RoboCop to get rebooted by screenwriter of failed Dune remake

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Dec 14, 2012

You're supposedly one of Hollywood's hottest screenwriters, and you get a chance to reboot Dune. But what happens when that fails to take off? You get a shot at writing a RoboCop remake instead.

That's the strange case of screenwriter Josh Zetumer, who has built a reputation as one of the best new writers in the business without having a single full script produced for the screen yet. According to Deadline, MGM has now hired him to write a new version of the 1987 sci-fi classic for recently hired Brazilian director Jose Padilha.

Zetumer first got onto the Hollywood radar when his script Infiltrator made it onto the "Black List"—an annual roundup of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Following that, he got a job with Paramount to write Dune, which was supposed to be directed by Peter Berg (who's now doing the upcoming Battleship). Zetumer wrote several drafts of Dune before that project went on the back burner, and for good measure he also wrote a fourth Bourne movie that also went unproduced.

Zetumer has also done rewrites on the James Bond thriller Quantum of Solace and this summer's alien invasion film The Darkest Hour, but he has yet to have an official screenplay credit show up onscreen.

Now, that goes on all the time, so it doesn't necessarily mean he's not talented or can't deliver the goods. The RoboCop remake has been in development for years (Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan fame was going to direct at one point), but MGM's cash troubles halted the project for a while. Now it's back on track, with Padilha and Zetumer on board, and hopefully we'll get to see what all the fuss is about for the latter when this thing comes out in 2013.