I09 recently caught up with San Francisco businessman Pete Hottelet, who donated $25,000 towards the Detroit Robocop statue and owns a company named after the fictional company in Robocop which makes movie-related tchotchkes. If you can believe it, Pete isn’t exactly media shy, and he offered updates on the project as well as the picture of the models above.
One of Hottelet’s key points is that the statue already has a privately-owned location in mind (the Imagination Station) if all else falls through, and it has the statue rights all worked out. “It’s going to happen,” he assures multiple times.
What will the statue look like?
Fred Barton Productions has generously offered access to an extremely accurate restoration of the Robocop suit from the first movie. His artist has been working on it for the last five years. That’s right: five years! It even includes suit detail that was never shown on screen (like the plug and vents in the left rear of the torso).[...]
The pose will likely be a pose similar to this image (right):
The primary objectives will be to make sure the statue is of the highest quality possible, and has the greatest longevity. So to those ends, bronze is a good choice because it’s extremely durable in an outdoor setting.
Gun or no gun?
Again, going back to the reasoning along the same lines as the Superman statue. Superman has deadly heat vision, and he uses it when necessary, but the concepts and ideals that he stands for are not irrevocably tied to the use of deadly force.
Uhhhh, yes they are. Look, hippie, it’s Robocop. The “ideals he stands for” are being made of metal and shooting people, this ain’t a Rosa Parks statue.
Where could the statue be placed? Is the city of Detroit backing the RoboCop Statue?
There’s a whole approval process that the city goes through when accepting any charitable donation; this isn’t any different, despite the popular support. We’ve made the appropriate steps in getting that process moving along, but we have several potential privately-funded locations on the table as well, not the least of which is across from the Michigan Central Station at Imagination Station. So, regardless of what happens with any of this, the statue is coming, and it will have a place to stand.
Why did you want to get behind the RoboCop statue? Why was this important to you?
It piqued an interest, because it seemed like something that should have already been done. It almost seems like an oversight that it doesn’t exist already. It’s the same motivation that drives people to contribute to articles on sites like Wikipedia, or projects on Sourceforge, this just happens to be a physical object in the real world. Maybe this type of public-works democratization will start happening with even larger, more ambitious ideas. Isn’t living in the future awesome? As far as my reasoning goes on a personal level, challenging manufacturing projects are somewhat of an interest, you could say. [check out the full interview here]
That seems to be the biggest controversy so far. There are plenty of people who say all this money could’ve been better spent on donations to the needy, to the school system, etc., rather than a kitschy statue dedicated to an 80s movie (I say be glad it’s not a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co or a Ripley’s Believe It or Not). I think this exchange from the comments section perfectly sums up the arguments and counter arguments:
Aron Z says: I attend Wayne State University in Detroit and live in one of its many suburbs. I can’t help but think of how the money raised could have been put to better use. First of all no will travel to ANY city just to see a statue. No one will spend more money just to see a statue.
This money could have helped some of our citizens survive the winter. The money could have helped someone go to college. Or if could have been used to start a museum of science fiction in Detroit or fund a permanent exhibit either at the Detroit Institute of Arts of the Detroit Science Center. The museum or permanent exhibits bring tourist dollars into our state and city.
This is just a sad way to spend money so you can think your cool.
BoxOfScraps says: You went to Batman’s university and you’re complaining about RoboCop?
That’ll do, internet. That’ll do.