Friday, March 11, 2011

Rebooting Robocop

If you follow along you know that remakes are a normal practice in Hollywood. Studios want and desire established stories and seem to fear original films. This is standard operating procedure but it doesn't mean it should be. Now I'm not against the idea of remaking film but there are certain properties we hold dear to our hearts and realizing that these will be remade can be a tough pill to swallow. Which brings me to the current status, news is heating up again that MGM is readying a "Robocop" remake. See the full report below...

MGM has hired Brazilian director Jose Padilha and writer Josh Zetumer to get the ball rolling once again. Previously MGM had Darren Aronofsky attached to direct the reboot, but he's since moved on to a sequel to "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" with Hugh Jackman. Padilha previously helmed "Elite Squad" and its sequel. Two films I've not seen but are highly praised by critics around the world. Zetumer too is touted as a hot ticket writer. So its clear MGM is hiring inexpensive talent that has recent praise. Smart. They can't afford to bring in a proven director/writers who want a huge paycheck, they needed a small time director/writers who are hungry and want to break into the mainstream.

"Robocop" might be that opportunity. Might. The original film opened at number one but to the tune of $8 million. Nothing to write home about. Its sequel opened to a bigger revenue with a $14 million but at number two. What I'm getting at is, I'm not so sure this movie has the pre-established fans MGM is hoping it has. MGM clearly has had its share of woes lately and getting the studio away from the grave is going to be a long road so it seems understandable that they begin their road to recovery with an established franchise like Robocop but its no James Bond or Lord of the Rings. Also, a very important question, will the super fans of Robocop like myself be willing to hit the theaters come release date? I'm not so sure. While it will be a hard process for MGM to get back in the green, it also may be just as hard to woo Robocop fans into seeing a reboot.

MGM also has the latest 007 movie in works with Sony financing the distribution as well as a share in "The Hobbit" films. If they play their cards right they could find themselves back in the green, but that is a big "if."

As of now the idea of a "Robocop" reboot stinks to me. The original and its sequel were epic to me growing up. I remember my Dad taking me to see "Robocop" opening day and loving it. Having little to no knowledge of the writer and director doesn't help much at all. Previously when Aronofsky was attached I was willing to at least see what comes of the remake but now I'm back to just rather re-watching the original. The more I think about it, it seems impossible for MGM (with their budget) to land the type cast the original had. It goes back to what people know, if they want to woo patrons into a theater, they'll need a recognizable name. A name that would most likely cost a pretty penny. I'm also weary about cgi. The original was mainly practical effects. I'd hate to see a reboot of Robocop filled with the latest cgi technology. I'm sure as the process moves forward there will be things to get me excited, but for now I remain unenthused and full of questions. Stay tuned for more on MGM and their "Robocop" remakes as it develops...

Source: Deadline