"It's not an american super-hero movie", says director José Padilha about ROBOCOP

"It's not an american super-hero movie", says director José Padilha about ROBOCOP

In a couple interviews with the brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, director José Padilha weighs on his Robocop reboot, how he got the project and what themes caught his attention. Check it out...

Although his critically acclaimed Elite Squad movies were huge hits in Brazil, director José Padilha is not a very well-known artist outside his home country. But now it seems about to change since Padilha signed on with MGM to helm the controversial reboot of our favorite cyborg, Robocop. "Nobody invited me", says the 46 years-old director. "I was called for a reunion at MGM. They wanted me to do a movie about Hercules, but there was a Robocop poster in the room and I said 'I don't want to do Hercules, but that one [pointing to the poster], yes, I want".

"My idea was to do a movie in a near future, something like 2030. The drones are replaced by machines and robots that take the decision to shoot or drop bombs alone. In the USA, they approve a law forbidding a machine to chose about a citizen's life. Then an executive from a big corporation decides to put a guy inside the machine, that's how he comes into the North American market."

Used to have control of his movies in Brazil, Padilha felt the difference of stepping into the US Movie Industry territory. "Hollywood is complicated, there's a sort of ritual. Everything is intermediated by producers and agents. In such a big film, it is normal that the director won't have full control." But the movie, he says, is very faithful to his original vision. "I wanted to talk about the automation of war and the moral and ethical implications of it. It's not about cops and robbers, just like the Elite Squad movies weren't about that. There are cops and robbers in the movie, but it's about urban violence. It's about the mainstream media, the big American Industry. This is not an american super-hero movie, dramaturgically. Robocop is a guy who exploded and woke up one day finding himself as a robot. And being a robot he can't have sex with his wife, can't touch his son, his life is a hell. Being a robot sucks, not even Alex Murphy wants to be Robocop."

Padilha also talks about the topicality of the themes. "If you're overflying with drones or airplanes a country with no capacity of air defense, you have an unbalance of forces. This kind of things existed across the human History over and over. For instance, when Cortés found the indians in Mexico, it happened. What I'm talking about now, it's something that never happened before. It's a phenomenon that will happen for the first time. Because, for instance, Cortés was much more powerful than the indians, and we can judge him for that. When a machine kills a person, I can't know who am I judging anymore.


Starring Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and Jackie Earle Haley, Robocop hits theathers in February 12, 2014.
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