Elite Squad director José Padilha has been relatively forthcoming with his plans for the Robocop reboot, which is a good stance to take, considering that many fans of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film still need to be sold on the idea that this reboot even deserves to exist.
The last time we heard from Padilha, the director was discussing how his film will take a different angle of approach than Verhoeven's did, by focusing more on the existential issues Officer Alex Murphy must face along his transition from man to machine, rather than the social commentary that the original film pushed to the forefront (go back and watch it again, you'll see what we mean).
Today we have more from Padilha regarding Robocop, and the topics of discussion range from what he'll do with a bigger budget, more on what the script will focus on, those rumors about who might play the new Alex Murphy, and how much of Darren Aronofsky's influence is left on the film ever since gave up directing duties on the film.
As Padilha told Crave Online about working with a bigger budget:
Listen, I always try to make the best film I can. If I can have one year to shoot a film, I want one year to shoot a film. If it’s not possible, I’ll try to make as best as I can in the timeframe that I have. I don’t know exactly, because I’ve never done a movie with a huge budget, but I do know that the producers in this film, the studio are filmmakers. It’s the people from Spyglass, Jon Glickman, Roger [Birnbaum] and Adam [Rosenberg]. They make films. They are not only studio execs. They are producers too. So they know how to make a film and it’s very good for me because it’s pragmatic. Once you give me the budget, whatever the budget is, the most important thing to me is that the money spent goes towards the screen. That’s what counts. If I have a beautiful five star trailer, that doesn’t change anything on the screen. It’s better to have more film, more footage, more takes. It’s that that concerns me and the guys that are making Robocop are very wise this way so it’s cool.
On how much of Aronofsky's script will be used:
I haven’t read Aronofsky’s script. Aronofsky is a great director. I love his films. I am very proud because I saw Pi in the opening Sundance screening and I loved it. So Aronofsky’s great. I have my own take on Robocop. I know what his take was and it’s totally different. It’s a different thing, different kind of film, even different period in time so I haven’t read his previous work.
Elaborating on what kind of ideas he's bringing to the screen:
Some things change and some things never change. Corporations controlling people are a constant. It’s the banks now, it’s going to be something else 30 years from now. It was something else before....That’s the greatness of the concept. That’s the concept of Robocop in a nutshell. That’s the heart and soul of the film. It’s that conflict between stuff trying to own you and you trying to persevere. That’s the heart of the story and it has to be. Any Robocop that’s worth that name has to talk about that.
That’s a new one. I heard the Fassbender casting rumors. I haven’t discussed really casting. What happened was Elite Squad 2 opened in Holland so a journalist from Holland I spoke with wanted to know who’s going to be Robocop because Verhoeven is Dutch. So I said there are many great American actors, for instance Fassbender, Chris Pine and I named a few. Then the web does the rest.
There's more from Padilha, but you'll have to head over to Crave Online to read the interview in full.
Fans of the various Robocop comic books that have been released in the years since Verhoeven's film should already know that there is plenty of great material out there that can be explored. In fact, the original Robocop film was meant to be sly mockery of Hollywood action films and American corporate culture - it just so happened that Verhoeven also created a character that fans embraced wholeheartedly.
It's doubtful the character was ever meant to become the icon he has, with a lifespan that has extended well past a movie trilogy into TV, video games, and some pretty great comic books. If you need an example of what we're referring to, look know further than Frank Miller's (Sin City, Batman: Year One) work on miniseries like Frank Miller's Robocop or Robocop vs. Terminator (which is actually MUCH better than it initially sounds).
We say all that to say: Padilha has a lot of potential to work with when making his Robocop reboot. Whether he utilizes that potential or not remains to be seen.
Source: Crave Online