Comic-Con 2013 : RoboCop


Sony’s “RoboCop” presentation promised a fun science-fiction movie – but a cult classic, in the way Paul Verhoeven’s is? At this stage, I’d said no.

Hall H was first presented to footage from the Jose Padilha-directed reboot.

The footage opens with Samuel L.Jackson’s media figure Pat Novak, host of “The Noak Element”, talking up some of the military’s new peace-promoting practices that have been implemented. We then see machines overseas doing their thing, for the military, in an operation called Freedom Tehran. “Where locals have embraced the robots”, says a reporter, over footage of a human having to hold up their hands to be scanned. Novak questions why robots can’t be used back in America, calling us “robophobic”.

The next scene is at a congressional panel where Michael Keaton’s weapons manufacturer villain promises that having machines on the streets will lead to a lot of lives being saved. Then we see footage of machines malfunctioning and killing innocent people in Tehran. A senator asks, “If a machine killed a child, what would it feel?” Keaton’s character replies, “Nothing.”

The cast and crew were then ushered out to talk about the movie.

“It’s just not a film you can do again, because it was perfect the day it was, so we just took the concept and made it relevant”, says director Padilha, who thinks we’ll soon see robots, like those in the film, getting about in our daily lives.

Michael Keaton doesn’t see his character as a villain, just as someone who truly believes he is doing the right thing by putting these machines on the streets.

Jackson’s character, says the actor, is a media spokesperson who will do whatever it takes, and say whatever it takes, to get the general public to side with his opinions.

In the remake, says star Joel Kinnaman, Keaton’s company actually saves Alex Murphy, but they replace everything from the neck down.

They showed the first trailer for the film. While they’re clearly trying to make a film that has the same tone as the ’80s original, it felt like they were trying to sell audiences on the film’s action more than anything. Scenes viewed include Alex Murphy being blown up by a car bomb (yep, he’s not shot to death, like in the original) and a series of POV moments that only just work.

Joel Kinnaman says RoboCop where’s his visor whenever he’s in action-mode but if he’s communicating with someone the visor comes up. So he clearly didn’t have as hard a job on the remake as Peter Weller did on the original movie.

Padilha again reiterates in the latter half of the panel that we’ll soon be seeing humans and machines mixing together in real life.

Hopefully the first trailer is released online shortly.