, 60, would take over his role of Raymond Sellars, the CEO of the company that builds RoboCop. The actor's spokesperson confirmed his casting to OTRC.com
"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," director Jose Padilha told Deadline. "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 movie is a reboot of a 1987 sci-fi film, starring Peter Weller, that has become a cult favorite. It was announced earlier this year that Joel Kinnaman of the series "The Killing" will play RoboCop in the new movie. The title character is a police officer named Alex Murphy, who is transformed into a cyborg cop after a fatal injury.
The new film is set for release on Aug. 3, 2013 and also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Pat Novak, a media mogul, and Gary Oldman as the scientist who helps create RoboCop. Other cast members include Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel and Jackie Earle Haley.
Keaton is known for playing a hero himself - he starred as main hero Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns" in 1989 and 1992. The actor and former standup comedian is also known for his roles in "Beetlejuice," "The Paper" and "Mr. Mom." He also provided the voices of Chick Hicks in Disney-Pixar's animated "Cars" films and Barbie's friend Ken in "Toy Story 3."
In 2010, Keaton played a police captain in the cop comedy "The Other Guys," which starred Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
"House M.D." ended its run in May. Laurie's last film on-screen film role was in the 2011 film "The Oranges." He can be seen next in the movie "Mr. Pip."
The film is based on a novel by Lloyd Jones. Laurie plays Mr. Watts, the only white man left in a village in Papua New Guinea that has been largely destroyed due to war. Amid the fighting, he visits a school every day to read to students from the Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations" and inspires a young girl. The movie was completed in July. Its release date has not yet been announced.