‘RoboCop’ Reboot Gets a New Director

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

For fans of Paul Verhoeven’s classic sci-fi/action film RoboCop, rebooting that property has always seemed like a fairly ridiculous idea. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what MGM has been attempting to do for the last several years. Now that the studio’s financial woes are finally behind them, they appear determined to revitalize their brand – which means revisiting several of their most revered franchises.

In addition to Bond 23 and The Hobbit, the RoboCop reboot is clearly a priority project for MGM. As recently as last month, visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky was reportedly still attached to direct. However, Aronofsky’s already committed to making The Wolverine for 20th Century Fox and it looks like MGM wasn’t interested in waiting for his availability to open up.

According to Deadline, the studio is now in negotiations with award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha to take over directorial duties on the RoboCop reboot. Although his name might not be immediately recognizable to American audiences, his crime thrillers Elite Squad and Elite Squad 2 have been enormously successful in his home country. He also directed the acclaimed documentary Bus 174.

Despite the fact that MGM is anxious to get the RoboCop reboot off the ground, they’re evidently tossing out the previous script by David Self (Road to Perdition, Old Man’s War). Deadline mentions that once Padilha is officially on board, they’ll hire a new writer to work under his supervision.

I’ll be honest – Aronofsky was essentially the only redeeming factor for me with this project. I’ve never liked the idea of rebooting RoboCop and I don’t imagine I ever will. Even still, there was a part of me that was slightly curious to see what Aronofsky’s take on the material would be. Like Verhoeven, he’s an auteur who I’m convinced would have circumvented a lot of people’s expectations.

I know I shouldn’t be entirely pessimistic about Padilha at such an early stage – particularly because the only film of his I’ve seen is Elite Squad 2 (which I did enjoy). However, it’s just impossible for me to dismiss how well the original RoboCop still works – and what an incredible job Verhoeven did of turning that script into a film that was better than it had any right to be.

peter weller robocop RoboCop Reboot Gets a New Director

The tone of RoboCop is so unbelievably pitch-perfect and resonant. It’s a formula I just can’t see being duplicated and I wouldn’t be surprised if the reboot completely dropped the satire and took a more straightforward approach to the story. The problem is, the vastly inferior sequels already showed us how limp the premise can be once that happens.

That’s a large part of why I still love the original film so much – I adore how completely over the top the performances, violence, and production design can get at certain points. Verhoeven expertly inserted this tongue-in-cheek attitude to the proceedings without sacrificing our emotional investment in the title character or downplaying the severity of his plight.

Padhila has a pretty intimidating legacy to live up to. If his deal closes, we’ll see if he’s up to the challenge.

The RoboCop reboot is currently scheduled to hit theaters sometime in 2013.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Robocop
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  1. never really had the patience to sit down and watch the original robocops, so i cant hammer away at hollywood’s decision to reboot what some people call ‘a great series’.

    • jwalka,

      “The patience”? Why do you need patience? The first one is freaking AWESOME. No patience needed, bud. :)


      • I’m completely with Vic.

        You only have to sit through the first one. The two other sequels (the TV show, the cartoon, ha, all unnecessary viewing). But the first is practically a must-see.

        Any remake won’t do it justice. It’s going to be a toned-down, mainstream CGI lovefest. I know some people like that, but after seeing the dramatic, tragic and satirical bite of the first one, I have no desire or need to see any reboot, remake, prequel or sequel.

      • patience is the wrong word, i would say lost ‘interest’. i turned the tv off a little after the guy gets turned into robocop. it didn’t really pull me in from any stand point so i haven’t really bothered going back and trying to watch it again.

        • jwalka,

          Ah – well, I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and may feel dated for those watching it for the first time now.


          • Movies IMO Vic never get dated, I like the way they look for their time, it shows how technology has grown over the years compared to what it used to be. Updated reboots/remakes with updated technology is just to me anyway just a bit cheesy, spend the money elsewhere or an original idea, leave old films alone.

            • @ Anthony

              I agree with ya about the original films never get dated & i like the way they were made in that time aswell. Same goes for tv shows. Sadly i had people tell me its the otherway around that the originals look cheesy etc. Its easy for them to say that if a film was made like 20 years ago, but was one of most popular films that year it was released. Not many remakes ive enjoyed or reboots i been thrilled by.

  2. I liked the originals but there isn’t really any need to reboot it. There are so many movies that can be made. There are so many good books to adapt from. Why the hell should something like RoboCop be rebooted.
    There should be an international poll every time a new movie is announced. We should get to decide if it is to be made or not.

    • Totally agree,,,
      Crime in progress,,,


  4. Akshay – since when is the film adaptation of yet another book any better than a new reboot? They’re generally an insult to the novels full of plot holes galore not to mention completely altered and/or deleted characters, storylines etc.

  5. It’s better than seeing something you have already seen. Reading a book and then seeing it on screen is pretty exciting.
    Yes, they get it wrong most of the time. But sometime we do get masterpieces like the Lord of the Rings adaptations.

    • Well yeah. So, even in the LotR movies there was so much that they missed.
      Twelve 2 hour movies wouldn’t’ve done the novel true justice.

      …but In saying that, I loved the movies. Watched them multiple times in the theatre.

      So, what I’d really like to see is Iain M Banks’ Culture novels on the big screen. Booyah!

  6. They are going to ruin this. They could surely make the FX look better than the original but if reboots in general have taught us anything its that FX mean nothing if the script sucks.

    Prime example; Planet of the Apes. The original version is primitive by today’s standards and the Tim Burton version was a VAST improvement visually (loved the way the apes were done) BUT the movie still sucked rocks. Script > FX.

    • I thought the special effects were great with the original Charlton Heston movie. The background music was creepy too. Im trying to think of one thing that makes it “old” and Im not really coming up with anything. Maybe the mouths on the apes didnt move fluidly enough when they spoke?

      Now I dont remember which one it was, but one of the sequels was hippified and very dated with that groovy 60′s feel. I could have done with that one lol.

      • Well the original Planet of the Apes did an excellent job of knowing their limits and stayed within them. The FX used were done in such a manner that it works, even today. Even the Apes still look decent and believable today but when you compare them side by side with the Tim Burton Apes they are clearly inferior. (doesn’t make them bad though!)

        My point is that even with all the great space visuals, high tech gadgets and excellent looking Ape men, the movie sucked because the script sucked.

        Bringing us back to Robocop though……..I’m sure they can do more with CGI now but you really aren’t going to improve the movie we already have so why the hell are they trying?

  7. I’m going to start a facebook page boycotting this movie. We can rack up millions of people supporting it and send a message to these bastards to stop burying franchises. If anybody is interested search Stop Robocop Reboot on facebook tomorrow or email me @ nemostheripper@yahoo.com
    -The movement needs to start one day!

  8. ^ And you think that is going to help?
    Good luck with your movement.

    Or you can just choose not to see the movie. Simple.

    • Yes, it won’t stop the movie from being made but if I can cause some sort of static at the least I’ll succeed at sending somewhat of a message. The industry would hear it too because let’s say hypothetically millions of people join my page, and lets say half of them don’t go see this movie and it flops. That’s when the cause gains some momentum. Everything starts with an idea. -Some people complain on blogs where not many people will see it. Some people feel like they can do more. Take Care.

    • Passive resistance (I’m not seeing the movie) clearly isn’t working, with these reboots,,,


      • I’m not seeing it either 790, !. It will be a toned down version of the hardcore R rated one was. 2. there’s no NEED for it. I mean really, does anyone think they will recreate the awesomeness of Wellers death in the original?

  9. You know, the city of Detroit (where “Robocop” takes place in) is building a statue of the cyborg WITH tax payers’ money. Being from Detroit myself and loving the movie, I think it’s funny and eerily cool. On the other hand it’s absolutely ridiculous. Check out Peter Weller’s video:



    • Here here, Sam!!!!!

  11. All I got to say is “I’LL BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR !!!” , but i dont want to see this movie remade , they will never recapature what made that movie what it is.

  12. I loved the original film. I got both the theatrical & director’s cut of it. I liked Robocop 2 but Robocop 3 was too family friendly but had it’s moments. I liked Robo acquiring his new hand weapon & flight-pack. I didn’t care for Robocop: Prime Directive dvd movies. Reason why id be against a reboot would be, what robot/cyborg could they bring for Robocop to go up against? Reuse ED-209 or Robocop 2 with alternations? Anyways, if they reboot, I sure hope its as great as the original was or close to it. My brother & i always laughed at the black guy’s laugh,lol

    • Ha ha! Wally, that dudes laugh was funny. and hell, they’ll not cast a faithful replacement for the role of Boddicker, Kurtwood Smith was just great!

      • @ Anthony

        I agree. Kurtwood Smith played a great villain. Everytime i seen That 70′s Show & seen how funny he is, can’t believe he was just a cruel in Robocop,lol. My older brother loved the part in the drug factory where Robocop say: Come quietly or there will be, Trouble. And the asian lookin guy says: Oh, f— You! lol.

  13. Yep the 1st one was EPIC!

  14. The rest was comedy! He strated flying! LOL!

  15. Yeah the cast was flawless in the original RC.

    I don’t remember a film, at the time that had the levels of violence toward cops and wantan cocain use.

    I half expected to be arrested for watching the film.

    Robocop2 was equally kickass. “Johnson this could be bad for OCP,,,” loved that creepy old man running things.

    • The whole Weller murder scene was just brutally violent, I have yet to see a film that shows the level of violence towards another human being on film. Just pure brutal.

      • @ Anthony

        Did you watch the director’s cut dvd? Murphy’s death was little more violent in that version. From what i read before, i think they wanted to cut out more of Murphy’s death scenes outta the theatrical cut but the director convinced them otherwise cause he already cut out enough outta the scene. With this reboot, I bet Murphy’s death scene won’t be as brutal as you & others might of mentioned.

    • @ 790

      I liked in Robocop 2 when the old man shouted, Behave yourselfs! lol.

  16. Robocop also gave us the futuristic apthetic news anchors. Like we have today.

    Robocop3 was just a big kick in the face. In a bad way.

  17. Yeah that’s correct Wallywest, the diff between the theatrical cut and the directors cut is the Murphy death scene.

    I loved RC2 because it gave more depth to the workings of OCP and the trauma of Robocops wife and past. Loved both films. They go together extremily well. Imo

    • @ 790

      I agree with ya about the first two films going together well. Not mention in Robocop 2 when Robocop gets dismantled, OCP pretty much uses that to build a more advanced Robocop to replace the original- Robocop 2 of-course. Between ED-209 & Robocop 2, i wondered which one was more leathal, imo im leaning towards Robocop 2 since its a cyborg & more agile. Who knows. loved both in both films. I read the director of first film would of directed Robocop 2 given more time but studio wanted a script right away. I still liked it. I remember reading how Arnold wanted to play Robocop but they needed someone skinny as Weller to get into costume as Arnold was too built for the role.

  18. @Wally, yeah totally get ya.

    Myself I really enjoyed RC2. Kane was a worthy fellon, next to Boddicker.
    Nuke was a worthy futuristic drug.
    Loved the mayor of Detroit having to comply/the rebel against big corporate (OCP) .= (NWO).

    Loved it totally. Especally the Kane version roboCop. That design was awesome!!!

    • @ 790

      Oh yea. I never forget what Kane said to Robocop before being dismantled.
      Kane: Jesus,had days like this. I don’t blame you. They program you, and you do it. Robocop: I will kill you. Kane: Well you just try,and i forgive you. I liked the mayor aswell,lol. Guy was funny. What was it you didn’t like about Robocop 3 if may ask?

  19. Oh yeah I think robocop2 the Kane psycho version was far more cunning then thw ED-209.

    The ED-209 was nothing more then a contractor scam by OCP to secure federal funds for the robocop program.


  20. Another thing was when Kane broke that girl’s neck in Robcop 2 after she called him Kane. Made my neck hurt listening to it,lol. I guess he got sick of being called Kane.

  21. @Wally,,, “what was wrong with Robocop3?”
    Peter Weller was gone, and the script was pretty weak. Besides the flying robopack, the ninja substory was poorly executed.

    RC3, just clearly didn’t have the raw intensity of the first two films. It was like a Disney production.


    • @ 790

      I agree that the script was weak, its why Nancy Allen only agreed to reprise her role in a minor part to be killed off. I agree about the ninja android substory aswell. Would of been worse if they did the samething with Anne Lewis that they did with Murphy & somehow program her to take him out etc. That would make fans ticked. Btw when i first saw Robocop 3, i was surprised Anne Lewis would get killed, it was touching seeing her in Robocop’s arms & asked him to get them for her and promise her he would to which replied I Promise. Then died infront of him & hear him say Officer Down. I still liked Robocop 3 more than the Prime Directive dvd movies. I wished Weller could of returned aswell but i thought Robert John Burke did good. It was just the script & plot that needed work imo.