Joel Kinnaman talks ROBOCOP and how it isn't a remake

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As far as remakes go, Robocop may just be the one film that folks feel is completely unnecessary. Sure, it looks shiny and slick, but what’s the point of remaking a movie that still holds up so well, even to this day? Current Robocop Joel Kinnaman reckons that what makes his film so special, is that it forges its own identity and isn’t beholden to the previous franchise.

Speaking to SFX Magazine, Kinnaman explained that this Robocop would be dispensing law in a completely different manner to the original Paul Verhoeven film. In fact, he wasn’t even interested in the film at first:

When I first heard there was gonna be a RoboCop remake, I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll see that somewhere down the line. But it’s nothing I’m interested in pursuing myself.’ Then when I heard it was José Padilha that was gonna direct it, I became very interested. José has fought very hard and succeeded in making something that has a point of view, and a political and philosophical perspective.

With faith in his director, that led Kinnaman to accept the role of the reborn police officer, as the film would have a completely different tone to the original:

It’s a great responsibility. Especially in a world where there’s a lot of remakes being made for cynical economic reasons. But having José as a director washed away those fears. The biggest respect you can pay to the original is to acknowledge it as a very intelligent movie, and try to make something intelligent to follow it up with, and not just replay old catchphrases. We kept one or two as a wink to the fans, but we did not try to remake the movie.

There certainly is room to explore different themes with the Robocop mythos. While Verhoeven crafted a tale about the Detroit Jesus and laid on several hyper-violent satirical themes, he never delved too deep into the idea of man and machine. Throw in that military industrial conspiracy that seems to be everywhere these days, and you’ve got a film that could stand on its own easily enough. The film is out next year February and also stars Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams and Jay Baruchel.

Last Updated: December 11, 2013

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