Up until recently, it seemed like MGM’s Robocop remake was making all the right moves. They hired Elite Squad 2‘s Jose Padilha to direct. Jackie Earle Haley, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire) joined the cast. But according to HitFix’s Drew McWeeny (who generally hasn’t decent taste and isn’t a retarded fanboy), it has one major liability: the script. Drew got his hands on the Joshua Zetumer and Nick Schenk script, and said, among other things (before we get to the more spoilery revelations), that “When this thing hits theaters, people are going to call up Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” on the phone and apologize for being so mean.”
Here are some lowlights, which I’ve put after the jump because obviously they contain spoilers:
I tried to read the “Robocop” remake, but 20 pages in my nose started bleeding and I forgot my name. #nobueno #reallynobueno
I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.”
Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!”
So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval.
So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*
Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously
And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow
Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.
By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”
Oh, god… oh dear god… Robocop is a Transformer. He goes from “social mode” to “combat mode” and back. Full transformation.
Someone shows Pope, head of the OCP project, some mock-ups for Robocop action figures. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar!”
I’ll say this: once the script stops all the winky-winky crap and just starts telling a story, it’s not terrible. But it’s way too late.
Okay… the two “best” lines in the script. First up is at the unveiling ceremony for Robocop in Detroit, from a TV reporter covering it.
“I think it’s safe to say that Alex Murphy is now part man, part machine, ALL COP!” Yes, I too remember the original poster, asshat.
The scene ends with the action line “David sits, catatonic, looks at the TV — MGM REMAKE TBD.”
I haven’t read the whole thing, so I can only go off Drew’s 140-character-at-a-time account, but it doesn’t necessarily sound terrible. It sounds silly, and there’s a fine line between silly and stupid, and it’s largely up to the director to find. If the director is McG, yeah, it’s probably going to turn out stupid. With Jose Padilha, no one really knows. And obviously, a script can change a lot between the final draft and what actually ends up making it onscreen (you can’t just write “TBD” on the screen, for one thing). The version of Wall Street 2 I got, for instance, didn’t have any of the worst lines from the actual film. I think Oliver Stone may have given it to a coked-up gypsy to scribble on just before he shot it. Robocop certainly sounds like it has the potential to be terrible, but I’ll wait at least until I see a trailer. Now, you want to read a bad script, check out the Red Dawn remake some time. Even before they changed the bad guys to North Korea, there was a supposedly-uplifting scene in which the radio-free America DJ dedicates a Toby Keith song to the Wolverines. Yeah. Seriously.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, studios should keep trying to remake stuff from the 80s, because it’s always super relevant and everyone loves it. (*fart noise*)