Robocop

Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

To paraphrase Loverboy, everybody’s waiting for the weekend… to read the best original movie-related content on the web. So, come on baby, let’s go back to the start and give the past week of Film School Rejects a second chance. But first, we want to remind you of the category links on this page that will help you find the most recent reviews (including new releases Dredd 3D, End of Watch and The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and trailers (new spots for The Hobbit and The Life of Pi included) as well as the sidebar of all your favorite columns. And, of course, this week brought the start of Fantastic Fest, so you’ll want to look back on what films we’ve covered so far, such as Frankenweenie and Holy Motors. Keep this link handy through the next five days or so.

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Game of Thrones Behind the Scenes

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that’s struggling on a slow-news Monday. Luckily there’s plenty of poster art to go around. Our evening begins with a behind the scenes shot from the production of Game of Thrones and its sure to be epic third season. It’s not telling us much, but the official production blog kicking into high gear is enough to whet the whistles of many a fan, including yours truly.

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Boiling Point

As with any movie that people can actively remember that gets remade, there has been plenty of poo-pooing of the recently underway RoboCop reboot. The 1987 classic from Paul Verhoeven set the standard for violence and gave us a kick ass super-cop who didn’t mind shooting right after asking you to surrender. I get it – there are plenty of films that shouldn’t be remade – true classics. Films like Casablanca or Gone With the Wind. I don’t think anyone is looking for another take on Schindler’s List or Amistad either. I was a big RoboCop fan. Because my parents were cool, I saw this movie when I was only like five years old. There’s still a Polaroid picture of me standing with a dude in a RoboCop costume somewhere from some neat event. I dug Robocop and remaking it is the right call. Say what?

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Elite Squad director José Padilha‘s RoboCop just began principal photography, but for the past few weeks things have not been looking up for this mostly unwanted PG-13 remake. There was word over Padilha being pushed around behind-the-scenes, that the script is a disaster, and the fantastic prospect of Hugh Laurie terrorizing the futuristic cop was killed. So, after a string of disappointing news, this first-look at Joel Kinnaman rocking the new RoboCop gear isn’t helping matters. Check out Kinnaman looking more like a superhero than a man whose shot up body bits are being reused as a symbol of facism, and while you’re at it, read why that’s a bad thing:

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Michael Keaton

Were you thinking that you weren’t going to check out Jose Padilha‘s remake of Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop because a) remakes turn you off or b) this year’s Total Recall remake was so bad or c) you don’t like that Joel Kinnaman character (tangentially, you might also not like The Killing or even Snabba Cash)? Well, guess what, your reasons for derision no longer have any basis, because the film has now hired a new villain (post-Hugh Laurie shove-off) that’s so deliciously wonderful that, when we say that somebody must have asked for it, we mean that somebody brilliant must have asked for it. The new CEO of the evil OmniCorp, Raymond Sellars? Michael Keaton. Boom. Buy your ticket now.

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Hugh Laurie

Earlier this summer, word hit the wire that Hugh Laurie was in talks to play the villain in the upcoming remake of RoboCop, and there’s a reason why that news was never confirmed – because it’s not going to happen. Variety‘s Jeff Sneider tweeted the news last night, while also confirming that Laurie was never officially set for the role to begin with, writing “While he was never officially confirmed, sources telling Variety that HUGH LAURIE has ended talks to play villain in ROBOCOP. HUGH LAURIE definitely out of ROBOCOP reboot, not that he was ever ‘in.’” Laurie would have played the evil CEO of Omni Corp, the suitably shady corporation that helps turn Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) into RoboCop. Deadline Hollywood now reports that MGM is talking to other actors to fill the role, including Clive Owen. The José Padilha-directed film still has a great cast, including Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jennifer Ehle, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel, Michael K. Williams, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. The film is targeting a release date of August 9, 2013. [via /Film]

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When you take all of the distaste for remakes and reboots that’s out there and add it with the love that people have for Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 film RoboCop, it adds up to a situation where not very many people are looking forward to José Padilha’s upcoming re-do of the material. And yet, with every casting announcement that this new RoboCop makes, it’s becoming harder and harder to not be at least a little excited about its possibilities. First off, Padilha cast an on-the-rise young actor who’s done nothing but impress so far named Joel Kinnaman in the title role. Then he systematically surrounded his star with supporting names that everyone loves, like Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, and Jackie Earle Haley. It would be hard to sneeze at that cast no matter what they were being assembled for, but get them all together for a post-apocalyptic tale of robot cops versus violent street gangs and evil corporations, and it’s not too difficult to start forgetting how much you dislike all of the remakes going on in Hollywood. I don’t know how they get ya, but that’s how they get ya.

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Jackie Earle Haley

According to The Playlist, Jackie Earle Haley is joining the RoboCop remake in order to teach the half-man/half-robot some military maneuvers as a character named Maddox. Apparently you can’t just program him so he knows how to hold a gun. This casting proves yet again that Haley is a master of balance when it comes to prestige and genre fare. He juggles the gold-worthy performances with the ones that require half a day in the make-up chair, and his back-to-back appearances in Lincoln this winter and RoboCop next fall add to that balance. Of course, as we’ve seen more and more, genre flicks are getting their own prestige casts. The reboot will also feature Gary Oldman, Hugh Laurie, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish and act as a big screen star vehicle for Joel Kinnaman. Regardless of the type of movie, though, Haley is always a solid get.

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Through his work on things like the first two Star Wars films, Temple of Doom, and the Robocop series, Phil Tippett has established himself as something of a legend in the world of creature effects, puppeteering, and stop-motion animation. One thing he was never able to do, however, was create his own animated short. He tried, earlier in his career, to put together a project called Mad God, which he describes as being, “an experimental, hand-made, animated film, set in a Miltonesque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs.” Unfortunately for fans of interesting and weird animated things, it never quite got finished. As Tippett recently explained to Indiewire, “I started shooting on 35mm film way back in the early 90s and then the project kind of fell into disrepair when the digital age hit. So I had to recalculate and spend a lot of time re-engineering our business from photographic to digital, so Mad God kind of went on hold.”

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In Paul Verhoeven‘s 1987 film, RoboCop, the sci-fi action takes place in a future Detroit, one that is overridden by crime and violence. Mega-corp Omni Consumer Products has been contracted by the city to run their police force and to clean up the city and its many criminals. Part of their initiative involves a cyborg cop program called, you guessed it, RoboCop. When veteran police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is killed in the line of duty, OCP takes his body and uses it for their very first RoboCop. While successful in his job, the now-eponymous RoboCop is still haunted by memories of his old life as Alex Murphy that he must battle as he also battles crime. Jose Padilha is now remaking RoboCop, set to star Joel Kinnaman and, as is the case with all reboots and remakes and rehashes, this new film begs the question – just how similar will this new film be to the original? Turns out, in the case of RoboCop, pretty damn similar! Over at ComingSoon, they’ve posted the newest synopsis for the RoboCop reboot (a Robocop-sis?), and it sounds like some very well-tread territory:

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It’s hard not to be excited for the eventual release of Aztec Warrior, seeing as it’s set to combine the skills of Black Dynamite’s delightful director Scott Sanders and character acting’s patron saint Luis Guzman for a ridiculous tale of warring Mexican professional wrestlers. But, due to some concept art for the film that Twitch posted today, suddenly everyone’s feelings about the film might be a lot more confused. Sure, this poster titled ‘Aztec Warrior vs. The Office Robot’ looks pretty dang awesome, but what the heck are we actually looking at? Yep, you guessed it, that’s an artist’s rendering of Luis Guzman wearing a suit and a lucha libre mask while facing off with Robocop’s haywire robot ED-209. The question that any sane person must be asking after seeing this image is, “What exactly does a giant robot have to do with a movie about warring professional wrestlers?” Well, for one thing it’s not appropriate to ask a sane question about what is clearly going to be an insane project, and, for another, the image starts to make a lot more sense if you’ve followed the film careers of Mexican wrestling legends like Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras, whose movies Sanders cites as being inspirations for what he’s doing with Aztec Warrior.

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OmniCorp Logo

OmniCorp, the cuddliest weapons manufacturer, wants to know what you’ll buy for a dollar. They’ve just released this glossy sales video to celebrate their full system lines, including drones that can keep a watchful eye over your neighborhood, a massive tank-busting defense vehicle, and they’re even teasing a new program where human resources meet robotics. Personally, I’m glad we’ve got them in our corner to keep us safe. Check out the video for yourself:

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Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie came to America from the UK after a successful career in comedy and quickly found himself playing lead in a critical and commercial hit on the Fox network. His film work over here has been relegated to small, supporting roles, but it looks like he may get a chance to flex his dark side on the big screen in a big way. Per Variety, Laurie is in talks to join MGM’s upcoming Robocop remake for director Jose Padilha as the film’s main villain. He has large, partially bald shoes to fill if he hopes to be half as entertaining as the original’s main baddies played by Kurtwood Smith and Ronny Cox. Clarence Boddicker is a memorably brutal (and brutally funny) psycho, and Dick Jones is the epitome of a dickish CEO, but while it’s rumored Laurie would be playing a brand new version of the latter he’d kill in either villainous flavor. The film is also set to star Joel Kinnaman in the title role, Gary Oldman as a the scientist behind the technology, Abbie Cornish as Mrs. Robocop and Samuel Jackson.

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Chances are, you haven’t seen Jane Campion’s gorgeously crafted Bright Star because, well, not many people did. And that’s just a damn shame because the film is not only a sumptuous love story about poet John Keats, but because it also features a luminous performance by Abbie Cornish. While Cornish has often been lumped into those newly-popular “short lists” of potential stars for big films (including both Prometheus and The Great Gatsby), she hasn’t yet been given a role that can truly put her talents in front of a large audience (no, we don’t talk about Sucker Punch in this house). With roles in Seven Psychopaths and An Ordinary Man coming up, that could change, but you know what would really change that? A starring role in a much-anticipated remake. Like, oh, maybe Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop? Good news then, as Deadline Irving reports that Cornish has been offered what they’re describing as “the female lead” in the upcoming film, though it’s not the one fans of Paul Verhoeven’s original might be expecting. The role would be as Alex Murphy/RoboCop’s (Joel Kinnaman) wife, not his partner Anne Lewis.

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Guillermo Del Toro

What is Movie News After Dark? It ain’t playin’, yo. This is about movin’ news, slingin’ editorial quips and makin’ bank. Whatever ‘bank’ is… Tonight we begin with some lovely artwork from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a gothic retelling of the classic fairy tale about a puppet who just wanted to be a real boy. If any of you have watched the Disney animated version of Pinocchio recently (or in general, with adult eyes), you’ll know that there’s some seriously spine-tingling creepitude in that story. It’s got puppets from The Jim Henson Company and co-direction from Fantastic Mr. Fox animation director Mark Gustafson. Get excited about this one, kids.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news column that keeps it brief, kicks it into high gear without mercy and delivers all the news that you may or may not have seen elsewhere, depending upon how hard you’ve been looking. We begin this evening with Zombie Spock. No, there’s not much of a good reason for it. It was found via /Film and can be purchased on a t-shirt, which you can then wear around and show off to your friends. Don’t ever say that we don’t provide valuable public service announcements.

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Casting for Jose Padilha’s upcoming reboot of the RoboCop franchise seems to be coming along swimmingly. First he landed up-and-coming The Killing actor Joel Kinnaman to come on board as the main character, Alex Murphy, who starts off as a normal police office and then gets blown away by a bunch of bad guys, resulting in his transformation into a robotic cop. Then he really swung for the fences and got Gary Oldman to agree to come on board as a morally conflicted scientist, the only person in the film who foresees the eventual complications that might come from resurrecting dead people and turning them into robots. The latest bit of casting news might be the biggest of all, however, given the recent world-beating success of The Avengers. Heat Vision is reporting that Jedi Knight, head of SHIELD, and longtime badass Samuel L. Jackson has joined the cast as well. He’ll be playing a character named Pat Novak, who’s said to be a charismatic television mogul. There’s not yet much information out there about how closely Padilha’s remake will resemble Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 version of RoboCop, but seeing as this is a property that naturally lends itself to social criticism, one can assume that Jackson’s character will be used to skewer the greed and irresponsibility of modern media.

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Gary Oldman Fifth Element

If you think about it, the Robocop remake actually has a lot going for it. Other than the baggage of being a remake. Director Jose Padilha has a successful action franchise in Elite Squad under his belt; co-writer James Vanderbilt wrote The Rundown, Zodiac and The Losers. co-writer Nick Schenk wrote Gran Torino; star Joel Kinnaman was fantastic in Snabba Cash/Easy Money and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It’s got some great names involved. Rising talent. But, you know, who needs a remake of Robocop? According to The Hollywood Reporter, an actor just made it even more interesting. Gary Oldman is joining the movie as the scientist who wrestles with his own sense of ethics when he finds himself in the middle of a big corporation’s needs and a former human’s humanity. There’s no denying the gravitas and intensity that Oldman brings to the project. It was already interesting, but it just got interesting.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It doesn’t have time to explain it to you, yo. We just gotta get out of here, Mr. White! We begin this evening with the first image from the upcoming fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, courtesy of AMC. And guess what? It’s a shot of Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) standing in a field looking less than pleased with their surroundings. Even though it’s a shot we’ve seen a million times in four seasons, it never ceases to be interesting. 

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Movie News: Brian De Palma

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that has been returned to the hands of its rightful owner, for now. But before we get to my triumphant return after a week of vegging out and eating BBQ, lets give a round of applause to Nathan Adams, Luke Mullen, Kate Erbland, Kevin Carr and Robert Fure, who did a wonderful job last week during guest week. I don’t know about you, but I lizzed a few times while reading their work. Lets hope that I can bring the same verve to this week’s return. We begin, of course, with naughty bits… Several new images from Brian De Palma’s Passion this past week, courtesy of the Cannes Film Festival. That includes the above image, depicting a very devious, scantily clad Rachel McAdams burning a hole in my heart of hearts. It’s the eyes that do it. And the stockings. Definitely the stockings.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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