Assuming we have to have a RoboCop reboot in the first place, it would have been interesting to see what kind of movie Darren Aronofsky would have given us. Sadly, that’s not to be; Aronofsky bailed and Brazilian director Jose Padilha took the helm. Padilha’s resume definitely doesn’t compare to Aronofsky’s, but thanks to some details he has revealed in a new interview with Bleeding Cool, he does at least have an interesting take on the material.
Padilha says his version of RoboCop will be, at its core, the story of “a man being turned into a product by a corporation.” The new film will move away from the original’s themes of police corruption and instead focus on broader technological and ethical concepts. He wants to use the science fiction premise of a man being turned into the future of law enforcement to explore the implications our own imminent future.
Wars in the future are going to be fought with drones. We won’t send a plane with a pilot in, it will be drone. It’s getting that way now and ten years from now that’s how wars are going to be fought. But what if a drone goes wrong — who is to blame then? Do you blame the drone? And that problem asks if you can you consider a robot guilty of a crime. Or is it the corporation that made the robot that is guilty? … How do you fight back against drones when you don’t have drones?
Padilha previously said that his version of the RoboCop story would take focus on the actual process of creating RoboCop, a process that was only briefly touched on in the original film. That certainly tracks with these new details, but no real clue of what to expect Padilha’s RoboCop to look like. I can’t imagine the studio would sign off on a purely cerebral, low-action script, so I’m sure the movie will be more than scenes of engineers screwing parts onto an ex-cop and running test protocols. They’ve got to let him out to shoot some folks before all is said and done.
Either way, it is good to hear that Padilha wants to explore some corners of the RoboCop concept that the original didn’t flesh out fully. Otherwise, what’s the point in remaking it in the first place? (Not that that ever stops Hollywood, but still…)