Remake Bits: ‘RoboCop’ Script Details, Another ‘Amityville Horror,’ Double Negative Does ‘Total Recall’ Hover Cars
Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
In two short hours on Saturday evening, expectations for Jose Padilha‘s remake of RoboCop plummeted from their already low perch. Film journalist Drew McWeeny got his hands on the script to remake of the 1987 cult classic and tweeted a slew of specific details, most of which are really bad. The new film, which has already begun its viral marketing aimed at a release just under one year from now (August 9, 2013), has an incredible cast lined up including Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson and Hugh Laurie, but, if McWeeny is to be believed, the script is a major mess. He tweeted about several of the action set pieces currently scripted, lines of dialogue that reference the original film and some new, spoilery changes, to the character himself.
Read his comments after the jump and also find out details about a potential return (yes, again) to The Amityville Horror franchise as well as a short, sweet video about one of the best action scenes in Len Wiseman’s Total Recall.
Let’s start with RoboCop. McWeeny, who got his start on Ain’t It Cool News and currently works for HitFix, somehow got his hands on the script for the upcoming film written by Joshua Zetumer with revisions by Nick Schenk. He then proceeded to tweet about it for several hours on Saturday in what read like one fan’s desperate attempt to hopefully bring some change. I urge you to head to his Twitter feed, @DrewAtHitFix, to read the whole thing because he answers a lot of questions with @ mentions and stuff . However I’m going to quote a majority of the better, more revealing tweets here. Be warned. There are some potentially huge spoilers. (Longer quotes are several tweets linked together meant to be one cohesive thought.)
I tried to read the “Robocop” remake, but 20 pages in my nose started bleeding and I forgot my name. #nobueno #reallynobueno
I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.” Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!” So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval. So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*
Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously
And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow
Short version: this script makes my stomach hurt very, very badly.
Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.
“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.
By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”
Oh, god… oh dear god… Robocop is a Transformer. He goes from “social mode” to “combat mode” and back. Full transformation.
I’m going to go stand in my backyard and scream at the moon for a while. My brain needs a shower.
Write it down. Page 55, the “Robocop” remake beat me. I’m done. I can’t hurt more than this.
Okay… the two “best” lines in the script. First up is at the unveiling ceremony for Robocop in Detroit, from a TV reporter covering it. “I think it’s safe to say that Alex Murphy is now part man, part machine, ALL COP!” Yes, I too remember the original poster, asshat. Second, after the traumatic first meeting with his father, Alex’s son retreats to the apartment of Lewis, Murphy’s male partner. The scene ends with the action line “David sits, catatonic, looks at the TV — MGM REMAKE TBD.”
Good god… it just keeps topping itself. It’s like someone wrote a script scientifically fine-tuned to destroy me. Someone shows Pope, head of the OCP project, some mock-ups for Robocop action figures. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar!” Yeah, that just happened. NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?!
When this thing hits theaters, people are going to call up Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” on the phone and apologize for being so mean. “I’m sorry, ‘Total Recall.’ I had no idea how bad things could get. You’re starting to look like a masterpiece right about now.”
I’ll say this: once the script stops all the winky-winky crap and just starts telling a story, it’s not terrible. But it’s way too late. If you can get past Robocop The Transformer, there are some interesting action beats. And I’m sure Padilla will direct the hell out of it. But overall? Ouch. Ouch. Ohpleasedon’t. Ouch. And a big side order of ouch.
From McWeeny’s tweets, you have to wonder why they’d go with what seems to be such a radical departure from what was a pretty air tight original story. It also sounds like the screenwriters didn’t understand the sociopolitical subtext of the original film’s humor and instead are just playing it for straight stupid laughs. In the coming days, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s any kind of reaction to McWeeny’s tweets. Onto the next bit.
Speaking of Total Recall, check out this video from The Daily showing how Double Negative blended digital and practical effects to create the hover car sequence. Very cool.
Last, but not least, The Hollywood Reporter has a truly interesting story on a new film in the already double digit Amityville Horror franchise. Producer Tony DeRosa-Grund has secured the rights not to the original movie and not the original book, he’s got the rights to the true story of two New York reporters, Laura DiDio and Marvin Scott, who did a report on the house and experienced, possibly on film, some horrific things:
DeRosa-Grund has acquired rights to DiDio and Scott’s account of a seance that was held in the house on March 6, 1976, for a news report. As he tells it, DiDio was a 19-year-old cub reporter who had tracked down the Lutzes through property records after they fled the house and secured George Lutz’s permission to visit the house. Her resulting news report purportedly revealed ghostly presences, including that of a young boy, in the house.
“Marvin and I are thrilled to be working with Tony and Evergreen,” DiDio said. “I lived through this horrific ordeal, and I am the only person who has the ability to tell the true Amityville prequel story in its entirety. Even after all these years, after what I personally experienced, there is nothing anyone could ever do or say to get me back in that house.”
There’s no writer or director attached yet, but true story horror movies are never difficult to sell. I expect this to see some movement soon. Head to the Hollywood Reporter to read more, including some possible real footage from the event and how DeRosa-Grund plans to circumvent the other rights.