MGM Hires Josh Zetumer To Script ‘Robocop’ Reboot

EXCLUSIVE: MGM has found its Robocop writer. The studio is hiring Josh Zetumer to script the reboot of the 1987 science fiction film about a cop brought back from death and drafted to become a remorseless and ruthless cyborg cop. That plan is subverted when suppressed memories of his past life come back to haunt him.

MGM recently hired Brazilian director Jose Padilha, helmer of the cop franchise Elite Squad and the documentary Bus 174. Padilha and Zetumer will collaborate closely in reinventing the film. Zetumer seems ready to pop. He first got on the radar when he wrote the script Infiltrator, which made the Black List. That spy thriller script is set at Warner Bros as a potential starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. Zetumer also wrote drafts of Dune when Peter Berg was going to direct that remake at Paramount, and he scripted a fourth installment of The Bourne Identity before Universal instead developed a spinoff with Tony Gilroy. Zetumer just turned in Vale, a supernatural action thriller script at Warner Bros.

MGM, back in business under Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum after coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has targeted Robocop as the first franchise in its reemergence plan. The project was a high priority for the last regime before its funding was frozen, with Darren Aronofsky planning to direct until he left to helm the Wolverine sequel at 20th Century Fox with Hugh Jackman. The studio also has its half share of The Hobbit, underway with Warner Bros distributing, and MGM is finalizing a distribution deal with Sony Pictures for the next James Bond installment, with Javier Bardem in discussions to play the villain role opposite Daniel Craig.

Zetumer’s repped by UTA and Management 360.

Comments (19)

  • So is Phoenix Pictures totally not involved with this?

    Comment by Team Phoenix — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 6:17pm PST  
  • And next week Zuetner will be rewritten by Billy Ray.

    Comment by Captain Awesome — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 6:33pm PST  
    • It will be rewritten by Billy Ray Cyrus!!!! LOL!!!

      Comment by Jack — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 6:57pm PST  
  • So they’re going to let the really great script by David Self — which was more of a belated sequel than a reboot — just go to waste? Oh wait, it’s Spyglass– of course they don’t know what to do with the property.

    Comment by Jack Burton — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 6:49pm PST  
    • This deal’s getting worse all the time…

      Comment by Lando Calrissian — Friday March 11, 2011 @ 7:32am PST  
  • I REFUSE TO PERFORM IN THIS MOVIE UNLESS THE SCRIPT IS RATED PG AND I AM TEAMED UP WITH A CUTE BLACK KID. I DEMAND THE SCRIPT BE TITLED “ROBOCOP AND A HALF” OTHERWISE NO MOVIE, THEY CAN’T MAKE IT WITHOUT ME CAN THEY? NO THEY CAN NOT. WHEN WILL THEY SEND ME A PAY OR PLAY DEAL? I GROW WEARY OF MGM’S DITHERING ON THIS PROJECT AND I REITERATE MY DEMAND FOR SCRIPT APPROVAL. THE ROBO-FRANCHISE CAN ONLY BE RE-ROBO-BOOTED IF I AM PLEASED AND AT THE MOMENT I AM FAR FROM PLEASED WITH THE DIRECTION IT’S HEADED. IT WILL TAKE AT LEAST 30 MILLION DOLLARS IN GOLD TO MAKE ME HAPPY ENOUGH TO RETURN.

    Comment by ROBOCOP — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 7:10pm PST  
  • I’ve read a few of Zetumer’s scripts, and the guy’s a VERY solid writer — but the fact he’s being entrusted franchise after franchise after franchise without a SINGLE PRODUCED CREDIT is kind of indicative of what sheep the D-people are.

    They want what everyone else is wanting. God forbid they evaluate literary material on its own merits and make, you know, actual creative decisions.

    But no, they go chasing after the Flavor of the Month because it’s what they’re supposed to do.

    I mean, it could happen to a worse guy than Zetumer, but his stratospheric status as an unproduced writer is not an encouraging sign of the state of affairs in D-Land.

    Comment by the Sheep Herder — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 7:32pm PST  
    • A lot of terrible screenplays get made into movies and you’re going to complain that Zetumer’s good scripts haven’t? That’s a shot against him?

      Comment by Pho Phum — Friday March 11, 2011 @ 9:02am PST  
  • Paul Verhoeven is up there with James Cameron in the quality of making an intense action-drama. Plus, Verhoeven’s action movies from the 80′s are MORE violent than most movies today!!!! It would be as hard as remaking Terminator 2.

    It’s not impossible to surpass the original, however they need to dot every I and cross every T before it hit’s production. I sincerely wish them luck.

    Comment by Fred — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 8:19pm PST  
  • the new JZ!

    Comment by talleyrand — Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 9:37pm PST  
  • “remorseless and ruthless cyborg cop.”

    Robocop was exactly the opposite. have you seen the movie Mike?

    Comment by Kabbe — Friday March 11, 2011 @ 12:14am PST  
    • Did you read the sentence that followed that description?

      Comment by casting couch — Friday March 11, 2011 @ 6:49am PST  
  • atta boy josh! great guy, great writer, bring it home

    Comment by J — Friday March 11, 2011 @ 11:32am PST  
  • Of course any social commentary will e totally out of the window, if this “remake” ever hits the screen. If anything RoboCop is more relevant today when the future it portrayed seems more and more a reality, not to mention how they’ll soften the content to get a PG-13. You can forget seeing someone do lines of coke in this movie.

    Comment by Statius Solitaire — Saturday March 12, 2011 @ 3:11pm PST  
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