‘Robocop’ Remake Script Details: Armor Upgrades, Al-Qaeda & Easter Eggs

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 26th, 2013 at 7:16 am,

There have been a lot of questions about how, exactly, Brazilian director Jose Padilha will modernize the story of Robocop for his upcoming remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film. With the current international socio-political climate, and major advancements in technology (and our relationship with technology) there is seemingly much juicy material that can be mined for an interesting and relevant new take on the story.

Well, the Robocop (2013) script by relative newcomer Joshua Zetumer and Gran Torino screenwriter Nick Schenk has apparently leaked out, and some of the details about this new take on Alex Murphy/Robocop are sure to make fans of the classic version take up arms in protest. Read on to find out more, but be warned – MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!

Drew McWeeny from Hit Fix was the man to get his hands on the script, and took to Twitter to let the universe know how he felt about it. The folks over at Bleeding Cool did us the favor of compiling McWeeny’s tweets into a more serviceable transcript, which you can read below:

I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.”

Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!”

So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval.

So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*

Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously

And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow

Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.

“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.

By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”


Robocop 2013 Armor Concept Art 280x170 Robocop Remake Script Details: Armor Upgrades, Al Qaeda & Easter Eggs

NOTE: This concept art is NOT the official armor that will appear in the film.

Oh, god… oh dear god… Robocop is a Transformer. He goes from “social mode” to “combat mode” and back. Full transformation..

Okay… the two “best” lines in the script. First up is at the unveiling ceremony for Robocop in Detroit, from a TV reporter covering it.

“I think it’s safe to say that Alex Murphy is now part man, part machine, ALL COP!” Yes, I too remember the original poster, asshat.

If you can get past Robocop The Transformer, there are some interesting action beats. And I’m sure Padilla will direct the hell out of it.

But overall? Ouch. Ouch. Ohpleasedon’t. Ouch. And a big side order of ouch.

There’s more to it, but for the full breakdown you’ll need to head over to either Bleeding Cool or Drew McWeeny’s Twitter feed.

So far, I’m not freaking out about the actual plot details as much as I am the writing style of the script. Joshua Zetumer and Nick Schenk have very few actual feature-length screen credits between them, and nothing on the scale of this Robocop remake. Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner turned the script for Verhoeven’s original film into a satirical jab at everything from American consumer/corporate culture to violence in media, while still creating an intriguing and memorable central character, who they then spun-off into numerous sequels and other media forms (TV, comics).

Iron Man 3 Hall of Armor Mark I VII Robocop Remake Script Details: Armor Upgrades, Al Qaeda & Easter Eggs

Move over Tony Stark: Robocop will be getting his own armor upgrades.

The writers of this new version seem more content to… “borrow” ideas from other tech-centered blockbuster franchises, with the most of shades of influence coming from the Iron Man and Transformers films. Aside from that “implementation” of familiar ideas, the writers of the new Robocop seem equally content with dropping heavy-handed references to real-world situations and figures, rather than using the sort of hyperbolic and/or metaphorical inferences that made the original at once so clever and, arguably, still relevant to our days and times.

Of course, we don’t know much about the action in the film, which is an area that helped Padilla’s Elite Squad become the all-time highest-grossing film at the Brazilian box office. Between that, and a cast that includes Joel KinnamanSamuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Michael Kenneth Williams, Gary Oldman and Jackie Earle Haley, there is a ray of hope that this remake will be more enjoyable than the Total Recall remake (read our review), which also attempted to translate a clever Verhoeven film into a modern day blockbuster, but only managed to create a hollow action flick, instead.

Robocop will be in theaters on August 9, 2013.

Sources: Bleeding Cool and Drew McWeeny

Early Robocop Concept Art Header Image via Film O Philia (NOT actual armor design in film)


TAGS: Robocop
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  1. If I took an old movie, hired a toddler to re-write it, filmed it in a swamp and covered it in cow dung people would still see it…because it is a remake…because the masses just can’t stay away from a familiar movie title.

    “Take all of my $15 so that I can see a movie with a title that I remember from my formative years!”

    The movie studios know this. That’s why the remake of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, featuring Jessica Biel in the starring role as Harriet 9000, will be a big, space alien shoot-em-up blockbuster.

  2. “Wow! Did you see how Robocop killed ED-209 just now? It was just like in the original movie, but not as good!” (fifteen dollars gone)

  3. When I was a boy in ’91 I had to go to the hospital ER after an accident. Laying flat on my back, staring up into the fluorescent light, while nurses with big ’80s glasses and teased hair buzzed around me, I was reminded of scenes from my favorite movie. So I asked the only question which seemed relevant at the time, more relevant even than the pain I was feeling: “Are you gonna turn me into RoboCop?”

    ROBOCOP. A movie that, unlike other 80s actioners I loved back then, has become more relevant and less campy with every passing year. My question to the studio heads who have deemed it wise to resurrect another Verhoeven sci-fi extravaganza and turn it into mere pastiche: Why bother?

    I mean, the sheer fact that Robocop’s costume looks the way it does should tell you something. It looks like a reject from that awful G.I. JOE movie (another ballsed property). I mean, in this day and age you could have Peter Weller read the lines and use his face for all unmasked scenes and for the mouth, and have it look almost photo-real with CGI.

    I mean, why not leave the first movie ALONE and remake RoboCop 2 or something? Remake the Marvel Comics adaptation of the second movie (for the movie itself, despite Peter Weller and the actress who played his partner, SUCKED) or use the RoboCop comic story published by Marvel back then where OCP spirited away bums off the streets and began turning them, against their will, into RoboCops; and Murphy had to prevent what happened to him from ever happening again.

    See? Wasn’t that easy? I just presented two stories that have existed for over twenty years which are BETTER than everything I have read that is going into the new film.

    PLEASE RESPECT THE SOURCE MATERIAL AND CONTINUE THE STORY OF ALEX MURPHY, which was only derailed by inferior sequels which couldn’t hold a candle to Ed Neumeneir(?)’s cynical satire of a script which had action, disturbing violence, CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE (thanks to Verhoeven), and functioned as a nifty little slab of black-comedy, as well.

    BTW, if you’re gonna rework catchphrases from the first movie into the dialogue of the remake, apparently showing how little respect you have for fans of the original (“Hey! He WON’T buy that for a dollar!” *highfive*), and make the rest of the remake look like some G.I. JOE sequel and/or like every other science fiction movie release for the past decade, you should really reconsider your line of work. I mean, REALLY THINK about your motives about going to Hollywood and becoming screenwriters, film execs, what have you. I mean, this just B-L-O-W-S.

    Looks like the closest spiritual sequel to RoboCop fans can have is still Starship Troopers, which was based on an ’50s sci-fi novel, but which felt more like a RoboCop movie because (surprise) it had many elements of the same creative team behind it. For the love of Murph, GET VERHOEVEN AND NUEMENIER(?) together again.

    I have faith in all the development team except the writers and the studio execs, and mostly execs b/c A)they choose the development team and B)no studio in Hollywood wanted to make the original RoboCop, so that goes to show you just what kind of cinema-hating lunatics we have deciding what properties get made, remade, or completely botched.

    This new ROBOCOP looks to be an awful lot of the latter.

    Thanks for ruining my childhood dreams and putting another piece of unimaginative filler on the assembly line and slapping the title of a property that used to mean something on it to make us want to see it.

    Thanks for being so creatively bankrupt you must stoop to peddling nostalgia.

    Goodbye, Murphy. *CLICK*

  4. Turning him from a sci fi version of a wild west gunfighter with his loud metallic steps the same as a gun fighters spurs he didn’t miss he did the whole twirling holster trick very clear sense of justice on top of his inhuman flat way of talking and just about completely inhuman appearence made it a great look then you get this who looks like some batman wanna be and what’s with the human hand and the biker like helmet all we have is just another half assed attempt by our movie makers to make money and try to modernise and make everything mainstream BS