Ever since Brazilian director Jose Padilha was confirmed to direct MGM’s long-gestating Robocop reboot, there has been the lingering question as to what would happen to all of the work the original director, Darren Aronofsky, put into the project. Aronofsky was all set to take on Robocop, and had even written a script, but some looming bankruptcy problems with MGM and an otherwise full schedule for Aronofsky put the kibosh on all of that.
Well, Crave recently sat down with Padilha to talk about his upcoming Elite Squad 2, and eventually steered the conversation toward the subject of Robocop. When asked about the Aronofsky script, Padilha said, “I haven’t read Aronofsky’s script. Aronofsky is a great director. I love his films. I am very proud because I saw Pi in the opening Sundance screening and I loved it. So Aronofsky’s great. I have my own take on Robocop. I know what his take was and it’s totally different. It’s a different thing, different kind of film, even different period in time so I haven’t read his previous work.” On one hand, that’s kind of disappointing, I would have loved to have seen what a major director like Aronofsky envisioned for this project. On the other hand, I’m much happier about a filmmaker who is enthusiastic about his own vision taking over Robocop rather than having a utility player come in, just pick up the pieces, and do whatever the studio wants.
As Padilha went on to talk about his approach to Robocop a bit more, even I started to get kind of excited for what he has planned. For one thing, when asked whether or not his Robocop would still be Alex Murphy, Padilha replied, “Alex Murphy is Alex Murphy, man. You can’t call Batman some other name. Bruce Wayne is Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent is Clark Kent, Alex Murphy is Alex Murphy.” It’s nice to see that he has some strong feelings about the property and is going to try to do the original justice.
Also, when asked about what he’s going to do now that he has a big Hollywood budget to work with he replied, “Spend it. [Laughs] Listen, I always try to make the best film I can. If I can have one year to shoot a film, I want one year to shoot a film. If it’s not possible, I’ll try to make as best as I can in the timeframe that I have.” He continued, “Once you give me the budget, whatever the budget is, the most important thing to me is that the money spent goes towards the screen. That’s what counts.” I couldn’t agree more. Let’s put all of that money toward huge robots, huge explosions, and millions of blood squibs.
Perhaps an Aronofsky-less Robocop won’t be such a drag after all?