Director José Padilha is Going Through 'Hell' on 'RoboCop' Remake
This is all one big game of telephone, and I expect there to be some studio denials later. "No, everything is going great!" Production hasn't even fully started on MGM's RoboCop remake yet, but it is slated to start shooting in September in Toronto, with Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman starring as Alex Murphy. At the helm is Brazilian director José Padilha, who seemed to finally be moving forward, but lost Hugh Laurie as the villain last week. Of course, we know working on a studio project is tough, but Padilha's friend and fellow Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles said in an interview he spoke with him and got discouraging feedback.
This update originates from ScreenCrush, who found the Meirelles interview on Cinemacom Rapadura, which is in Portuguese, translated it, and got a very interesting quote from it. Again, it's not Padilha saying this himself, but a friend translated through an interview who said he spoke to him on the phone. He says:
I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming Robocop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. "This is hell here," he told me. "The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again." He is bitter, but it's a fighter.
If that is true, that's some brutally honest criticism of the project. But that's the thing - I'm not surprised. Given how many directors this has gone through, how many years this has been lingering in development, and how desperate MGM is to get something good out of this iconic sci-fi property, it's not surprising that he's being pushed around and told what to do. Directors, especially foreign filmmakers brought in like José Padilha, are usually heavily controlled, even though it's not often heard about publicly. This is unfortunate because I think a lot of us really want this RoboCop remake, if it needs to be made, to at least turn out good.
And at least Padilha-by-way-of-Meirelles sort of gives us that hope: "The film will be good." We're crossing our fingers. They already started teasing the viral for Padilha's RoboCop in the form of Omnicorp's new ED-209. We'll keep our ears open for more updates from here. What do you make of this odd quote?