Director José Padilha Hints at Details on His New Take on 'RoboCop'
Part man. Part machine. Part hospital. We've known since March this year that Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha, of Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, would be directing MGM's new RoboCop remake/reboot. A few details have come out about it since, including that Padilha wanted someone like Michael Fassbender to star as the new Alex Murphy, but now we have another interesting hint at what to expect. SuperHeroHype posted a few quotes from a recent interview with Padilha, where he explains how the original movie and this one connect, or rather how his fits in, between a certain area during the timeline in the first one. Read on!
Before getting into his film, which is currently in pre-production, Padilha spoke about the original 1987 Paul Verhoeven RoboCop, the violent classic. It all makes sense, so at least he's picking up on the themes in the first movie, and trying to keep those true in his new take, if at possible. Padilha starts out saying (via SHH):
"'RoboCop' the first movie was fantastic," he told us. "But even if there was no movie, the concept of 'RoboCop' is brilliant, first because it lends itself to a lot of social criticism, but also because it poses a question, 'To when do you lose you humanity?' The way it does that is by replacing body parts with machine parts, and that's very smart because guess what? It's going to happen!"
So far it almost sounds like he's talking about the idea of a real bionic man being created out of advanced machinery and computers, since we're nearing that point of progress in technology. So does that mean his RoboCop movie will be a gritty, realistic take on a man-being-turned-into-half-machine? Pretty much. He continues with a veiled answer hinting briefly at how this new movie might deal with exactly that concept:
"I have my take on it," he continued, "And I can tell you this: In the first 'RoboCop' when Alex Murphy is shot, gunned down, then you see some hospitals and stuff and then you cut to him as RoboCop. My movie is between those two cuts. How do you make RoboCop? How do you slowly bring a guy to be a robot? How do you actually take humanity out of someone and how do you program a brain, so to speak, and how does that affect an individual?"
I can definitely see the potential there for a good character study, but it makes me wonder if there's going to be any action? Will we still at least get a sense of the same hard violence from the original? One can only hope. Padilha confirms, with some conviction, that he's going to film some of it handheld. "Listen, they gave me the job, I'm going to do it my way, so yeah, you're going to see myself in there. For bad or for good, I'm going to shoot it the way I shoot it." There was a rumor a few weeks ago that Chris Pine was a frontrunner for the Murphy role, but Padilha didn't confirm anything, except that "We need an American [as] RoboCop, man." I'm intrigued to see his new take, but still not fully on-board, but I'm curious either way. Thoughts?