EXCLUSIVE: MGM has found its Robocop writer. The studio is hiring Josh Zetumer to script the reboot of the 1987 science fiction film about a cop brought back from death and drafted to become a remorseless and ruthless cyborg cop. That plan is subverted when suppressed memories of his past life come back to haunt him.

MGM recently hired Brazilian director Jose Padilha, helmer of the cop franchise Elite Squad and the documentary Bus 174. Padilha and Zetumer will collaborate closely in reinventing the film. Zetumer seems ready to pop. He first got on the radar when he wrote the script Infiltrator, which made the Black List. That spy thriller script is set at Warner Bros as a potential starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. Zetumer also wrote drafts of Dune when Peter Berg was going to direct that remake at Paramount, and he scripted a fourth installment of The Bourne Identity before Universal instead developed a spinoff with Tony Gilroy. Zetumer just turned in Vale, a supernatural action thriller script at Warner Bros.

MGM, back in business under Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum after coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has targeted Robocop as the first franchise in its reemergence plan. The project was a high priority for the last regime before its funding was frozen, with Darren Aronofsky planning to direct until he left to helm the Wolverine sequel at 20th Century Fox with Hugh Jackman. The studio also has its half share of The Hobbit, underway with Warner Bros distributing, and MGM is finalizing a distribution deal with Sony Pictures for the next James Bond installment, with Javier Bardem in discussions to play the villain role opposite Daniel Craig.

Zetumer’s repped by UTA and Management 360.