Joel Kinnaman Is Right About The RoboCop Remake

By Jason Collins | Published

2014’s RoboCop remake wasn’t welcomed with open arms by the franchise’s fans. Unlike the first 1987 RoboCop movie—which is largely considered one of the best sci-fi movies of all time—the reboot polarized the fandom and earned a mixed reception from the critics. Now, nearly a decade after the reboot’s release, actor Joel Kinnaman explains what went wrong with the movie.

The Mistake Was The Name

During an interview for the release of his most recent movie, Silent Night, Joel Kinnaman also explained what exactly went wrong with the 2014 RoboCop remake. “It didn’t fully take into account what RoboCop was for the fans,said Kinnaman, adding that the remake “would have been a better movie if it wouldn’t have been named ‘RoboCop.'” Joel Kinnaman might be right about the remake of RoboCop; part of the fanbase regards the movie as a cheap copy of the original flick, while a different segment maintains that the movie is better than we originally thought.

A Different Take On RoboCop

For those who skipped the reboot, RoboCop was released in 2014 with Joel Kinnaman starring as Alex Murphy. However, this version featured a less bulky body and a somewhat more realistic take on what the future tech could do with Murphy’s human remains—how they would go about making him into a machine.

However, the movie also showcased how those in power would manipulate the machine inside Murphy to do their bidding, and by doing that, it also showed all the legal finesse that corporations do with what they consider business assets, but what we, normal people, consider human beings.

Remakes Are Tricky Business

That aside, Joel Kinnaman’s RoboCop was met with mixed reviews. Despite its reasonable financial success, the number was much lower than what has been expected from an installment in such an iconic franchise. Reimagining established narratives is already tricky business since it’s really hard to deliver something old in new packaging to new audiences while also honoring the original source material to appease long-time fans.

No Plans For A Sequel

It would be interesting to see how Joel Kinnaman’s RoboCop would have performed had it been rebranded into a completely different movie. Perhaps the production studio could have named it Cyber Policeman (sounds like a translation of a Japanese anime) to disenfranchise it from RoboCop, and perhaps its anti-imperialistic message would have been better received had the studio done so. Unfortunately, we’ll never know since all plans for a sequel were scrapped by 2015 due to remakes’ poor performance, both commercially and critically.

Chasing The Satirical Original

There have been numerous attempts to make another movie unrelated to Joel Kinnaman’s RoboCop; one of those projects was called RoboCop Returns, which would actually serve as a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s original movie. Unfortunately, this also never came to fruition, and following Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, the streaming company announced plans to revive the RoboCop franchise for both the silver and small screens—and given their success with Fallout, the series would likely be a winner for Amazon.

For those interested, Joel Kinnaman’s RoboCop also stars Gary Oldman, Micheal Keaton, and Abbie Cornish, and it’s currently streaming on Max.