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Director Jose Padilha Says 'RoboCop' Reboot Is "Hell"

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 27, 2012 11:00 AM
13 Comments
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Robocop Jose Padilha

With Hugh Laurie dropping out of the villain role in the "RoboCop" remake last week, was it actually a sign of a troubled production? Because according to director Jose Padilha's pal Fernando Meirelles, working on the flim is "hell."

Even though cameras haven't started rolling on the movie, with lensing to begin in September, Padilha has already expressed some grave concerns about his first Hollywood experience, which unfortunately, sounds like a very familiar story. "I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming 'Robocop.' He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight," Meirelles told South American web site Cinemacom Rapadura (via ScreenCrush).

Granted, this is a Google translation, and this is coming not from Padilha himself but through a friend, and while the wording may not be exact the overall feeling is there. But before anyone gets ready to write off the movie, Padilha still believes he can make a good film, but don't count on him returning to the studio system any time soon. " 'This is hell here,' he told me. 'The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.' He is bitter, but it’s a fighter," Meirelles added.

One has to remember, that Padilha is going from the "Elite Squad" films -- the first of which smashed box office records in his native Brazil -- to essentially being an unproven factor for the studios. And this isn't to say "RoboCop" is doomed -- countless films have gone through tumultous productions and still emerged strong -- but these comments certainly will be fodder for those who already think the entire thing is a misguided notion. However, with the talent has been assembled -- Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish, Jennifer Ehle, Michael K.Williams and Marianne Jean-Baptiste -- there must've been something in his concept which brought them all on board. But whether or not the elements that make this Padilha's film will be scrubbed, remains to be seen.

PR spin on these comments is likely around the corner, and "RoboCop" will be saddled with an even bigger uphill climb to win over naysayers (and an early savaging of the script hasn't helped either). We'll see the results on August 9, 2013. 

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13 Comments

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  • Viktor Troska | September 17, 2012 1:23 AMReply

    I hope this film tanks like a motherf*cker and whoever green lit it and financed it never gets another opportunity to work on a film ever again.

    The original was the best, there's absolutely no need to remake it to buffer some profit margins in the movie off-season.

    Anyone who plans to watch this piece of shit film should download it for free off the Internet!

  • who cares | September 3, 2012 3:09 PMReply

    Jump ship and save yourself the carnage. Don't know what kind of talent is going to be used for the film but its going to be wasted time and effort.

  • Matthew | August 30, 2012 10:40 PMReply

    As impressive as the cast, which now includes Michael Keaton taking over the role Hugh Laurie was going to play, its not an automatic guarantee of the films quality. While all of the people in the films are respected actors, they aren't known for being choosy with roles. Gary Oldman is like Michael Caine in that he is great actor in great movies, but he is more than willing to do a paycheck movie.

    Sam Jackson is basically in the same type of actor as Nic Cage. If he can fit the movie into his schedule then he will do it. There is a reason why he is the actor with the highest grossing box office totals and that's because he cranks out 4-5 movies a year. Playing Nick Fury is the only thing keeping Jackson from only starring in straight to dvd movies. Other than Avengers, he hasn't headlined a theatrically released movie since 2008 and hasn't starred in a hit since 2005.

    Kinnamon, Baruchel and Williams are all working actors and even if they don't like the movie, aren't big enough names to turn down a payday like this when it comes up. Keaton has enough money to do whatever he wants and only works when he feels like it or thinks its going to be a fun job.

    All that said, I'm not going to judge the movie till I see the first trailer.

  • ParkerTownsend | August 27, 2012 4:40 PMReply

    You don't really have to post something new every twenty minutes.

  • coke | August 27, 2012 3:58 PMReply

    Not trying to be a pain in the ass but the right translation would be " I talked to Padilha a week ago by phone".

  • Real | August 27, 2012 1:26 PMReply

    Why does Holywoood always do this? Why hire these skilled foreign directors just to hobble them? Just get Len Wiseman or McG or one of their numerous clones and be done with it. Poor Jose.

  • ArcherSlyce | August 27, 2012 12:27 PMReply

    "PR spin on these comments is likely around the corner" Ahah damn right it is! I wonder if the Total Recall debacle has anything to do with the tensions here... when Laurie dropped the movie just after Total Recall failed at the box office I couldn't help thinking it has something do with it.

  • EliteSquad4Life | August 27, 2012 12:13 PMReply

    I'm shocked by the amount of people who haven't seen Elite Squad, movie is so fucking dope.

  • Christian | August 27, 2012 11:20 AMReply

    Why can't Hollywood let the foreign cinema auteurs do their thing. Nicolas Winding Refn is the perfect example of a European filmmaker making a Hollywood film with his foreign cinema sensibilities. If this already questionable remake ends up as a watered down, studio-fabricated mess, it'll be a truly be a missed chance.

  • tristan eldritch | August 27, 2012 12:26 PM

    Exactly. And ironically that foreign sensibility made DRIVE one of the purest pieces of American genre cinema in ages.

  • KT | August 27, 2012 11:18 AMReply

    "He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight..."

    Why am I not surprised... Too much fresh talent is wasted in Tinseltown. "Welcome to 'Hollywood'; don't let this town ruin you."

  • Jairo | August 27, 2012 11:07 AMReply

    Just a friendly reminder that the Elite Squad 2 was the biggest box office hit of the last ten years in Brazil. It gained way more money than the Elite Squad 1. And also, José established a new way of uniting P&A expenses and box office revenue in a new business model that was a breakthrough in Brazil.

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