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Peter T Chattaway

RoboCop: the reboot

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Link to our thread on the original trilogy (1987-1993).

Links to our threads on Bus 174 (2002) and Elite Squad (2007-2010).

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MGM In Talks With Jose Padilha To Direct 'Robocop' Reboot

EXCLUSIVE: MGM is negotiating with Brazilian director Jose Padilha to direct Robocop, the remake of the futuristic 1987 film originally helmed by Paul Verhoeven. . . .

Reconstituted under Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, MGM has targeted Robocop as its first major franchise play, and they worked hard to find a filmmaker who could play on a global field. They were impressed by Padilha's track record with taut crime dramas Elite Squad and a sequel that came out in 2010. Those films were Portuguese language and didn't play huge in the U.S. But Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within grossed over $60 million in Brazil alone last year, surpassing Avatar, Shrek Forever and Alice in Wonderland in Padilha's home country. The original won a Golden Bear at the 2007 Berlinale. Once Padilha is aboard, they will set a writer who'll work under the director's supervision. . . .

Padilha also directed the documentary Bus 174, about what happened on June 12, 2000 when a bus was taken hostage by armed young men. . . .

Mike Fleming, Deadline.com, March 1

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Exclusive: José Padilha Downplays Michael Fassbender Talk, Explains How He’ll Rebuild ‘RoboCop’

“I never approached [‘RoboCop’] by looking at the first one, and asking myself what do I keep and what do I take away,” Padilha said in an interview Sunday morning. “I just looked at the concept of ‘RoboCop,’ and the concept of ‘RoboCop’ is very, very interesting. RoboCop is not a superhero – he is not a superhero. He is a man that’s turned into something else, by technology, and by a certain political perspective that’s being criticized in Verhoeven’s film, and by the media, too. So that idea, of a man that’s turned into something else for some purpose, appeals to me on its own regardless of the first film.” . . .

The Playlist, September 25

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Nick Schenk Working on 'RoboCop' Script for MGM (Exclusive)

MGM has hired Gran Torino screenwriter Nick Schenk to work on the screenplay for RoboCop. Jose Padilha is attached to direct the action sci-fi reboot.

The CAA-repped Schenk had been working with Padilha, who co-wrote and directed Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, on the action thriller Tri-Border. The writer also has the original drama The Judge set up at Warner Bros. with Team Downey producing. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, January 31

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'Killing' star Joel Kinnaman explains what drew him to 'RoboCop'

Kinnaman is stepping into Peter Weller's metallic shoes and presumably his metallic helmet, but one thing he's emphasizing is that this RoboCop will look and move differently.

When I asked how much of him we were actually going to be able to see, Kinnaman didn't hesitate.

"We'll see me," he promises. "The visor's gonna be see-through. It's going to be much more of a human performance. There's not going to be any twitchy robot [he mimics very mechanical robotic moves]. Our vision of how a robot is going to be in 2046, it's going to be a very human skin, it's gonna look very human. I'm going to be able to put my signature on the body language, too. The first 'RoboCop' movie is one of my favorite movies. I've seen that movie probably 15 or 20 times. But from an acting standpoint, walking around just moving your jaw, it's not so interesting. So this is going to be an opportunity to really bring a full performance to it."

Hitfix, March 27

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As Matt Zoller Seitz noted at Facebook, it sounds like the makers of this reboot don't have a clue as to what made the original film work. Peter Weller's body language -- as seen, for example, in the scene below (the scene that made me go beyond liking the film to falling absolutely in love with it, the first time I saw it) -- is all about letting suppressed emotion leak and sometimes seethe through the robotic gestures:

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Yet more evidence that the makers of this film might not "get" the original: Gary Oldman will play "Norton, the scientist who creates Robocop and finds himself torn between the ideals of the machine trying to rediscover its humanity and the callous needs of a corporation." So, basically the Miguel Ferrer character, but with a conscience? Not sure how that works.

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Sheer curiosity is going to compel me to watch this...I like the cast...I like "Nice Gary Oldman" especially... but they seem to be trying to miss what worked so well in the original... they seem to be going beyond updating. I can see the whole media mogul and media influence angle a nice leap from the world building ads and news reports of the original...but they seem to be going well beyond that in other ways... the Norton character (Bob Morton had no moral center beyond succeeding-take that away and you fundamentally change the corporate greed angle) and the idea of a Robocop wo look and moves more like man than machine...granted, maybe they are going for that whole Uncanny Valley effect that makes people uncomfortable with computer images that seem almost real but...are not. But I may be giving more credit than is due.

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Hugh Laurie to play the "villainous CEO" of the company that creates the title character. So, sort of like the Dan O'Herlihy and Ronny Cox roles combined? (Which is not to say that O'Herlihy's character was a *good* guy, necessarily. He was certainly indifferent enough to the death of one of his junior executives, at the beginning of the film. But he was never as *overtly* villainous as the Cox character, and he also has a seemingly upbeat exchange with RoboCop himself at the very, very end of the film.)

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Jackie Earle Haley will play "Maddox, the guy who dispenses the military training to Robocop." Wait, they're not just going to *program* RoboCop with all the skills he needs?

And forego the "Eye of the Tiger" training montage?

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Jennifer Ehle In Talks To Join ‘RoboCop’

EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Ehle is in negotiations to join the cast of RoboCop. The two-time Tony Winner would star in the role of Liz Kline in the movie aside the recently announced Jackie Earle Haley, The Dark Knight Rises’ Gary Oldman, House star Hugh Laurie, Abbie Cornish and The Avengers’ Samuel L. Jackson. . . .

Deadline.com, August 2

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Man, Secrets & Lies seems so long ago, now... in fact, it was considerably closer to the original Robocop (a gap of 9 years) than it is to today, or to the release date of this remake (a gap of 17 years).

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'Robocop' books Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Marianne Jean-Baptiste is set to star opposite Joel Kinnaman, Hugh Laurie, Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman in the MGM's remake of "Robocop."

The actioner is set to start shooting in Toronto next month. Jean-Baptiste will portray the character of Detroit Police Chief, Karen Dean. . . .

Sony is distributing and has set an Aug. 9, 2013 domestic release date. . . .

Variety, August 16

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Meanwhile, Drew McWeeney has read the script, and tweeted his disapproval of all the meta-snark-wink-wink references to the original film, among other things. The tweets have been rounded up at Bleeding Cool.

(Side note: I don't *necessarily* mind if ED-209 or even RoboCop is sent into military combat; did not the OCP vice-president in the original film say that urban pacification was "only the beginning" of what the ED-209 was capable of, and that other possible applications included military action of some sort?)

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Deliberately insulting the original Robocop design is not going to win me over.

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The Robocop Remake Is Causing “Hell” For Its Director

This is according to City of God director Fernando Mereilles, a friend and colleague of Padilha’s. He was giving an interview to promote his current movie, 360, to the Brazillian press and somehow ended up on the subject of Padilha in Hollywood.

You can read the original Portuguese at Cinema Com Rapardura, but here are the translated bullet points:

- 9 out of 10 of Padilha’s ideas are being rejected.

- He’s fighting, and it’s making him bitter.

- The experience is described as “hell.”

- But Mereilles believes the film will still be good. . . .

Bleeding Cool, August 26

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RoboCop Director Denies Production Struggles

Last week, we heard from Fernando Meireilles that his close friend and fellow filmmaker Jose Padilha was going through "hell" on the set of his upcoming RoboCop reboot. However, Padilha plays down these claims in a recent interview with Brazilian newspaper Cinema em Cinema.

"I have a script I’m happy with and I got the cast I have picked," he said. "The director of photography is Lula Carvalho, my editor is Daniel Rezende (City of God, Elite Squad, The Tree of Life). I was even consulted for the selection of the producers."

As for the rumors of his bad time spent in pre-production, the director added, "We deal with those difficulties with coolness and familiarity." . . .

IGN.com, September 5

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