Michael Keaton to direct ‘Buttercup’

Thesp replaces Niki Caro on the Alice O'Neil-scripted pic

In the midst of a career resurgence following his casting as the villain in “RoboCop,” Michael Keaton has become attached to direct the indie dramedy “Buttercup” for Michael London’s Groundswell Prods.

Keaton replaces Niki Caro on the Alice O’Neil-scripted pic, which Sarah Polley was once attached to direct.

Story follows an adult woman who is forced to assume responsibility for her elderly father after he is arrested for drunk driving again. In doing so, she learns to not only accept his faults, but finally trust the other men in her life. Pic’s title refers to the father’s nickname for his daughter.

Jennifer Aniston and Alan Arkin were previously attached to star, though they are no longer involved with the project, which is currently casting.

London is producing with “Runner, Runner” scribes Brian Koppelman and David Levien. While the two-hander deals with dramatic subject matter, O’Neil’s script is said to feature comedic elements that humanize the protags.

“Buttercup” would not mark Keaton’s helming debut, as he previously directed himself in the 2008 indie “The Merry Gentleman.” Scribe Ron Lazzeretti had intended to direct “Gentleman” but he fell ill before shooting started, prompting Keaton to save the day by taking on a new challenge.

Keaton, who recently played Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell’s boss in “The Other Guys” and voiced the role of Ken in Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” will next be seen terrorizing Michelle Monaghan in the indie thriller “Penthouse North.” Thesp recently replaced Hugh Laurie as the baddie in MGM’s “RoboCop” remake and will soon begin filming Greg Mottola’s HBO telepic starring Larry David and Jon Hamm.

Keaton is repped by ICM Partners and Ziffren, Brittenham.

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