The idea of Darren Aronofsky directing a new version of RoboCop was pretty great, but I have to admit that hiring Elite Squad director Jose Padilha to make the film in Aronofsky’s stead could be the best idea MGM has had in recent months. It is almost certainly the most creative idea the company has floated.

Films by the Brazilian director have had an immediacy and a raw power that could make his RoboCop something special. Trouble is, we haven’t known anything about the specific story ideas for the remake, and without that data we can only vaguely theorize about what Padilha might turn out. We’re still pretty much in ‘vague theorizing territory,’ but recent comments by the director do give us some pointers as to what we might expect to see.

Asked about his version of the story, Padilha told Dutch film site Film1,

I love the sharpness and political tone of RoboCop , and I think that such a film is now urgently needed. But I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly. Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven untreated. If you are a man changes into a robot, how do you do that? What is the difference between humans and robots developed? What is free will? What does it mean to lose your free will? Those are the issues that I think.

Some of those elements are certainly in Paul Verhoeven’s original film, but it sounds as if this will be a feature centered more on the actual character of RoboCop, rather than being a weird satire of the general world in which he is brought into existence. Will this be a more serious film, without the comic touches that made Verhoeven’s film stand out? I’d expect that to be the case, and since replicating that satirical tone would be a foolhardy undertaking, this is probably all good news.

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