José Padilha Talks About His Approach to Remaking ‘RoboCop’

News of a RoboCop remake has been bouncing around for literally years, usually with Darren Aronofsky’s name attached in some manner. Recently, the plan for the film has been that Aronofsky would serve in a producer’s role and José Padilha, helmer of 2007’s Elite Squad, would be sitting in the director’s chair. Even more recently, Dutch film site Film1 caught up with the director to have a chat about Elite Squad 2, and at the end even managed to get a quote out of him about how his approach to the material will differ from original RoboCop director Paul Verhoeven’s.

Padilha’s comments were posted in some sort of indecipherable moon language, but luckily the gents over at /Film were kind enough to run it through Google translate and have some good old-fashioned English come out the other end. Padilha roughly said, “I love the sharpness and political tone of RoboCop, and I think that such a film is now urgently needed. But I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly. Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven untreated. If you are a man changes into a robot, how do you do that? What is the difference between humans and robots developed? What is free will? What does it mean to lose your free will? Those are the issues that I think.”

That’s kind of vague, but I guess what Padilha is getting at is that his version of RoboCop will focus more on the man who becomes the cyborg and less on the society that called for his creation. That sounds like a good way to approach the material to me. But I would have also accepted, “my version of RoboCop will focus more on the brutal and gory killings of depraved street scum than the Verhoeven original. All of my cast and crew will be high on Nuke during filming so things get really depraved.” But I guess I can’t always get what I want.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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