[Update: Check Out what Kinnaman has to say about how the new Robocop will walk and move.]
With an official Summer 2013 release date set, a distributor in Sony onboard, and a rising star in the shape of Joel Kinnaman attached to portray its namesake, the impending RoboCop has joined the long list of reboots/remakes that have either become realities, are months away from reaching theaters – or are confirmed to actually begin production in the near future, rather than continuing to struggle on the climb out of development limbo (a la The Crow, Akira, etc.).
Kinnaman has been busy lately, making the rounds promoting the upcoming second season of AMC’s The Killing. Naturally, journalists have been keen to ask him questions about the RoboCop franchise revamping – and the Swedish actor has been fairly willing to oblige with answers.
“There’s a lot of neuroscience now raising the question, ‘Is all the intelligence in the human body in the brain?’ and they’re finding out that, no, it’s not like that. The body has intelligence itself, and we’re much more of an organic creature in that way. It’s not a control tower that does everything.”
With regards to the general tone and thematic emphasis of the new RoboCop, Kinnaman said:
“[The ‘RoboCop’ reboot] is going to be a lot more human. The [original] movie is one of my favorite movies. I love it. Of course, [director Paul Verhoeven] has that very special tone, and [the reboot] is not going to have that tone. It’s a re-imagination of it. There’s a lot of stuff from the original. There are some details and throwbacks, but this version is a much better acting piece, for Alex Murphy and especially when he is RoboCop. It’s much more challenging.”
Kinnaman also dropped the following tidbit about the eponymous cyborg police officer’s “new look”:
“It’s not going to be jaw action. They’re still working on the suit and how it’s going to look, but the visor is going to be see-through. You’re going to see his eyes.”
UPDATE: Courtesy of Hit Fix we have this further quote from Kinnaman, regarding the robotic movements that original Robocop Peter Weller’s meticulously studied in order to actually move like a cyborg:
There’s not going to be any twitchy robot [he mimics very mechanical robotic moves]. Our vision of how a robot is going to be in 2046, it’s going toThe be a very human skin, it’s gonna look very human. I’m going to be able to put my signature on the body language, too….from an acting standpoint, walking around just moving your jaw, it’s not so interesting. So this is going to be an opportunity to really bring a full performance to it.”
These comments by Kinnaman gel with what the RoboCop reboot helmer José Padilha has said in the past, concerning how the film will focus more on the title character’s existential issues – while also updating the ethical and political subtext from director Paul Verhoeven’s original 1987 movie. That approach naturally lends itself to a redesigning of the RoboCop visor, so we can better see the character struggle with his humanity.
It’s largely for those reasons that this reboot actually sounds like it could bring something new and interesting to the table.
During a separate interview, Kinnaman also expanded upon how the RoboCop reboot will (and won’t) differ thematically from Verhoeven’s film (via Collider):
“I’m such a huge fan of the original. I think I’ve seen the first ‘RoboCop’, 15 or 20 times. I’m like a kid, that way. And, I love all of [Paul] Verhoeven’s movies. He has a very special tone. I love ‘Starship Troopers’, too. That’s really smart. I think he really could portray fascism in a comedic way. It’s funny because both José [Padilha] and Verhoeven were accused of being fascists for their movies because they had fascist leads. So, [the ‘RoboCop’ reboot is] not going to have [Verhoeven’s] tone, but there’s going to be political satire in it.”
Lastly, here’s what Kinnaman had to say about the content and potential rating of the new RoboCop:
“I sincerely hope they’re going for R ‘cause I can’t imagine how ‘RoboCop’ could be PG-13. That would be a huge mistake. If I have any say in it, I will fight very hard for it. It has to be violent.”
If Padilha’s work on the Elite Squad series is any indication, the RoboCop reboot could be a genuinely gritty and (at times) brutal sci-fi tale, in terms of the portrayal of violence and its futuristic world design. That would indeed be a fitting way to modernize Alex Murphy’s story, while still paying respect to Verhoeven’s classic work – and that quality would indeed qualify this entire venture as a worthy one, under Screen Rant‘s Top 5 Rules for Movie Remakes.
RoboCop is slated to begin principal photography later this summer, in order to make an August 9th, 2013 U.S. theatrical release date.