With ‘RoboCop‘ closing in on its February 7th 2014 release date, José Padilha (‘Elite Squad’,’Elite Squad: The Enemy Within’) has been out talking about the film. One of the more interesting quotes he’s given out recently was that “[‘Robocop’ is] not an American super-hero movie”. There’s a lot riding on the reboot of ‘RoboCop’ and Padilha knows that all too well. However, as a fan of the franchise he feels he has what it takes to make a film we’ll all love. What many don’t even know is that his initial meeting with MGM wasn’t for ‘RoboCop’:
“Nobody invited me. I was called for a reunion at MGM. They wanted me to do a movie about Hercules, but there was a Robocop poster in the room and I said ‘I don’t want to do Hercules, but that one [pointing to the poster], yes, I want.”
As drone strikes are such a hot topic in the media the last couple of years and companies like Amazon getting in on their own drone program for deliveries, it’s no wonder these technological “beings” will play an important part of the movie. As Padilha states, the “idea was to do a movie in a near future, something like 2030. The drones are replaced by machines and robots that take the decision to shoot or drop bombs alone. In the USA, they approve a law forbidding a machine to chose about a citizen’s life. Then an executive from a big corporation decides to put a guy inside the machine, that’s how he comes into the North American market.”
It was slightly different for him to work on ‘Robocop’ than his own as “everything is intermediated by producers and agents. In such a big film [in Hollywood and that] it is normal that the director won’t have full control.” Even with that being the case though the film is very on track with his original vision and that is being RoboCop is not fun or cool.
“This is not an american super-hero movie, dramaturgically. Robocop is a guy who exploded and woke up one day finding himself as a robot. And being a robot he can’t have sex with his wife, can’t touch his son, his life is a hell. Being a robot sucks, not even Alex Murphy wants to be Robocop.”
There’s going to be a lot of undertones throughout the movie and implications of what is being done to mankind both with the RoboCop program as well as the morality of the drone programs that are going on. It’s an interesting way to view the film but science fiction is no stranger to being a focus of social commentary. From ‘Battlestar Galactica’ being a way to talk about how prisoners are treated to Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ being a commentary on consumerism at the time, it’s been popping up in the medium for years. As serious as the discussions can be on sensitive issues, with science fiction there’s always the fallback that it’s not reality so it is something that can take apart these subjects with a fresh pair of eyes. We’ll see if they do that here.
With more of a view on how Padilha has created the movie are you more or less interested in how it’s going to turn out? Does the drone angle have you intrigued or do you think it takes away from the idea of Murphy being turned into Robocop?
‘Robocop’ stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldmann, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish and Jackie Earle Haley and will be in theaters on February 7th, 2014.
Source: Comic Book Movie