When I saw Jose Padilha’s Elite Squad 2 at Sundance last year, it was an über-commercial, balls-to-the-wall action movie (not a “Sundance movie” at all), and my first thought was that some studio was going to give this guy a huge paycheck to direct some flaming pile of sh*t like Pirates of the Caribbean 7. I even asked him about it during the Q & A, and his answer was to assure me that “no one is looking for paychecks.”
Fast-forward about a year, and MGM hires Padilha to direct their Robocop remake. It’s not Pirates 7, but it is a big-budget Hollywood project that desperately needed acclaimed-foreigner street cred (and received a not-too-kind script review recently). Now, according to reports, Padilha thinks MGM is making it hell on him:
Padilha’s close friend and fellow Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (‘City of God,’ ’360′) spoke recently to South American web site Cinemacom Rapadura and revealed some details from conversations he’s had with Padilha about the ‘RoboCop’ reboot:
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.
Now keep in mind two things. 1) These are not direct quotes from Padilha, but quotes relayed by a friend. 2) The article was written in Portuguese and the quotes were translated into English. That said, even if the words to match perfectly, the sentiment is most definitely there. Jose Padilha is having a tough time. [ScreenCrush]
Surprise, surprise. Other than fronting the money, the studio’s only real job is to wring their hands and act paranoid about everything, so the fact that there’s strife between the studio and the director is probably a good sign. It means he’s at least trying to make the movie he wants, instead of just delivering what they want, which probably looks like the original Robocop, but with flames on it and gnu-metal playing in the background, and his partner is Queen Latifah now.