José Padilha talks ROBOCOP vision and characters - Downplays Fassbender rumor

The Playlist spoke to Jose' Padilha at Fantastic Fest and he gave an update on his vision for the RoboCop remake discussed some of the casting rumors that have been circulating.

Here is what he had to say about his vision of the film:

“I never approached [‘RoboCop’] by looking at the first one, and asking myself what do I keep and what do I take away. I just looked at the concept of ‘RoboCop,’ and the concept of ‘RoboCop’ is very, very interesting. RoboCop is not a superhero – he is not a superhero. He is a man that’s turned into something else, by technology, and by a certain political perspective that’s being criticized in Verhoeven’s film, and by the media, too. So that idea, of a man that’s turned into something else for some purpose, appeals to me on its own regardless of the first film.”

He goes on to talk about his take on the film:

“I had a take on it, which I can’t tell you what it is because it would ruin the surprise of the film, but I presented this take to MGM and to Roger[Birnbaum] and John and Adam, and they’re great guys,” he explained. “And they loved it, so they said, ‘let’s make a film about it,’ so I’m like recreating the story based on that concept, that brilliant concept of changing a man with technology, automated systems, which is sort of a metaphor for what’s going on in society anyways.”

Just like the first film, the remake will include social commentary according to Padilha.

 “I think the media needs a little criticizing now, as it did in the ‘80s, don’t you? Just look at what happened in the Bush era with the lack of criticism we’ve seen from most of it at the beginning of the Iraq invasion, and the sort of patriotic approach of the media that you couldn’t say anything against it. It’s high time we got a little acid criticism of that in my film – in ‘RoboCop’.”

Earlier we reported that Padilha was seeking Michael Fassbender for the lead in the remake. Padilha has downplayed that rumor, insisting casting is very premature, no one has even been approached for the title role. Apparently Fassbender’s name only came up as one in a larger discussion of possible actors.

Here is what Padilha had to say about the rumor:

“I did this interview for the Dutch media, because Verhoeven is Dutch, and I was doing them for ‘Elite Squad’ which is opening there. And I’m being interviewed by these guys and they said, ‘so who is going to be RobCop?’

“I said I don’t know, and after the guy asked the same question like ten times, I said, ‘there’s so many great new actors in American films, like Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine and so on.’ And all of a sudden I’ve called Fassbender out, but we haven’t even discussed this film. But it’s true – he’s a great actor. But they’re all great actors. So it’s from one sentence in one interview with a Dutch guy."

I was initially reported that filming would begin early next year, but Padilha says that a firm start date has yet to be finalized. “I wish I could be doing this planning. There’s a lot of scheduling with actors and stuff like that, and it’s difficult. All of the schedules of all of the different people who are very busy, so it’s not easy. But I think I will know in ten days,” Padilha said.

I hope that Fassbender is at least considered for the role. I would be happy with another actor and will see this movie regardless, but Fassbender would be a great choice. I I like that there will still be some social commentary, and think Padilha will be a great director because of the commentary I have heard is present in Elite Squad 2. What are your thoughts?

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