‘RoboCop’ Remake Director Promises A Different Sci-Fi Flick

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

Most people could probably go without hearing the description “remake/reboot of a beloved 1980s film” ever again. However, the in-development RoboCop re-fashioning could actually be a worthwhile one, seeing that Elite Squad helmer José Padilha - along with Darren Aronofsky as a producer – is onboard to reboot the cyborg cop character for the 21st century.

Rumors about which actor would follow in Peter Weller’s foosteps and portray Officer Alex J. Murphy in the new RoboCop have been circulating for a while now – with Chris Pine being one of the most recently-mentioned candidates.

There has not yet been much in the way of discussion about the approach Padilha and his screenwriter, Josh Zetumer, would take to the RoboCop storyline – and, more importantly, how it will differ from director Paul Verhoeven’s in the beloved original 1987 sci-fi/action flick.

Film1 was recently chatting with Padilha about Elite Squad 2, when the conversation turned to his RoboCop remake – and the filmmaker had the following to say on the subject (tip of the hat to /Film for the translation):

“I love the sharpness and political tone of [Verhoeven's] ‘RoboCop’, and I think that such a film is now urgently needed. But I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly. Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven [left] untreated. If you are a man [that] changes into a robot, how do you do that? What is the difference between [how] humans and robots [are] developed? What is free will? What does it mean to lose your free will? Those are the [interesting] issues that I think.”

peter weller robocop1 RoboCop Remake Director Promises A Different Sci Fi Flick

Peter Weller as RoboCop

It sounds as though Padilha is more interested in exploring the existential implications of the RoboCop character – and that he intends to ease back a bit on the political overtones/satire of Verohoeven’s film. That doesn’t mean the remake would completely abandon the social commentary of the 1987 version – which did touch on the philosophical implications of being a half-human/half-machine organism, to a lesser degree – but that the focus would shift (hopefully, enough so as to justify remaking Robocop in the first place).

Aronofsky was long rumored to helm the RoboCop remake himself, which makes sense enough. One of the recurring character archetypes in his films has been that of a regular person who struggles to accept the physical limitations of the human body – and ends up ultimately damaging themselves, in the process of attempting to overcome said restrictions (see: The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan).

That’s all to say: With Aronofsky still connected to the project, it would be logical to conclude that he and Padilha share certain ideas about how to approach the RoboCop story – especially when it concerns the nature of the main character’s struggle to retain his humanity, despite his mechanized additions. So the latter’s comments are all the less surprising, in that regard.

robocop reboot writer RoboCop Remake Director Promises A Different Sci Fi Flick

Philosophical issues and questions that are raised by the idea of a cybernetic individual like RoboCop are also all the more timely today, in an age where robotic appendages – whether it be an artificial organ or an external insulin pump for diabetics – are increasingly a part of everyday life. So, again, if Padilha intends to touch more on said issues in his remake, it would be quite fitting.

That is, again, assuming you’re not already sick to death of 1980s movie remakes by now.


We will keep you posted on the status of the RoboCop remake as more information is released.

Source: Film1 (via /Film)

TAGS: Robocop
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  1. No.

  2. this director has a lot of potential to make this a decent reboot, but only time will tell. I’m exhausted of how many films hollywood are recycling, but because Robocop was a favorite of mine as a youngster, I may give this one a shot.

  3. Darren Aronofsky​ as a producer for ROBOCOP.

    When was this announced? Amazing news.

  4. Another remake??? What is this?? They better not remake back to the future

    • It is because no body has a good original idea any more.

      • When Hollywood is remaking foreign films that have just come out, without any attempt to distribute them here, then you know they’ve fallen far into the abyss.

        I’m tired of all these unnecessary remakes. They’re all just brazen, lazy cash-grabs, that’s all. I understand. It’s a business. But there seems to be no more balance. They’re just making lazy movies, almost always just exploiting the fans of the previous movies.

      • Well that, plus it has to have mass audience appeal, not too expensive, and not step on important people’s toes. Plus the studio wants to own it for free and shape it any way they like, monetizing it as they see fit…

      • People DO have good original ideas, it’s just that its hard to get on the map with Studios and with a lack of experience.

    • @Vlad haha – If they do they better do it before 2015 else it will be “back to the present”, or “staying in the past”. Those would be pretty dull remakes :D

      • @Dylan

        “Back to the Present – A movie about a delusional teen and his deranged older friend who dream they have invented a time machine, but are in fact trapped in a very bad car accident at 88 miles per hour in the year 2015.”

  5. I am kind of on the fence with this. The 87 film was a perfect mesh of human rights and politics. I thought they touched on both of those aspects pretty well. So I really don’t understand what Padilha means by touching on a subject that Verhoeven didn’t. Personally, I do like remakes. I think it is fun to see what they do to reinvent certain aspects. Because, if the remake sucks, we always have the original to look back to. Not to mention, with younger viewers these days, the remakes can open the door to allow them to realize the original. I have serious doubts that this will be better than the original. The cast was great, it was bloody, and it worked well as a political satire. I mean, come on…Who is going to top Kurtwood Smith’s performance as Clarence Boddicker. His acting was so natural and his character was hands on. I just hope they don’t introduce the mob as it’s ground for villains. I liked the grittiness of Clarence Boddicker’s gang. THERE ARE BIG SHOES TO FILL.

    And if they remake Robocop 2, he better say WHERE IS KAAAAAINE…?

  6. If this is going to be a different Sci Fi film to Robocop then call it something different!!!!!!!!!! What is wrong with Hollywood!! Jackass!!!!

  7. I don’t have high hopes for this. At least it will be better then 3 *shudders*

  8. “That is, again, assuming you’re not already sick to death of 1980s movie remakes by now.”

    Dont assume. I think the majority of people dislike all of these reboots.

    • Wrong. A good movie is a good movie no matter if its a remake. Besides, most movies from the 70′s/80′s (no matter how good they are) have a lot of cheesy elements to them (acting, effects, etc.. example: Superman).

      Besides, the eighites was over twenty years ago. I don’t mind taking a modern spin on a past favorite. It’s good to see those shows I watched as a kid getting another shot in this modern culture.

      • The modern culture sucks.

  9. I want to see Robocop, not Emo-Cop.

    Are they once again going to cast from that very small list of familiar Hollywood names? I don’t want some nice, sweet, emo, sensitive male playing the role. It would probably be in the contract that his face must be shown in 75 percent of the movie.

    I don’t want to see young Robocop sitting around in deep emo angst, as he thinks of his young, smoking hot wife, whom we see in all her hot, slow-mo sexiness.

    This director already lost me when he said that doesn’t want to deal with the issues that Verhoeven presented so clearly and strongly. In other words, it’s going to delve into sappy, mainstream sentimentality.

    From there, it will probably be full of CGI.

    • Furthermore, the OCP of the original Robocop could easily be replaced by Any Hollywood Studio, or Corporate-run Media outfit.

      The original movie effectively satirized the heartlessness of corporations and the corporate-serving buffoonery of the TV media. Such issues are still very pertinent now, more than ever.

      I’d love a Verhoeven-style Robocop that effectively mocked and satirized today’s corporations, banks and crooked media who all exist to make the filthy rich even more wealthy. And stuck in the middle of this, is Robocop.

      But, no, unsurprisingly, this Robocop won’t delve into any of that. There better not be any scene where Robocop lovingly looks at a bunch of children running by in slow-mo, thinking of the life he could have had… and please, no scene or Robocop sitting in a colorful field of flowers, picking one and trying to smell it, but he can’t, so he cries…

  10. this could be a good remake. the original is started to look dated

    • NOT !!!!! The original still ROCKS !!!!

  11. Personally I love the deep philosophical musings because like Sandy said; We’re heading down that road- and we need to ask ourselves is this the way we want man to evolve? What’s sad is that if we ever get so far as externalized silicon memory, indistinguishable from natural memory, will their be any individual freedom or even any individuality left? We may not have to await the arrival of the Borg we may invent them…

    • Wow. I need my waders, its getting deep in here!!! lol

    • Wasn’t meant as an attack. (after reading my post again, I can see it taken that way) Only that it went from a possible movie plot to the real world implications of this happening. For this sight that IS way more deep than what is normally discussed here.

      • No Supes I thought you might have some experience in the emerging fields this stuff is engendering. I always enjoy a discussion but try to stay away from debates, they seem pointless. I never took debate in school. Hey check rsa education on youtube. The one point I’m entertaining; Can the aesthetic teach us something about the ethic to man’s secular endeavors? From a single discovery a dozen different paths to possible futures open up. Why not use entertainment to spark discussion about future possibilities? How much influence did popular stories framed by Nuclear war contribute to the prevention of said war?
        Maybe when Enrico Fermi and Leó Szilárd built the first successful Nuclear reactor a couple of artists should’ve been on hand to compose a few songs…

  12. Scarface, Point Break now Robocop.. the endless list of pointless remakes goes on and on…. Please stop now and try something original

    • i so totally agree with you, lebsta!

      thank you from nampa,idaho 6/27/12

  13. this actually might be good , I mean I actually can’t wait to see how they design the new costume of robocop and E.D. 209 ,plus if its a success I really want to see what ideas they got for kaine

  14. remaking paul verhoeven’s 1987 classic i consider absolutely forbidden! i cannot believe anybody would even consider remaking this brillant, all american/european based directed masterpiece. this dark broading political satire, of “satan killing jesus” (paul verhoeven quoted) phenomenon is untouchable by any means and i will NOT go see it, i will NOT pay any attention to it! peter weller IS the original ROBOCOP! the first x-rated version is a cultural staple to cult-film sci-fi/action-adventure/horror film buff’s like myself and like-minded others. when i first saw it on showtime back in the late summer of 1987 i was beyond stoked. from start to finish. the film was perfectly casted and flawless. this is one of the most quotable films of all time of it’s genre. please, don’t do this, i beg of you(my hands are in prayer mode while on my knee’s). thank you and i hope i have been heard.

    chris cox

  15. Domo arigato Mr. Roboto!
    Looks like they could still just shoot him in the mouth.
    Keep the satire! It was the best part. :(

    • ove time i have changed my mind, director jose padhila and producer darren oronofsky, i am giving a chance to match or even outdo paul verhoevens classic cult-cinema original(both r-rated and x-rated versions, i still own my vhs copies of the first 3 via orion home video and have the mgm/orion 2004 dvd set). when it reaches theaters in 2014, i plan to go see it. i am a hopeless robocop fanatic. even the robocop omnibus book coming out this year, i am buying it too. i even love the 1993 tv show and canadian tv films. robocop rules! did you know back in 1987 there was a techno rap song called robocop? the merchandise franchise for robocop one was and still is absolutely brilliant!!


  17. The utter failure of this director to realize that in this day and age he should be talking MORE ABOUT THE CORRUPTION AND INTERWEAVING OF POLITICS/MILITARY than the original film will be this movie’s downfall. It’s safe to say ROBOCOP was and still is ahead of its time. This remake will be packed with big explosions but have absolutely zero fight.

    • if what you say by “big explosions but absolutely zero fight”= no political commentative satire like the original, weather it be the r-rated or x-rated, i think you are saying (to me), this film may be both a remake and a techno-update of the original, then i may avoid this one, just like i avoided the remake of total recall, for obvious reasons.

      but those whom are definately going to invest their money to see this film, be my guest, because currently i am 50/50 on the fence right now= i love great action adventure like this, but i am also skeptical of the reality as to if paul verhoeven gave his blessings for this remake and i for one have heard 0% from him on it.

      this film is going forward with respect to the original weather it be for the good or ill of the originls fanbase opinions.

  18. Their about to make a sissy out of Robocop like all the other remakes. The plot had to change lol! Its a different world and more sissy fide now

  19. i heard rumors that they will remake the terminator in 2019.

    • i no longer care about the terminator series. part 2 was cut up, rise of the machines was cut, salvation is a joke. i am not a big fan of the terminator anymore.

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    • what? your post has absolutley nothing to do with this film. i have seen all the tv spots for this film and i am agast at what has been to this paul verhoeven classic!

      robocop seems to be 100% pro-OCP in this remake= the fight/sense of humanity has been excorcised.

      i recently have watched the uptenth reruns of the original version of this film on tv. peter wellers robocop dealing with his conscience, his nightmares, his “i can feel them, but i can’t remember them.

      when bob morton refused to take robocop offline, just because “he had a dream, are you kidding me! i don’t know what paul verhoeven thinks, but i am avoiding this film. the remake craze in hollywood is so heartbreaking, i have to enjoy films from europe to have any originality in my favorite cinema.