Why The RoboCop Reboot Was Disappointing, According To The Director


Reboots and remakes of hit movies have become commonplace in Hollywood, but it's difficult for them to be successful, let alone be more popular than the original version. For example, 2014's RoboCop. While not a massive commercial or critical flop, it definitely wasn't the success that those involved hoped it would be, earning mixed reviews and only a little over $242 million worldwide. While there are a number of reasons why the movie wasn't more successful, director José Padilha attributes Hollywood interference for why making it was disappointing for him.

Padilha, who is currently working on the Netflix series Narcos, explained to Screen Daily how he wasn't given enough freedom when making RoboCop, and the experience led him to reevaluate which projects he'll take in the future. As he put it:

I didn't have the creative freedom I needed. I spent 90% of the time fighting. It made me realise that making a studio movie is not the same as making a film. I will think a million times before getting involved in another production of that size again.

While José Padilha did also admit that he should have known better than to expect his full vision for RoboCop would have been realized in a Hollywood setting, but it's nonetheless a shame to hear that there was so much conflict during the RoboCop production. Of course, studio interference is nothing new in the world of blockbusters. Too often we hear about writers and directors who have plotted out how a story will be told on the big screen, but those plans are changed when studio executives have their own ideas about what they want included. Just last year, Joss Whedon expressed his frustration about having to argue with Marvel bigwigs about keeping and adding certain scenes in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In Padilha's case, his RoboCop experience has subsequently led to him turning down helming several action and superhero movies, instead to wanting his stories to "face reality."

Released 27 years after the original movie, the RoboCop remake starred Joel Kinnaman as the eponymous hero, and also featured Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish and Jackie Earle Haley. While the new movie certainly looked more glossy than its predecessors, for many, it just didn't have the same charm. RoboCop 2 was reportedly in development as of September last year, but there's been no update regarding its progress since then, so it's hard to say if the sequel will ever become a reality. If it does, one thing is guaranteed: José Padilha won't be the one directing it.

We'll keep you updated on what the future holds in store for all things RoboCop, but for now, let us know what you thought of the recent remake in the comments below. As for José Padilha, his next movie will be Entebbe, the dramatization of the 1976 Air France airliner hijacking.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.