Joel Kinnaman - The New RoboCop Reboot Is (Not That) Different From The Original
Director Jose Padilha tried to keep it faithful to the original, but will that work in the film's favor?
27 years after RoboCop, despite technological advances, cyborgs are still a way off, so we were just about overdue for a reboot of the original. The brand new RoboCop hits theaters this week, with a slightly updated, but still very recognizable story. Joel Kinnaman (most recently known from AMC’s The Killing) stars as Alex Murphy, a wounded police officer who’s given a prototype robotic body by a cold corporate tycoon (Michael Keaton). Cue crime fighting and identity crisis.
It turns out that Joel Kinnaman may have actually pulled it off.
The story is relatively unchanged, as are a lot of the details in the film. Director Jose Padilha made a point of preserving as much as possible from the classic film, as he tells USA Today. Still, there are a few instantly noticeable changes (beyond the use of CGI) that give the film an updated feel.
First off, there’s the RoboCop armor. The one worn by Kinnaman in the new version is a throwback to Peter Weller’s, but it’s been updated to be unique to the 2014 film. Well, it’s black. RoboCop’s signature move is still there – he still has to turn his shoulders first before changing direction, but the new color, along with other touches makes things look a lot more sleek. — "It's the natural color for combat and special ops," Padilha says. Also, RoboCop drives a motorcycle now, which is infinitely cooler.
"Let's go with black" says Michael Keaton in the trailer, which you can watch below.
Unlike the 1987 original, the new film also dips its toe into international waters. While in the original, filmgoers got a glimpse at an intimidating ED-209 machine murdering a Detroit lawyer; in the new edition an updated version of the machine is in Tehran and blasts an Iranian child. So, it’s not a subtle change, but Padilha had his reasons: “In the real world, when we have robots replacing soldiers, it's going to be used in the Army before it's used at home," He says. "And I thought we should show that.” Last, but not least, there’s Gary Oldman. He plays Dr Dennett Norton, the intrepid scientist who has pieced his new frame together, giving the role enough compassion and fatherly concern to carry the whole movie. Dr. Norton isn’t a new character, but the original didn’t have Oldman, so we’re counting that as a major update.
With Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson on the cast, what could possibly go wrong?