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'Elite Squad' Director to Helm 'Robocop' Remake

Jose Padilha
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Jose Padilha

Jose Padilha, the Brazilian director behind the gritty South American Elite Squad movies, is in talks to direct Robocop, the film project which is the reconstituted MGM’s top priority.

The studio was meeting with directors last week -- others on the list included Robert Rodriguez and David Slade – with Padilha emerging a top cop.

Robocop is remake of the 1987 sci-fi action film which introduced Paul Verhoeven to Hollywood and featured a cop who is brought back from the brink of death in the form of a cyborg with no memories of his prior life.

The project was in development at MGM when the company’s production division was overseen by Mary Parent and even had Darren Aronofsky attached to direct.

The new MGM is looking to make three pictures to start, two in the $30 million range and one in the $80 million range. Robocop has the latter slot.

MGM is also zeroing on writers to pen a new script.

The film could act as the Hollywood debut for Padilha, whom the town has been high on since 2007’s Elite Squad. The helmer was attached to direct The Sigma Protocol, an adaptation of a Robert Ludlum novel, but has since moved on. His Elite Squad 2 recently became the highest-grossing film in Brazil’s box office history, surpassing even Hollywood fare.

Padhila is repped by CAA.