RoboCop Panel [Comic-Con 2013]
I think it’s because I wasn’t alive when the original RoboCop came out, but I haven’t really been super excited about anything RoboCop-related. With that being said, I think the concept is really cool (it reminds me of Dredd from last year, which I really liked); therefore, I am getting more and more excited about next year’s RoboCop. With an impressive cast, this year’s Comic-Con was a great place to get a better look at the film than we’ve seen before. Their Friday evening panel consisted of director José Padilha and actors Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Joel Kinnaman.
Before the panel even started, we got an introductory clip that showed Jackson’s character, named Pat Novak, giving a passionate plea for RoboCops in America. During the clip, we saw footage of other countries using robots to combat crime. Since they don’t have a consciousness, robots are the perfect specimens to carry out the law…according to Novak. Things eventually go awry (and they probably had to for the movie to happen right?).
Interestingly, there was no mention of the main RoboCop in this film. That came later.
After the initial clip, the entire panel was introduced and asked a series of questions. Among their responses, they talked about the relevance of the story today. Padilha explained that drones and robots are used in today’s warfare. He also mentioned “biased media,” referencing Jackson’s character. Even Jackson described his character as “Rush Sharpton,” so that should be interesting.
Before we got to the second piece of footage, Joel Kinnaman did explain some differences between the films. For those that don’t know, this is a remake of a film made in 1987. Padilha explained that they didn’t try anything new – a statement that scared me – but Kinnaman made it sound different. One noticeable difference occurred with the main character as he doesn’t actually die in this film.
The second clip basically explained the whole process of Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) becoming a RoboCop. After an accident, he is pretty much left to die. The only way for him to survive and live a somewhat normal life involved a procedure to make him a RoboCop. Led by Dr. Robert Norton’s (Gary Oldman) procedure, he turns into a half-man/half-robot super-cop.
It becomes obvious that RoboCop will re-tread the territory between humans and robots. It really comes down to consciousness and whether humans are “better” smarter than robots. This alone should make the movie watchable.
As Padilha kept bringing up, RoboCop is a relevant movie today and I hope they flesh this out in the movie. It has the potential to explore some important things…but it also has the potential to be a mindless action movie. Friday’s panel didn’t do much to persuade me either way, but there is still time before its premiere next year.
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Michael Keaton
Release Date: February 7, 2014
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