‘RoboCop’ Remake is Apparently ‘Hell’ for Director Jose Padilha

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

Jose Padilha’s forthcoming remake of RoboCop is having a bad month. After an unflattering review of the film’s script and the departure of Hugh Laurie as the film’s villain, the project – which is set to begin filming next month – is in need of a big break – but apparently director Jose Padilha isn’t getting one.

At least that’s what Padilha’s close friend, director Fernando Meirelles, is getting from him. Meirelles, who broke into the international filmmaking scene with City of God, knows the pressures of working on a studio film, but says that this project, for Padilha, is “hell.”

Meirelles tells Cinemacom Rapadura that after having spoken with Padilha he gets the impression the director is having a tough time asserting control over the RoboCop production. Now this information comes to us by way of Meirelles – a close friend of Padilha’s but not someone closely connected with the production – but if true could mean the project is in serious trouble, even before it begins shooting next month.

Here’s Meirelles quote, translated from his native Portuguese:

“I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming Robocop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. ‘This is hell here,’ he told me. ‘The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.’ He is bitter, but it’s a fighter.

It’s impossible to know for sure whether the heated online response to the RoboCop script played a part in the studio’s constant vetting of Padilha’s ideas, but it certainly couldn’t have helped. The most important thing to pull out of Meirelles’ quote, though, is Padilha’s assertion the film with be good.

Despite having 9 out of every 10 suggestion dismissed, Padilha still believes that the end product – a reboot of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop – will be entertaining. That’s absolutely what the audience wants, but the process of delivering a quality film may very well have scared Padilha away from the studio system.

The presence of, currently, three different screenwriters on RoboCop also could be leading to a “too many chefs in the kitchen” scenario. Padilha’s previous work on films like Elite Squad involved him working off a script he wrote, but that’s not the case here. The director has several different masters to serve, and as such it’s making the process difficult.

As was mentioned before, RoboCop is gearing up to begin filming next month – with Joel Kinnaman in the lead role. Padilha might be struggling to get approval on any of his suggestions, but that’s been a typical studio response when putting untested directors in charge of a big budget production. If the movie’s good like Padilha claims it will be, though, there’s no doubt he’d give directing a Hollywood action film another shot.


Source: Cinemacom Rapadura (via Screen Crush)


TAGS: Robocop
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  1. This is clearly labelled as rumor-mill musings, but this just makes one think the movie might not be that good and the director is trying to put some distance between himself and the finished product.

  2. My hell would consist of watching a marathon of Robocop 3 for 24 hours straight…so, I really hope this new one will be good.

    • Hahahahahahaha!

  3. I dont envy him for somehow he has to balance the old film with new elements and new ideas of technology and hope people like it.

  4. That’s too bad. We all know that too many writers hurts the overall product, much like the re-boot of Spiderman (although, I generally liked that movie). I doubt this will be better or even as good as the original RoboCop.

  5. He’s upset because it’s gonna SUCK! He’s not gonna bad mouth the studios who are paying him millions, lol. That horrible concept render reminds me of those really bad GI-Joe super suits.

  6. Too many chefs in the kitchen…this is Green Lantern 2?

  7. Sounds great! Hearing as how he said “9 out 10 of my ideas are getting cut,” and then go on to say “but it will be great.” Does that mean his ideas sucked big time then? Of course, I’m still hyped. Never in the history of cinema has a producer or director told us their film would be anything less than “great,” and then not have it happen. NEVER

  8. They should axe the project while they still can without too many losses. The script sounded really terrible and when you hear this stuff from the director you know they are heading down s*** creek. The world doesn’t need another lackluster remake that is written and directed by studio executives by proxy who don’t have a clue about what makes a good movie.

  9. Honestly, I never liked the idea of rebooting it anyway and this news destroys whatever confidence I had left about the whole project.

  10. If that rendering is what they’re changing him to look like, cancel this now. The suit looks terrible. I like the cast they’ve assembled, but I’m doubtful that the script, tone and style of the film will be better than the original.

  11. is that an actual photo of what the armor looks like? it reminds me of a metallic venom

    • I’m pretty sure that was just someone’s vision, it isn’t connected to the official movie, or remake.

      • Yeah, it’s just some conceptual art and not the finished design. SR use it because it’s the only image they have so far until filming starts.

  12. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time……in other words……you accepted the job, you knew how difficult it was going to be (reboot of a cult classic) so QQing about it is pretty out of place.

  13. I’m worried about this project. If the film is going to be good with all his ideas being axed, then why does he want to put in all those good ideas?

    I think the “it will be good” thing is just to cover his tail.

  14. Maybe they should scrap the remake idea & make a sequel to Robocop 2 that ignores Robocop 3? Not anything against Robocop 3 since i thought it was decent & better than the straight to DVD Robocop:Prime Directive movies. Anyways, i have a bad feeling about all of this.

  15. if you have friends like this then you don´t need an enemy. i really really hope that this will be a good reboot,if this movie fails then i have no more hopes for good reboots and must chance my statement that reboots are good.

  16. This is God telling him that a remake of RoboCop should never have been done.

  17. This sounds horrible. It’s like a third grader who thinks “Frankenstein” was the name of the monster. The whole point of the original Robocop was to present corporate facism from a liberal point of view. That kind of goofy ironic juxtaposition is what made the original movie work. Here it looks like it is all just about the action, no ideas. Doesn’t anyone actually want to make any money off of this, or is it just one of those tax write-off deals?

  18. as long as miguel ferrer makes a cameo, i’m happy

  19. It never ends well for a movie when the director dogs it out. remember that old Vin Diesel gem BABYLON A.D.? Yeah, that director was blasting that movie too. and look how that turned out. This movie is sadly DOOMED!!

  20. Well, it kind of goes both ways, right? If he wants to be become a big Hollywood studio director, then he has to go through this. Very few new young filmmakers just plain jumped right in and got to do whatever they wanted. Maybe he is wondering if he chose the right project. Perhaps he should consult other directors who have had a similar career arc and ask them what their experiences were.

  21. looks more like a Silver Hawk than Robocop, they should stay closer to the original design.

  22. This is THE exception that defines the rule that you should NEVER remake a classic, unless it’s on a media that’s virtually inaccessible. Robocop had such potential, and the first half of the film is good! The second half belongs to the Razzie Hall of Fame. Who knows, maybe they’ll screw it up again. I agree that it’s worth a shot.

  23. As far as the tone of the film, I personally think Padilha should do to ‘Robocop’ what James cameron did with ‘Terminator 2 judgement day’. If he does that then this reboot will be better than the original.

  24. i thought about the whole bad news that are happening to the movie,before the movie comes out. at,first i don´t think that a director would give his own movie a negative marketing and it all began 2 weeks ago i think that a moderator(i don´t know exactly what he really was) had read part of the script and that was strange that someone can get those sciptnews. that is always what the director keeps in secret before he and the producer bring the news to the media. normally this guy who spread the news must get arrested or get a trial,which would cost him a lot of money. if the second news from today is the truth,then i just can say that his friend is a moron. maybe the director was tired and a bit frustrated(i think it´s normal if you handle a big budget movie) and if he said that the producers cut 9 of 10 scenes,then i think that this is a normal proccess for every movie. you can see it on all deleted scenes on d.v.d.. i have high hopes for this movie and i don´t believe those two negative news.

  25. They better Not put this movie out its going to be bunch of bs You better change robocop back how he was back in the 80′s Why is he all black wtf is matter with this guy