Robocop Remake Director Talks About His Approach

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-09-21 16:46:55discussion comments
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There are few things as pointless as a copy-and-paste remake. The perfect example, of course, is Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot version of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, but even Samuel Bayer's remake of Nightmare on Elm Street kept so much from the original that the reason for it's existence was called into question. Good remakes exist, but they're the ones that actually experiment and try something new. Even if a remake fails a filmmaker can still be respected for actually making an effort. It would seem that's what Jose Padilha will be trying to do with his remake of Paul Verhoeven's Robocop.

The Brazilian filmmaker recently sat down with Dutch movie site Film1 (the site has been translated into English) and told the reporter about his approach for the new project. First commenting on how the movie's politics and "sharpness" can be easily transferred into a parallel for today's climate, Padilha then said that he will not be directly lifting from the Verhoeven film. " I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly," Padilha said, according to the translation. "Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven untreated." The director then said that the new Robocop will examine the differences between humanity and robots, from the development to the loss of free will.

Obviously that doesn't tell us much about the plot or the characters, but it's good to know that Padilha isn't just thinking about guns and explosions. Padilha's most recent film, Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within, is primarily an action film, but the crowds at the Sundance Film Festival loved it for both its complexity and its characters. I continue to question why we need a remake of Robocop, but at the very least it seems like MGM found the right man for the job.
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