Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cop Talk

Back in march I posted about MGM's planned remake/reboot/restart of their RoboCop franchise (one of the few arrows left in the Lion's quiver beyond 007), with acclaimed Brazilian director José Padilha signing to helm after Darren Aronofsky vacated the big chair. Since then it's been radio silence, but Padilha recently talked up the new Robo to Dutch site, Film1 while promoting his new film Elite Force 2, and here's what he had to say (blame the iffy translation on Google Chrome):
Earlier this year, you announced that the reboot of RoboCop will direct. The original from 1987, directed by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, with that movie made ​​its debut in Hollywood. How will your vision differ from those of Verhoeven? 
I love the sharpness and political tone of RoboCop , and I think that such a film is now urgently needed. But I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly. Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven untreated. If you are a man changes into a robot, how do you do that? What is the difference between humans and robots developed? What is free will? What does it mean to lose your free will? Those are the issues that I think. 
RoboCop is your first movie in America. Like the political apparatus of Rio de Janeiro, the Hollywood film industry, a system in which not everyone thrives. What is your strategy to survive in Hollywood? 
I try to make movies that I like, that I feel and I deal with social problems involved. I will continue to do where I work. If I can develop in Hollywood, then I make a movie with all the means Hollywood. If that fails, then that movie is not.
I think the biggest part of making a new RoboCop work in this day and age is having a director onboard who understands the property's potential for social commentary and critique -- something that elevates it above your standard blood-and-guts actioner. Verhoeven got it, which is why his film still resonates with audiences nearly a quarter-century later, and it sure seems like Padilha gets it too. I just hope the studio system allows him to make the personal film he wants.

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