Deadline‘s Mike Fleming is reporting that 31 year-old Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman will play the Peter Weller “Murphy”role in Jose Padilha‘s Robocop remake for MGM. But why Kinnaman exactly? This strikes me as a left-field call.

The video interview above shows Kinnaman to be an intelligent, appealing fellow, but at the same time it doesn’t exactly suggest that he’s any kind of rock star in the making — let’s be frank here. A safe box-office hire would have been Jeremy Renner or Michael Fassbender or someone in that realm.

The apparent bottom line is that MGM doesn’t want to pay for a name-brand action star, and Kinnaman is affordable.

Fleming writes that Kinnaman “most recently turned in a memorable performance in the Daniel Espinosa-directed Safe House.” Translation: Kinnaman had a rock-solid fight scene with Ryan Reynolds, but it wasn’t exactly a career-making appearance. Fleming says he “burst on the scene in the AMC series The Killing,” but if you check the trailer Kinnaman clearly had a secondary role. Prior to The Killing he starred in the Espinosa-directed Snabba Cash (’10), but nobody ever saw Snabba stateside so whaddaya whaddaya?

If Padilha’s Robocop is anything like Paul Verhoeven‘s 1987 original, Kinnaman will spend at least half of his screen time be clomping around in robot garb anyway. It’s not like he’s being hired to play Stanley Kowalski or costar in a remake of My Dinner With Andre.

Fleming writes that “Hollywood is desperately trying to find male stars that studios can build movies around” — that much is definitely true.