ROBOCOP Remake Is Apparently “Hell” for Director Jose Padilha

by     Posted 2 years, 89 days ago

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Though production has yet to beging, things aren’t exactly looking up for MGM’s RoboCop remake.  Earlier this month, HitFix’s Drew McWheeny got his hands on a copy of the script and gave it a rather scathing review, and just last week we learned that talks with Hugh Laurie to play the film’s villain broke down.  Now word comes that director Jose Padilha isn’t exactly having an easy time getting his vision across.  He’s apparently having to fight for every idea he has, and most of what he wants is being turned down by the studio.  Hit the jump for more.

jose-padilha-robocop-remakeThe quotes actually come not from Padilha, but from his good friend Fernando Meirelles (City of God).  Here’s what he had to say to Cinemacom Rapadura (via ScreenCrush):

“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… ‘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.”

The wording’s a little rough because it’s been through Google Translator, but the gist is there.  This is Padilha’s first major feature film (he previously directed Elite Squad), so it’s not exactly surprising that MGM is keeping a close watch on the property.  That said, it sounds like the studio is really at odds with what Padilha wants to do.

I didn’t think much of the RoboCop remake at first, but Padilha assembled an impressive cast that grabbed my attention.  Joel Kinnaman is set as the lead, with Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle and Michael K. Williams rounding out the supporting cast.  One has to think it was Padilha’s strong vision that pulled in so many talented people, so hopefully enough of the director will shine through in the finished product.

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  • ScaredForMovies

    I don’t know why these studios even hire directors. Just should just make it themselves because they obviously know so much about making movies. I mean if they interfere with a director like Sam Raimi after he made Spider-Man 2 you know they’re going to give Padilha a hard time with something like Robocop. But Spider-Man 3 made a lot of money even though it sucked donkey dick, so they can give themselves a great big pat on the back. Corporate stooges.

  • Lance

    Hmm. If that script review is accurate at all, then I think it’s safe to say this movie is toast.

    It may not be Padilha’s fault. It might be interference from the studio. But who knows if any of them understand just what brilliant satire the original was?

  • Norris

    Studio interference always makes for a great movie, right? Seriously though, why hire the guy to direct your movie in the first place if his vision doesn’t match the studio?

    • JackofSpades

      Because sometimes a studio needs to get started filming so any “director” is good, then he has all the responsibility and the executives “direct” from the sidelines without any blowback.

  • Tyler

    Well, if that script review a few weeks back was true, this will be hell for people to watch, so it kind of evens itself out.

  • Hugo

    Aaah…. The familiar feeling of impending disaster… something we fan of 80′s action and horror movie are so used to.
    The true hell is gonna be watching yet another train wreck o a remake, specially having read all over internet bits of the script and now with this news o yet another director being pestered by talentless “business men” .

  • Grayden

    Sadly, this seems like another case of suits not understanding what they have, or are too old to “get it”, or just plain ol’ stubborn fogeys. Hollywood has become too much of a business where the bottom line is end goal, not entertainment. Men who only understand money are not creative by nature, their minds operate on a more logical, calculating basis. They see the numbers only; they can’t understand what someone wants to do or their vision unless they see it, and even then, they still might not get it. Movie people need to run studios, not suits. Imagine how much better films would be if someone like Scorsese or Spielberg ran a studio, instead of some guy from Harvard with an MBA…

    • SP

      Spielberg does run a studio. It’s called Dreamworks, and their movies are about as lame as everyone else’s (Cowboys and Aliens anyone?). No easy formula for making good movies here. Good movies are made on an individual basis, when the right mix of elements (script, director, budget, actors, music, producers, studio, luck) fall into place. Cowboys and Aliens had a good director cast, crew, big budget, and it still fell flat. It can’t be predicted. Movies are too expensive to make, for artists to have free reign. Any chance of that died with Heaven’s Gate. Spielberg wouldn’t give a blank check to another filmmaker either, or let one of his directors go out and make Ishtar 2. His studio would go under like UA in no time.

  • Alex Murphy

    Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!

  • Chad

    Sounds like a director trying to place blame on others after the awful script review came out. His “vision” was met with an awful response, so why not try and blame the executives? Not the first time it’s happened, nor the last…

    • Romsy

      Psst..he didn’t write the script, but good try on being snarky. Better luck next time.

      • zac

        haha well said!

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  • GET OVER IT!

    psshhh, he thinks his got it bad? How does he think the audience is going to feel watching that pointless, remade crap. I mean did he think this film was going to be made because the studio felt it was an actual original, compelling story worth telling with artistic integrity, that was going to have nothing to do with being a studio controlled money maker rolling off the success already in place from the original movie? The guy is a fool if he thought so, what was he expecting?!

  • SP

    Spielberg does run a studio. It\’s called Dreamworks, and their movies are about as lame as everyone else\’s (Cowboys and Aliens anyone?). No easy formula for making good movies here. Good movies are made on an individual basis, when the right mix of elements (script, director, budget, actors, music, producers, studio, luck) fall into place. Cowboys and Aliens had a good director cast, crew, big budget, and it still fell flat. It can\’t be predicted. Movies are too expensive to make, for artists to have free reign. Any chance of that died with Heaven\’s Gate. Spielberg wouldn\’t give a blank check to another filmmaker either, or let one of his directors go out and make Ishtar 2. His studio would go under like UA in no time.

  • anon

    should have cut all 10 ideas

    • KHWADI

      all 10 inch in your ASS

  • João Castro

    Fuck Off Hollywood….
    José Padilha is great director…Elite Squad Saga is Masterpiece!!!

  • ebv

    From the original Portuguese, here’s a better translation (made by yours truly):

    I chatted with Jose Padilha about a week ago by phone. He’s beginning filming for Robocop. He’s saying that it’s the worst experience of his life. For every 10 ideas that he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight for. “This is hell,” he said to me. “The film will turn out ok, but I’ve never suffered so much and I don’t want to do this again.” He’s bitter, but he’s a fighter.

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