When RoboCop was first reported to be getting the remake treatment, and we're talking six-seven years ago, the general consensus was of more concern over Hollywood jumping backwards to remake yet another '80s cult classic. Darren Aronofsky was at one point attached to direct an R-rated version but it never game to be as production got hit by delays and financial woes at MGM.
A few years later, José Padilha came aboard and had his own ideas. Gary Oldman praised Padilha's script and open-mindedness in our interview with him and as we learned from star Joel Kinnaman, who plays Alex Murphy aka RoboCop in the remake, it was Padilha who convinced him to do the project as well - since he was as skeptical about the remake as some fans were.
Melissa Molina spoke with Kinnaman about the project and his role on behalf of Screen Rant:
Were you nervous or cautious when you first put on the RoboCop costume? Because it’s RoboCop. We all know RoboCop.
Joel Kinnaman: Yea. I mean sure, but my hesitations were on another level. When I first heard that there was a remake of "RoboCop" being made and my agent said that maybe you can go after this, I said no, I don’t think so, this isn’t a good fit for me, because I was such a huge fan of the original. But then I heard that José Padilha was going to direct this movie, and I adored his work. I saw "Bus 174" and the "Elite Squad" movies and I thought he was one of the most interesting directors out there, and that made me believe that this could be something real.
And then when I sat down with him and he told me the story that he wanted to tell, and the concept of "RoboCop," I was blown away by it. I was really convinced that this is one of the right ways to do a remake, where you re-tell one of our favorite stories but set in a completely different era where the concept of "RoboCop" can really tell us something about our society today.
Yea, because unlike the original, it really expands immediately on the fact that it’s not just the city of Detroit, it’s all over the world already. We’re [America] the ones that are lagging instead of the rest of the world. And you get to work with an amazing cast.
They’re all right.
You can kind of say it’s RoboCop versus Batman if you would there with Michael Keaton. What was it like?
I don’t know if that would be good for Batman. I don’t know.
Yea, but the rest of the cast. You get to stare into Gary Oldman’s eyes for a good chunk of the movie.
It’s some beautiful eyes, I’ll tell you.
And then there’s Abbie Cornish. The role of Clara Murphy has expanded, so what was it like working with her?
It was great. She did a really great job and it was such a great cast. I never, in my life, thought I would ever get to be in a movie and play opposite Gary Oldman, and I mean Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. I had some of the most crucial scenes in the film with Gary, and it was incredible.
Would you ever oppose to their being a sequel, and what would you hope would happen if there was a sequel?
That’s up to the audience. I would love to continue Alex’s story but that’s up to the audience.
What are you excited for people to see in this new RoboCop?
It’s one of those rare films where you get a big, exciting, grand-scale action movie that also has a very strong emotional core with a lot of drama, but also discusses some really interesting political and philosophical ideas.
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.