I really am not going out of my way to trash Jose Padilha’s upcoming Robocop remake. Really, I’m not. But it’s becoming ever more difficult to write positive things about the production when all you’re getting is bad news.
Yesterday’s blow was that Hugh Laurie was no longer attached, and before that was the script review which must have left some fans feeling like they were stuck in hell. Well, they need to scooch on over on Satan’s couch, and make space for Mr Padilha because apparently he’s right down there with them.
Shooting on the reboot might only get under way in a month’s time, but Padilha – who made his name on the critically acclaimed Brazilian action films Elite Squad 1 & 2 – is finding his first experience working under a major studio to be difficult. Hellishly difficult. At least that’s what one of Padilha’s best friends and fellow Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (City of God) said when he spoke to local South American website, Cinemacom Rapadura, about it.
Here’s the translation courtesy of ScreenCrush and Google:
“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 naturally, as anybody who’s played that Broken Telephone game as a kid knows, we have to allow a little bit of skepticism in here, as this is not coming from Padilha himself. Also the translation is a bit wonky in places, so we may have missed a few things. However, the sentiment is clear: Padilha is not enjoying himself at all.
Sounds like studio interference is rife, which would explain some of the boneheaded ideas and scenes that were revealed in that script review. At the time, I thought that they just smacked of filmmaking by committee, where every person in a suit and a tie is trying to throw their piece in so that it can appeal to their favourite demographic of the week. The most recent example of that happening, where a director also suffered under studio rule, was with Martin Campbell on Green Lantern, and look at the mess that turned into.
After the script review, and now this, things are not looking good at all for this production. This might just be the best cast disaster of 2013.
Last Updated: August 28, 2012