SDCC 2013: The 'RoboCop' Remake Shows Off First Look Footage in Hall H

Friday, 19 July 2013 16:55 Written by  iamrogue
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SDCC 2013: The 'RoboCop' Remake Shows Off First Look Footage in Hall H

Sony Pictures has been keeping mum on next year's RoboCop remake, issuing scant material online and generally playing it close to the vest.

Today's panel during the Sony presentation in Hall H, then, marked something of a debutante ball for this new take on Paul Verhoeven's brilliant 1987 satire.  The first publicly exhibited footage from RoboCop demonstrated, however, that director Jose Padilha has a markedly different take on the material, eschewing vitriolic social commentary for more on-the-nose political relevance.

The panel began without an introduction, jumping right into an excerpt from a fictitious news show The Novak Element featuring Samuel L. Jackson.  This bit establishes the importance of drone robotics in the 2028 of RoboCop.  Automated Omnicorp products such ED-209 and 'bots that resemble the original RoboCop are used for security in foreign nations all around the world, but America, Novak says, fears their use on domestic soil.  "Why," he asks, "is America robophobic?"

In exploring this future more, the video promptly answers Novak's question, showing a mock-live incident in which the drones turn on civilians, causing the Pentagon to cut the video feed as a horrified reporter flees for his life.

From there, the panel began, with Padilha joined onstange by Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, and Jackson.  The Brazilian director, best known for Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within, explained that Verhoeven's RoboCop is perfect, and the intent here was not to recreate the original, but to update the concept, since the themes have only grown more relevant.  "We just took the concept of RoboCop and we brought it to the present," he said.

The Killing star Kinnaman, who stars the new Alex Murphy and RoboCop, illuminated another major deviation from the original, saying, "The big difference with our version is that Alex doesn't die - he's amputated from the throat down, pretty much."  Murphy's consciousness struggles against artificial intelligence.

The panel then paused for another bit of first look footage, kicking off with Keaton as Omnicorp founder Raymond Sellers, explaining that the American people need a bit of humanity in their robotic assets, so Omnicorp has to put a man inside the machine. 

That's Murphy's cue to show that he's a family man with his wife, played by Cornish.  This Murphy doesn't take a bullet to the head; he's critically injured in a car explosion. From there, Murphy's seen on the operating table and throughout the R and D process, eventually leading to glimpses of his final, stealthlike get-up.  POV shots show robo-vision as the title character combats crime through Detroit on his robocycle.  Also unlike Verhoeven's film, Mrs. Murphy is an active presence, and in once scene confronts RoboCop face to face, but he has no recollection of her.

And, of course, many rounds are loosed and objects exploded.  The footage ends with RoboCop repeating the famous line, "Dead or alive, you're coming with me." 

From there, the panelists all discussed the remake and their characters, with Kinnaman explaining that the red-visored helmet slides back for non-action scenes.  The helmeted scenes, then, required a lot of "jaw action."  Keaton said that he didn't want his captain of industry character to be a cliche bad guy.  Instead, he drew connections between Sellers and Bruce Wayne.  Cornish, meanwhile, said that it was enjoyable to play a woman who powerfully stands by her man.

RoboCop is scheduled to arrive in theaters on February 7, 2014.

Earlier this week, Sony revealed some concept art from the remake via a viral site, and you can check out that artwork by clicking right here.

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