A few days ago Screen Crush published part of a conversation between South American website Cinemacom Rapadura and close friend to Jose Padilha, Fernando Meirelles (City of God). The translation of that conversation is not perfect, and it is noted that the following comes from the mouth of Meirelles and not Padilha, but here is what he said:
“I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone,” says Meirelles. “He will begin filming RoboCop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. ‘This is hell here,’ he told me. ‘The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.’ He is bitter, but it’s a fighter.”
Now, these words could be taken out of context, but it does not exactly sound like Padilha is having a good time, and shooting has not even begun yet! Personally, I think if things are this bad so early on then the powers that be at Hollywood are coming down too hard on Padilha and interfering with his vision. Those who have seen Elite Squad and Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, will know that the director is cut above many directors out there, and he has a unique skill and attention to detail which I for one thought would make this Robocop remake exciting. I am not overly pleased at the film being remade, but having Padilha directing is possibly the one things that could save this remake. However, if he is not being allowed the freedom to use his skills and ideas (as he is accustomed to in his native Brazil) then what hope is there?
I say it is time for the big studios to allow the man they hired to do what he does best. Elite Squad was one of the highest grossing films in Brazil, and the sequel The Enemy Within went on to become the biggest film in Brazil’s history, so surely someone somewhere must be thinking “you know what, let’s just leave Padilha to make Robocop and see what he comes up with”, rather than all this interfering and spoiling his ideas. It is clear Padilha has a passion to remake the film, but sadly after what appears to be a nightmare experience, this could be the last we hear of him making big films in Hollywood. However, on the merits of his previous films, this is not exactly a bad thing?
Director José Padilha (Elite Squad) reimagines the tale of part man, part machine, all cop starring Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) as the title character, Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises) as the scientist who creates RoboCop, Jackie Earle Haley as Maddox, the man who dispenses the military training to Robocop, and Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers) as media mogul Pat Novak. RoboCop is being produced by Strike Entertainment’s Marc Abraham and Eric Newman, with Eric Carraro as Executive Producer. The film is currently in pre-production and slated for a summer 2013 release.
In RoboCop, the year is 2029 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilises their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.
By Matt Wavish