One of the many going-ons at Comic Con this year is the panel for the sacrilegious remake of the absolute seminal classic, Robocop. It’s impossible for me to hide my feelings. There are films that just shouldn’t be remade, and the Paul Verhoeven classic is one of those. It came from a time when the style & movie magic that was going on at the time fit the tone, atmosphere, and look of the film. It’s absolutely not going to translate. I mean, look at him. He looks like Beetle Man. Even if he’ll be silver in the film than he’ll look like a ninja wrapped in tin foil. I love Keaton, I love Sam Jackson, but people need to learn that trying to remake the classics from the 80’s just isn’t going to work. EVER. One only need to look at the recent Conan The Barbarian, Total Recall, Fright Night, and A Nightmare on Elm Street as examples. And other properties such as Transformers & GI Joe, while successful to a point, were critical failures. It’s an era that shouldn’t be touched.
I’ve read what went down at the panel, and I’m even angrier. Murphy is blown up in a car bomb? His original death is perhaps the greatest of all time. It’s so disturbing, and carried with such simplistic sadism. The gang has absolutely no value on human life, and turn torture & brutality into a game. It’s such a powerful scene. Ugh.
Now, sorry about my jag, here’s what went down at the panel, as reported by Cinema Blend:
5:08 Panel begins with no introduction. Just a video featuring Samuel L. Jackson as Novak, on The Novak Element. He’s talking about American machines helping to promote peace at home and abroad. Field report takes us to the streets where silver robots with red laser eyes are patrolling the streets, They look like terminators. There are bigger machines stomping down the street. Novak asks why America’s so “robophobic.” People in the U.S. don’t want these robots on the streets scanning people. The reporter on the street is talking about “perfect harmony” just as a huge explosion goes off behind her. There’s some kind of hearing happening. Michael Keaton says the robots would feel nothing if they took a life. We keep seeing chaos during the news report as the robot situation escalates and the reporter attempts to avoid the mayhem. And then the feed cuts out.
5:12 – Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson and Joel Kinnaman are here. Director Jose Padiha talks about how the first film saw the future of robots. Michael Keaton says his character is a big thinker who thinks what he’s doing is right. He’s ultimate pragmatist. He says, this is the world we live in. Samuel L. Jackson refers to Pat Novak as Rush Sharpton. He thinks he’s a combination of those two guys. He has an opinion and isn’t afraid to say it, and uses every means necessary to get people to agree with him. Joel says a big difference from the original to our version is that Alex doesn’t die. Over the course of the movie, he has this internal battle over the artificial intelligence and his own soul and humanity. Abbie talks about how Alex is affected as a husband and father. She says it was nice to play a woman who really fought for her man.
Now we get to see RoboCop footage. Americans don’t want a machine. They want a product with a conscience. They want someone that knows what it feels like to be human. We see Alex spending time with his family and then getting blown up from a car bomb. “We’re gonna put a man inside of a machine.” Operating room wtih Alex on the table. Doctors/scientists working on him. If he survives, he’ll be paralyzed from the waist down. Keaton says to make him look more tactical. Make him black. Alex in black shiny suit. The visor comes down. There’s a red line where his eyes are. He moves like a machine, shoots his gun. Black and white nightvision shows a bunch of guys inside somewhere, trying to shoot him and blow him up. Alex jumps off his motorcycle and fights back with his gun. His nightvision is red and black. Another scene shows his wife trying to get him to see her. He’s telling her to step aside like he doesn’t know her. More mayhem, doctors note he’s overriding the programming, somehow. Looks exciting! I see it and I want the movie to be good. But I’ll be interested to see how fans of the original movie feel.
5:22 – Joel says the visor comes up whenever there’s social interactions. When he’s threatened or there’s danger, the visor comes down. When he’s angry, the visor comes down. There was some “jaw action” when it came to acting with just the lower part of his face. Jose talks about drones being used in wars. When a police man makes a mistake and shoots a child, you can judge the police man. If a robot shoots a child, you can not judge a robot. Where does the blame lay? This is a question that’s explored in the movie. Robots can’t pull the trigger domestically in the U.S. because they can’t be held accountable. So they put a man in the machine and they keep his hand in the machine. Samuel L. Jackson says the trailer is the way to get people to see the movie. And they’re here to “juice us up” so we’ll tell our friends to go see the movie.
5:29 – Michael Keaton says he didn’t want to do the cliche bad guy. He’s having a hard time describing his character. He draws a comparison to Bruce Wayne as a vigilante. He finds this role mentally healthy but he’s different than any other role he’s played because he’s a billionaire. Jose says technology is made and used by people. “You should never fear a gun, you should fear the guy that’s holding the gun, because the gun doesn’t shoot itself.” That got some light applauses. He says the movie approaches the subject of technology and accountability in a big way and a fun way. He thinks RoboCop is the perfect movie to address the advancements in technology. And that ends the panel!
SOURCE: Cinema Blendby