Joel Kinnaman Almost Turned Down The Lead In ‘RoboCop’

Star reflects on almost missing out on scifi remake role.

Actor Joel Kinnaman was initially leery about taking on the role of cyborg cop Alex Murphy in the “RoboCop” remake, even if it would have been his first big lead in a major action movie. Though he ultimately took the part, it took a fair amount of convincing.

Speaking with MTV News, Kinnaman says that when he was first offered the part, “I was actually a little hesitant and I told them I don’t think that’s a good fit for me.” But when he found out who was directing the film, Kinnaman jumped at the chance to suit up.

The new “RoboCop” is directed by Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha, whose pair of “Elite Squad” films earned a fan in Kinnaman. Based on those gritty crime films, “I considered him one of the most interesting filmmakers in the world,” Kinnaman continued.

More importantly, Padilha was a fan of Kinnaman’s work too, actively lobbying to get the actor in the film. “I was amazed that Jose knew who I was,” Kinnaman noted.

Based on a script by first-time screenwriter Joshua Zetuner, “RoboCop” blends the man and machine drama of the original with a heady mix of drone warfare and corporate mouthpieces taking over the news. When Kinnaman heard the approach that Zetuner and Padilha had for the update, he was actually worried it might be too daring for a big-budget feature.

“I was a little hesitant,” Kinnaman said, “Wondering if any studio would let him do this kind of movie with that much money. I was blown away by how brave and intelligent it was.”

“RoboCop” is in theaters Wednesday (February 12).