The original RoboCop (1987) made its mark not only as a solid science fiction and action movie but a drama sprinkled with a number of political topics. Ever since then, it's been ingrained into the psyche of many film fans as a classic, so when director José Padilha's RoboCop remake first came into existence, there was understandably a lot going against it.
For Gary Oldman however, who plays Dr. Dennett Norton (analogous to Bob Morton played by Miguel Ferrer in the original) in the new RoboCop, he tells Melissa Molina in an interview for Screen Rant that it was the initial script of the new film - and how José Padilha helped it evolve - that convinced him that the property was worthy of a remake.
One of the things I really liked about this interpretation of RoboCop is that it really brought in the spectrum of using robots to fight for other people. In the original it’s only segregated to just Detroit and now you get to see it all around the world. Could we be close to that one day?
Gary Oldman: I think that’s the way it will… I don’t know what I think about it except that it… Obviously the wars that we fight now are very different. It’s cyber, it’s chemical and so if you’re going to put boots on the ground, then why not put robotic boots on the ground rather than put people in harm’s way. You’ve got collateral damage which is human error anyway. So if that meant that you could save American lives, then I guess I’m for it.
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And when it comes to the character of Dr. Norton, what was it like developing him and with José Padilha [director]?
Well the whole script in fact, well the initial one was very good, and it made sense to me that we were remaking it. I thought yea, actually, of all the movies that they could remake, the story is very now. Back in ’87 it was this sort of science fiction, very futuristic thing and now it’s here, with us. And then in rehearsal, and working with José, it not only made my character… Everyone involved. He just each day made the script better and better, against the studio. They like shoot-em up action, more make it a little more as dumb as possible, so he had his work cut out. And he loves ideas and he doesn't let it… Some directors, they want it to be all their idea, and which is okay, but he’s up for stuff. He’s open. He’s not insecure.
RoboCop is directed by José Padilha and stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel and Samuel L. Jackson. It opens in theaters today.