I expect some of you might be more inclined to see Jose Padilha‘s remake of RoboCop, now that Gary Oldman will be in it. Today news came out that Oldman will play a major role opposite Joel Kinnaman, who was cast a few weeks back as the new version of Alex Murphy, a cop who is killed (nearly killed?) but revived as a cyborg police officer.

I bet many will do the same thing I did and assume that Oldman will be playing either the role held by Ronny Cox in the original, or even one of the roles played to such memorable effect by Kurtwood Smith or Miguel Ferrer. In fact, Oldman’s casting reveals some new information about the remake, as he’s playing a new character named Norton, aka the guy who creates RoboCop.

If you’ll recall, the original film directed by Paul Verhoeven minimized the scientists that actually made RoboCop; the important parts of that decision-making chain were the corporate execs jockeying for new police contracts.

THR says that Norton is “the scientist who creates Robocop and finds himself torn between the ideals of the machine trying to rediscover its humanity and the callous needs of a corporation.”

Extrapolate from what what you will about the script for the new film — this gives us a middle man to parse the sine wave of Murphy’s consciousness as it wavers between human and machine. Which could be an interesting thing, but could also easily be a way to talk about things in the film that are better off simply shown. From what that statement says of this character’s function, he seems to be stepping on the toes of the character played by Nancy Allen in the original — Murphy’s partner, who helps him reconnect with his latent humanity.

RoboCop is looking at a Toronto shoot, but there is no start date or firm release date at this point.

 

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