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Director Len Wiseman’s Total Recall took a stab at remaking Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 film and fell completely flat on its face. RoboCop, another Verhoeven film, also has a remake in the works, and many fans of the 1987 original film are asking “Why?” HitFix Blogger Drew McWeeny got a chance to read the script for Jose Padilha’s version of RoboCop and shared his thoughts on Twitter.
Please read with caution, possible spoilers ahead.
McWeeny starts with a tweet questioning the need for a RoboCop remake:
I will try this again once my blood pressure’s gone down. But, seriously, folks, ‘RoboCop’ was already perfect.
The script updates the story by giving RoboCop 1.0 an overhaul. Apparently, OCP puts the original 1987 RoboCop suit through focus group testing where the participants called the suit “a toy from the ’80s.” This leads the company to make a “meaner” RoboCop 2.0 suit, while they outsource its construction to China.
Once they’ve gone through more updates, OCP field-tests RoboCop 3.0 in an Al Queda training camp. As a line from the script says, “He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” Dr. Norton is played by Gary Oldman and is a scientist who invents the technology to make RoboCop possible. McWeeny finally tweets about RoboCop 4.0:
By page 54, they are already onto RoboCop 4.0, who looks like a ‘cop on steroids painted metallic blue.’ Oh, god… oh dear god… RoboCop is a Transformer. He goes from ‘social mode’ to ‘combat mode’ and back. Full transformation.
It’s unclear if this would be the final iteration of the RoboCop suit, but it seems out of place if the new RoboCop is more machine than man. In the script, OCP takes advantage of RoboCop’s celebrity by selling action figures of the cyborg cop. As McWeeny tweets:
Someone shows Pope, head of the OCP project, some mock-ups for RoboCop action figures. ‘Are you kidding? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar!’
Based on McWeeny’s Twitter commentary, the RoboCop remake sounds a lot like the Total Recall remake: a lifeless movie that “winks” too much at the original source material while not having a personality of its own. Jose Padilha is a fantastic director so you’d think the film would be in good hands, but these tweets don’t inspire confidence.