Darren Aronofsky to direct new installment

MGM is ready to reboot its “RoboCop” franchise.

Darren Aronofsky has signed on to direct and David Self is penning a new installment about the hero whose tagline is “part man, part machine and all cop.”

“RoboCop,” which is being fast-tracked for a 2010 release, becomes the first potential tentpole to come together since Mary Parent took the reins of MGM in March. Aronofsky’s involvement has been one of the worst kept secrets, with rumors rampant in the blogosphere that “The Fountain” helmer was eyeing the project.

MGM is keeping the logline under wraps, but insiders say it will take the sci-fi vigilante classic in more of a noir direction.

Phoenix Pictures’ Mike Medavoy, who produced the original film for Orion 21 years ago, is producing the new “RoboCop” alongside Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and David Thwaites.

Original films centered on a fatally wounded cop who returns to the police force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories. After 1987′s “RoboCop” and its two sequels hit the bigscreen, they have become solid earners for MGM’s film library, with 4.1 million DVDs sold. Franchise is particularly popular in Japan, Germany and the U.K.

Aronofsky (“Pi,” “Requiem for a Dream”) is finishing the feature “The Wrestler,” which stars Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

Self, whose credits include “13 Days” and “Road to Perdition,” has “God of War” set up at Universal, with Brett Ratner attached to direct. He also penned U’s “Wolfman,” which is in production.

Phoenix, whose recent credits include “Zodiac,” is in production on the Mikael Halfstrom-helmed “Shanghai” and is in post-production on “Shutter Island,” which teams Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.

MGM recently greenlit thriller “The Cabin in the Woods,” penned by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, with Goddard signed to make his directorial debut and Whedon producing.

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